Saturday 16 Oct 2021 | 23:39 | SYDNEY
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Jenny Hayward-Jones's picture
People | experts Jenny Hayward-Jones
Nonresident Fellow, Pacific Islands Program
Lowy Institute
Jenny Hayward-Jones's picture
Areas of ExpertisePacific Islands politics; Pacific Islands economic and social development; governance; statebuilding

O'Neill flexes his muscles as Abbott flies in

Tony Abbott flew in to Port Moresby last night for his first prime ministerial visit to Australia's nearest neighbour. Karl Claxton has foreshadowed some of the major themes of the visit over at The Strategist. Despite the range of issues on the agenda and whatever the expected results of the visit

Australia-Fiji relations: Bishop's game-changer

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop sprang a surprise on Australia's Fiji watchers last Friday. She not only pulled off what looked like a friendly meeting with Fiji's authoritarian prime minister but also revealed she would soon be normalising relations with Fiji, officially in the freezer

Julie Bishop focuses on PNG's women

On her first visit to Papua New Guinea as Australian foreign minister, Julie Bishop has reconfirmed the high priority the Australia-Papua New Guinea relationship has for Australian foreign policy and declared her deep affection for the country.  A frequent visitor to PNG as shadow minister, Bishop

Fiji: An election in 2014 and Bainimarama will stand

In what may be the clearest sign yet that Fiji Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama (pictured) intends to make good on his promise to hold elections in 2014, he has announced that he will resign as head of the military on 28 February and stand for election. Bainimarama has promised that his

Hope for expanded Australia-PNG links

While the Australia-Papua New Guinea relationship is currently strong, we need only look at the Indonesia spy scandal to understand how vulnerable Australia’s official relationships in the neighbourhood are to shocks. The Australia-PNG relationship went through its own difficulties during the era

Four Corners tackles PNG corruption

The ABC’s flagship current affairs program, Four Corners, last night investigated corruption in Papua New Guinea. In Preying on Paradise, journalist Marian Wilkinson looked at the extent of corruption in our nearest neighbour. This kind of report is long overdue in Papua New Guinea. A focus from

First female foreign minister is a milestone

In the midst of the debate about the gender deficit in the new Abbott cabinet, we risk failing to recognise a milestone for Australia. Australia’s first female governor-general is swearing in Julie Bishop as our first female foreign minister today. As Annabel Crabb argues, Bishop is not a token

PIF: Steady as she goes in Majuro

The Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) leaders' summit wrapped up in Majuro yesterday with few surprises. Highlights included the adoption of the Majuro Declaration for Climate Leadership and discussion on the importance of renewing regionalism. Fiji remains suspended from the Forum. The bizarre decision

Coalition announces cuts to foreign aid

The Liberal-National Coalition's decision to cut growth in foreign aid spending by $4.5 billion over the forward estimates has created a last-minute election debate about Australia's foreign aid commitments. Foreign Minister Bob Carr is yet to announce (at time of writing) the details of the Labor

Pacific forum fights for relevance

[vimeo:71495427] The 2013 Pacific Islands Forum starts today and the host, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, wants climate change to be the major focus, naming the theme of the leaders' summit as 'Marshalling the Pacific Response to the Climate Challenge'. As Marshall Islands Senator Tony de

Pacific leadership: PNG gets its chance

Competing claims for leadership of the Pacific Islands region are reinforcing doubts about the efficacy of regional architecture in the lead-up to the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders' summit in Majuro in the Marshall Islands in the first week of September. The Fiji Government hosted the Pacific

The Pacific in the foreign policy debate

It was great to see Australia's relations with Pacific Islands feature in last night's foreign policy debate and particularly pleasing to see this issue raised outside of the inevitable focus on the PNG asylum seeker deal. Overall, I thought Ms Bishop demonstrated greater commitment to enhancing

RAMSI, ten years on

Co-authored by Dr Karl Claxton, an analyst with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. A decade ago today, lead elements of the 1400 troops, 300 police and officials from the nine Pacific Islands Forum countries initially comprising the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI)

Peter O’Neill’s refugee gamble

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill either played a blinder or sowed the seeds for social turmoil when he signed off on the Regional Resettlement Arrangement with Australia last week.  If the arrangement does stop the flow of asylum seekers to Australia, then Mr O’Neill

Rudd rides the PNG tiger economy

As a long-time advocate for paying attention to Australia's relations with Papua New Guinea, I have to cheer Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's decision to visit Port Moresby so soon after taking office again. The Prime Minister's visit came just two months after his predecessor's first visit to PNG, which

Australia-PNG: Maintaining momentum

Papua New Guinea has been the beneficiary of an awful lot of love from Australia of late. Our nearest neighbor has been treated to visits from the Governor-General, new Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs Matt Thistlethwaite, Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr, Prime Minister Julia

Dreaming of China in the Pacific Islands

Research staff at the Lowy Institute meet with many visiting foreign delegations: European foreign ministers, US State Department and Pentagon officials, Pacific Island MPs, senior officials from Asian countries, academics from India and China. We also meet regularly with Australian ministers and

Gillard must stand up for PNG's women

Julia Gillard's first visit to Papua New Guinea as prime minister, starting tomorrow, is loaded with symbolism. Following on from the April visit of Australia's first female Governor-General, the Prime Minister can demonstrate to Papua New Guineans that women can effectively and confidently

Fiji constitutional referendum? Unlikely

Fiji Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has released the much anticipated Fiji draft constitution, an extensive revision of the 2012 draft released by the Constitutional Commission, led by international constitutional law scholar Yash Ghai. The draft constitution marks a milestone in

Habemus Papam

The Conclave in the Vatican surprised with its election as Pontiff Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires. Pope Francis represents a number of firsts for the Roman Catholic Church. He is the first Pope from South America, the first non-European in 1200 years, the first Jesuit, and the

Fiji police brutality: World is watching

Graphic video footage of police brutality in Fiji which emerged last week is attracting international condemnation. The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has condemned the incident and the New Zealand parliament is due to vote this week on a motion to condemn the brutality.

Violence: PNG's women face a crisis

It's not often in international affairs that a story about sorcery makes the headlines or that I find myself being interviewed about it. The horrendous public execution of Kepari Leniata, a young woman accused of using sorcery to cause the death of a young boy in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea,

Fiji: Bainimarama disappoints again

Fiji's military leader, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, has done it again. He surprised everyone last year by opening up what appeared to be a genuine process of consultation on a new Fiji constitution and engaging Professor Yash Ghai, one of the world's foremost constitutional experts, to Chair the

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