Nic Maclellan works as a journalist and researcher in the Pacific islands. He is a correspondent for Islands Business magazine (Fiji) and was awarded the Walkley Foundation Sean Dorney Grant for Pacific Journalism in 2020.
The issue of human rights in West Papua was high on the agenda at the recent Pacific Islands Forum in the Federated States of Micronesia. Despite the sensitivities for member countries like Australia and Papua New Guinea, leaders at the forum also agreed the issue should stay on the agenda for next year's meeting in Samoa.
Forum Secretary General Dame Meg Taylor of Papua New Guinea went on the record to say: 'It's an issue that needs to be pursued and it's not going to go away.
Former Chief of the Australian Defence Force Chris Barrie recently argued that 'Australia's defence force is lagging significantly behind its US and UK counterparts in preparing to deal with the challenges created by a changing climate.'
Barrie says 'Australia's regional leadership and presence — important matters for the ADF — have been overtaken by the highly proactive New Zealand Defence Force and the US Pacific Command in Hawaii, who have been ordered directly by the American government to e