Saturday 19 Jan 2019 | 19:52 | SYDNEY
Saturday 19 Jan 2019 | 19:52 | SYDNEY

Pacific links: PNG industry takes on PM, Nauru election, ULMWP wants recognition and more


13 July 2016 17:23

By Harriet Smith, an intern with the Lowy Institute's Melanesia Program

  • After refusing calls by student protestors for his resignation, PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has now ignored an ultimatum from business and industry leaders. The ultimatum expired at midnight on Tuesday. Those leading the resignation call, which has the support of unions,  said their next step would be to call for a stop work in all sectors. This was expected to disrupt flights and port services.
  • Papua New Guinea’s Supreme Court has ordered parliament to sit next week and debate a motion of no confidence in the O'Neill government however the prime minister is confident he can survive the motion.
  • Vanuatu is bringing home students who were studying in Papua New Guinea in the wake of unrest and continued protests by students.  Vanuatu is following the lead of the Solomon Islands, which repatriated students from PNG last month.
  • Nauru’s President Baron Waqa has been re-elected as an MP in his constituency. The election has been declared free and fair by the leader of the Commonwealth Secretariat election observer mission to Nauru, but the mission lamented the small number of women candidates.
  • Nauru opposition political figure Roland Kun has returned to his family and been granted citizenship in New Zealand after having his passport confiscated last year.
  • The Pacific Islands Development Forum's fourth summit takes place in Honiara, Solomon Islands this week. Items discussed included Forum operations, a road map for addressing climate change, a Pacific climate treaty proposals and the Pacific Year for the Ocean in 2017.
  • The Melanesia Spearhead Group is also meeting this week in Honiara, and is considering a bid for membership by the United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMWP), which currently holds observer status. If successful, this would be the second time a non-government group has been given membership, following the inclusion of the Front de Liberation Nationale Kanak et Socialiste, a pro-independence movement from New Caledonia. Indonesia is strongly opposed to admitting the ULMWP.
  • The 2016 Pacific Update Conference, the premier forum for discussing important issues of public policy in the Pacific, is on in Suva, Fiji. The Pacific Update Conference is the premier forum for discussing important issues of public policy in the Pacific.
  • The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is working with the Fijian government to produce a training manual focusing on sexual reproductive health, with the aim of addressing knowledge gaps affecting adolescent girls. On World Population Day, the UNFPA’s Pacific Director encouraged Pacific nations to invest in teenage girls.
  • Papua New Guinean sprinter Toea Wisil will represent her nation in the upcoming Olympic Games, having qualified for the 100 metre event. Along with her training, Toae is working to improve her literacy skills to prepare for life after athletics.

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