Opinion: Silent epidemic: The devastating impact of drugs on Fiji’s health and wellbeing

Fiji faces a critical mental health crisis, with rising drug abuse cases being one of several contributing factors. Social and economic challenges, along with limited access to mental health services, are also believed

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Opinion: A turnstile of bad debt

Buried beneath the big-ticket items in the Australian Government’s latest budget statement, a relatively small outlay to Papua New Guinea (PNG) barely rates a mention. But, while the commentariat hones in on Stage

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Opinion: Increasing women’s political representation in Solomon Islands

On 29 December 2023, the Solomon Islands National Cabinet approved the introduction of temporary special measures (TSMs) to improve women’s political representation in the Provincial Government Assemblies (PGAs).

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Opinion: Fiji’s enormous contribution to global peacekeeping

29 May – the International Day of UN Peacekeeping – is an important day on the United Nations’ annual event calendar.  It is a day that we mark with great pride, admiration, solemnity and honour for the men and

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Opinion: Manele’s leadership in Solomon Islands: opportunities and challenges

Solomon Islands’ new prime minister Jeremiah Manele brings a new leadership style to the position, compared to the abrasive approach of his predecessor, Manasseh Sogavare. However, policies are unlikely to change, and

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Opinion: Fiji’s three-speed economy

Fiji’s swift rebound from the pandemic-induced downturn has been impressive.  The economy is doing better than it was in 2019 with tourism leading the rebound. Visitor arrivals in 2022 exceeded most expectations and

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Opinion: PNG’s gold bill implications for the central bank

PNG’s proposed National Gold Corporation Bill 2023 has attracted lots of debate, objections, and protests. Just last week, the government agreed to amend the immensely long bill (currently over 500 pages!) and consult

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Opinion: Why is New Caledonia on fire? According to local women, the deadly riots are about more than voting rights

New Caledonia’s capital city, Noumea, has endured widespread violent rioting over the past 48 hours. This crisis intensified rapidly, taking local authorities by surprise. Peaceful protests had been occurring across

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Opinion: 2024 Australian aid spending and effectiveness update

Australian Foreign aid was increased by 4% over what had been projected last year to bring the 2024-25 aid budget to $4.961 billion, virtually unchanged from the (inflation-adjusted) 2023-24 level of $4.900 billion. The

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Opinion: The big dry: Marshallese scramble for water sources

For over 50 days from the end of February to the second week of April, El Niño took its toll on Majuro, the capital of the Marshall Islands.  During that period, only trace rainfall was recorded. A large number of the

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Opinion: Australia’s superannuation rules leave Pacific workers out of pocket

The government must reconsider its tax on the Pacific’s poorest. More than 40,000 Pacific Islanders working in Australia are being unfairly taxed on superannuation contributions – enforced savings payments that they

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Opinion: Fixing the plastics problem when delivering urgent aid

Coping with climate change is hard enough. Sustainability cannot be overlooked in humanitarian action across the Pacific.  In March last year, twin cyclones – Tropical Cyclones Judy and Kevin – ravaged Vanuatu.

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