Published daily by the Lowy Institute

Pacific links: World Oceans Day, Marshall Islands climate finance, and more

Links and updates from across the Pacific.

Marovo Lagoon, Solomon Islands (Photo: Getty Images)
Marovo Lagoon, Solomon Islands (Photo: Getty Images)

  • A post-disaster assessment report published by CARE has found extensive and continuing need for humanitarian assistance in three earthquake-affected communities of Papua New Guinea. The report identifies shelter as the top priority, followed by health care and WaSH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene).
  • On World Oceans Day, 8 June 2018, Dame Meg Taylor, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum and Pacific Ocean Commissioner, issued a call for Pacific islanders – stewards of the Pacific Ocean  – to take up the “great challenge” of ocean protection and make a pledge for healthier oceans.
  • The Pacific Island Development Forum Leaders Summit, scheduled for the first week of July, has been postponed. The deferral was requested by the host and chair, Solomon Islands Prime Minister Rick Hou, for reasons as yet unknown.
  • The Marshall Islands has used the G7 summit to call for access to climate financing from the world’s wealthiest nations. President of the Marshall Islands Hilda Heine spoke at the summit, highlighting the threat of climate change to low-lying island nations and urging G7 leaders to commit to carbon targets and sustainable climate finance.
  • At Devpolicy, Ann Wigglesworth looks at high levels of satisfaction with the Seasonal Worker Programme reported in follow-up surveys conducted in Timor-Leste and Vanuatu. Most participants reported significant savings and positive benefits to their households as a result of participating in the scheme.
  • A new article by Wesley Morgan, published in the Journal of Pacific History, finds that most modern trade agreements have proved disappointing for Pacific island nations and have done little to offset the competitive disadvantages they face. Wesley has also published a new working paper that discusses the explosion of diplomatic activity in the region during the past year and the return of geostrategic competition to the Pacific.
  • Solomon Islands Prime Minister Rick Hou is in Canberra this week for a bilateral visit and will today deliver a speech at the Australian National University about the future of the Australia–Solomon Islands relationship.
  • In a new Lowy Institute analysis, Stewart Firth examines the state of governance and stability throughout the Pacific region.
  • The Nauru Government has enacted vast contempt-of-court laws, making it a crime to criticise a legal case (with exemptions for members of government). There are concerns the new laws are designed to target the so-called “Nauru-19”, a group facing prosecution for protesting government crackdowns on opposition MPs. This follows several developments in 2017, including the termination of an agreement that saw the Australian High Court acting as the final court of appeal for Nauru, and the passing of a new set of laws that criminalise disrespect of the national flag, anthem, or emblem. In his new Lowy Institute analysis, Stewart Firth describes an “authoritarian approach to parliamentary oppositions, public demonstrations, and freedom of speech” in Nauru.
  • This short NPR podcast tells the story of female betel nut sellers in Goroka, Papua New Guinea.

Pacific Research Program

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