Nov 21, 2019 Last Updated 8:19 PM, Nov 17, 2019

There was no joy for Taiwan in September, as it lost the support of two of its Pacific island supporters in quick succession in Solomon Islands and Kiribati. The Solomons, under the leadership of newly-elected Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, had telegraphed its intentions, and so its decision was no surprise, although it was subject to accusations that due process, and in particular the approval of the Foreign Relations Committee, had been bypassed.

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We say

  • Nov 22, 2019
  • Published in August
Reporting SDG progress
OUR islands of the Pacific are truly heaven on earth if the reading of their recent reporting to the United Nations on progress made on advancing the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development is to be believed. Most, if not all of them, reported achieving universal access to education and health for their people.

Palau for instance, told the UN High Political Forum that its citizens enjoy universal access to water and a lot of strides have also been made towards reducing poverty amidst a growing economy. Meanwhile Vanuatu told the UN forum that it has introduced a number of national policies that aim to enforce gender equality, promote disability inclusivity, enable child online protection and mainstream gender and women’s empowerment.
 

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We Say

  • Nov 22, 2019
  • Published in July

There’s less than a month to go until the results of the independent investigation into allegations of abuse and mismanagement at the University of the South Pacific are to be delivered. The details of the Terms of Reference for the investigation have not been made public, and it is unclear whether staff and students will have a chance to make submissions. Meanwhile USP students across the region are about to start studying for their second trimester exams. The university’s leadership and member states owe it to them to ensure the that the investigation is robust, free of political interference and transparent.

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Changing of the guard in PNG’s political leadership

FOR someone who is still in the honeymoon period, James Marape is saying the right things. His words match his actions, so far.

Marape has said that he has accepted office as independent Papua New Guinea’s 8th Prime Minister with humility. The first morning he woke as Prime Minister, Marape posted on his official Facebook page:

“It is a privilege to be the chief servant of this nation of a thousand tribes. I don’t promise I will be answer to all of our nation’s problems, but I do promise I will give my very best effort to make a difference!”

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Israel Folau is no martyr

SO Israel Folau will learn of his future as a professional rugby football star in Australia in early May. That is when the threemember tribunal will convene his code of conduct hearing for breaching allegedly his contract with Rugby Australia (RA).

His crime?

Folau, according to RA committed a high level breach of the professional players’ code of conduct, warranting termination of his employment contract. That “high level breach” is actually the words that the player posted on 10 April on his personal Twitter and Instagram accounts, stating: “Warning. Drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, idolaters. Hell awaits you. Repent! Only Jesus saves.”

The furore those words caused continued unabated to this day, with people from all walks of life, shade or colour, weighing on the wrong or right of what this player of Tongan descent wrote. Judgements, solicited or not, rained down on the rugby footballer because of his judgemental social media posts.

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