Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 859

1) PNG denies it’s looking to become a major regional donor

Posted at 09:06 on 05 September, 2013 UTC

After announcing a series of aid packages to Pacific island countries, Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister has denied that PNG is aspiring to be a major donor in the region.

Peter O’Neill announced new packages in Majuro at the Pacific Islands Forum summit, including two million US dollars each to Tuvalu and Tonga for assistance in climate change response and cyclone relief respectively.

The Marshall Islands will also receive one million dollars.

Fiji has been pledged 20 million dollars, half of which is to assist in elections planned for next year.

Mr O’Neill says PNG is looking to share responsibility where it can afford to.

“We are also committed to being an active member of the region. We know that the challenges that the members within the region face are similar to ours. And this goes without saying, we have our own challenges at home also. But in a true Melanesian and Pacific way we are there to help where we can.”

Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill

Radio New Zealand International

 2) Growing migration in Solomons capital causing unemployment and criminality

Posted at 08:06 on 05 September, 2013 UTC

Growing migration into the Solomon Islands capital is leading to more unemployment and crime.

More and more people, in particular young adults, are leaving their subsistence lifestyles in the outer islands in search for easier lives and better jobs in Honiara.

Beverley Tse explains how many find the opposite of what they’re searching for.

Here during work hours on the main streets of Pt. Cruz, young people crowd shop entrances, chewing betel nut and socialising. Many don’t have work and opportunities in the city are few. In the 2009 census Honiara had a population of 64,600 people. The Honiara City Council Clerk, Charles Kelly says that figure is now beyond 65,000.

“CHARLES KELLY: These people are Solomon Islanders. They come from all over the country and they are mostly school drop outs, secondary and primary, etc. But because Honiara is very attractive, it’s a fast growing, moving city so people are coming in looking for opportunities.”

The founder of the non-government organisation, Solomon Islands Development Trust says many of these people end up living in cramped dwellings with their extended families and struggle to find employment. John Roughan says some return to the outer islands but others turn to crime for survival.

“JOHN ROUGHAN: It doesn’t take a very major step to go to ways of picking up money illegally. Growing marijuana is one of the ways, pick pocketing is another way, shoplifting.”

This worries some members of the Chinese community who believe they are easy targets because they own retail stores. The president of the Chinese Association, Matthew Quan, says different types of crimes are being committed against Chinese people such bag snatching and extortion.

“MATTHEW QUAN: Coming up to the shops and even asking for money and saying, ’You’ve done this or you’ve done that’. When we had a problem with the beche-de-mer, you know you’ll get someone who comes and sells you beche-de-mer, and someone will be coming from behind saying, ’Well, it’s against the law so we’re going to prosecute you for it’. So they’re changing the way they do things and you know, the type of crime that’s happening, that we get exposed to a lot more.”

With 60 percent of the Solomon Islands population under the age of 25, the city clerk Charles Kelly says the council has been trying to generate more jobs for young people.

“CHARLES KELLY: We have a project called the Rapid Employment Project. It is under the World Bank. And the project is targeted to the unemployment, especially school drop-outs. And we are giving them opportunities for jobs, cleaning the streets of Honiara.”

But John Roughan says the project is not a complete solution.

“JOHN ROUGHAN: I don’t like to pick up somebody else’s rubbish, many of us don’t like that. Now if it was leading to a change in attitude and then behaviour, I do, because it becomes a demonstration effect. But simply doing it and coming back and finding the same mess that I did yesterday is not only discouraging but there’s something wrong with the planning.”

A businessman and former board member of the Central Bank of Solomon Islands, Yoshiyuki Sato, says more foreign investors are needed to create mass employment.

“YOSHIYUKI SATO: We need investment with the proper skills, the proper money, not investment where people come in and do the jobs that Solomon Islanders can do. We need investment where they will be able to skill those trade skills, all other skills and skill up Solomon Islanders.”

Yoshiyuki Sato says the government needs to create the right environment and processes so investors are confident about where their money is going.

Radio New Zealand International

3) Women hit out at Solomon Islands Political Party bill
By Online Editor
1:46 pm GMT+12, 05/09/2013, Solomon Islands

A leading women’s group in Solomon Islands has described the Political Party Bill 2013 as “a total joke” and “a slap on the face of women” in the country.

President of the National Council of Women (NCW) Jenny Tuhaika hit out at the bill when she appeared before the Bills and Legislation Committee yesterday.

“We were disappointed with this bill,” Tuhaika told the committee.

“It failed to provide a provision that caters for women to contest national elections,” she added.

The Lilo-led government plans to table the bill in the upcoming sitting of parliament. The bill aims at addressing political instability in the country.

The only clause in the bill that mentioned women participation in the election is Clause 32(1).

It stated in a general election, a political party must reserve for women at least 10 per cent of their total number of candidates it selects to contest the election.

But Tuhaika described the clause as a total “hypocrisy” on the part of the government.

“My presentation today is meaningless because our concerns and submissions were never included in this bill,” she told the committee.

“This bill is contrary to the Convention of   Elimination Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which Solomon Islands signed in 2000.

“This shows that the government wasted my time and resources attending international conventions that were never reflected in its policy as evidenced in the bill.”

Meanwhile, a former attorney general has described the bill as “unconstitutional”.

And Gabriel Suri warned the committee that if parliament passes the bill, the Solomon Islands Democratic Party (SIDP, which he is the vice-president, will challenge it in court.

Suri appeared on behalf of his party Wednesday.

“We maintained our position that the bill in its current form is unconstitutional,” Suri said.

“It cannot achieve its objectives unless a constitutional amendment bill is brought along with it.

“So it would be a waste of parliament’s time and resources to debate this bill in its current form,” Suri said.

He told the committee to revisit the former CNURA government’s political party bill, which he said includes a constitutional amendment.

He said the bill never reflects integrity as it proposes because in clause 36 (2), it stated a person who formally resigns as a member of a political party may become a member of another political party.

“This clause undermines integrity of parliamentarians and contradicts the bill’s objects,” Mr Suri said.

Chairman of the committee Manasseh Sogavare said it’s good to have a legal opinion on the bill.

He added the government is putting the cart before the horse and as a matter of fact, the bill will never achieve political stability and integrity as the government wants it to be.

SOURCE: SOLOMON STAR/PACNEWS

4) Forum to discuss New Caledonia’s membership bid
By Online Editor
10:20 am GMT+12, 05/09/2013, Marshall Islands

By Nic Maclellan in Majuro, Marshall Islands

New Caledonia’s bid for full membership of the Pacific Islands Forum is on the agenda this week, as Pacific leaders meet in the Marshall Islands.

Speaking to Islands Business in Majuro, New Caledonia’s President Harold Martin said he had called New Caledonia’s full integration to the 16-member regional body during the opening plenary on Wednesday.

“It’s clear from the statutes of the Forum that to be a full member you need to be independent, and we’re not,” Martin said. “Having said that, I see a number of independent countries in the Forum that have a very close association with their former colonial power. We hope Forum leaders will act to bring us fully into the organisation.”

The Speaker of New Caledonia’s Congress Roch Wamytan, a member of the New Caledonia delegation to the Forum, also welcomed the Forum’s discussion of the issue. But the long-time independence leader suggested that the decision may be taken step by step, following discussions between the Governments of New Caledonia and France.

Currently, Forum membership is restricted to Australia, New Zealand and fourteen independent island nations. Both New Caledonia and French Polynesia have associate membership, but President Martin wants to take the next step.

Martin said that there is increasing support for New Caledonia’s membership since he first raised the issue at the 2007 Forum leaders meeting in Tonga.

“Today, Australia and New Zealand are in favour of our full membership,” he said. “France is in favour. In June, we hosted the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) summit in Noumea and a New Caledonian became chair of that group for the next two years. So the four independent members of the MSG have given their agreement that we should be a member. So bit by bit, many more are coming aboard. We’re moving forward!”

Harold Martin is leader of the Avenir Ensemble party, one of a number of anti-independence parties who favour the increasing devolution of authority from Paris to Noumea, but reject a final break from the French Republic. In contrast, the independence coalition Front de Liberation Nationale Kanak et Socialiste (FLNKS) looks to full sovereignty for New Caledonia.

Martin heads a multi-party government in New Caledonia, including both supporters and opponents of independence. But the political terrain is hotting up as the country moves towards elections for its three provincial assembles and National Congress in May 2014. The incoming Congress must decide whether to proceed to a self-determination referendum before 2018.

The discussion on New Caledonia’s membership status follows a Forum mission to New Caledonia in July – the first delegation by the regional body in many years.

Led by outgoing Forum chair Henry Puna and the Secretary General of the Forum Secretariat Tuiloma Neroni Slade, the mission travelled throughout the country. As well as meeting key leaders and French representatives in Noumea, they visited the Northern Province, where the Koniambo smelter and industrial zone is transforming the economy and society of the rural north.

President Martin believes that the latest mission showed Forum leaders how New Caledonia is transforming under the 1998 Noumea Accord.

“In July, the Chair of the Forum and the Secretary General spent four days in New Caledonia, and during that time they met with all the political parties of New Caledonia, who all expressed the desire for integration with the region,” he said. “They met with all our institutions as well as the representatives of France.”

“We’re in a decolonisation process, and there are important ideas involved such as the rebalancing of the economy and other elements of the Noumea Accord that are well underway. These Forum countries recognise that we’re in a process and that process is moving towards a decision before 2018,” Martin concluded. “They also recognise that within the process there are people who support independence, but also people, like myself, who don’t.”

The recent Forum mission was also welcomed by Roch Wamytan, the Speaker of New Caledonia’s Congress.

Speaking to Islands Business in Majuro, Wamytan said: “It’s been several years since the forum sent a monitoring mission to see how the Noumea Accord in being implemented. Between 1989 and 1998, there were lots of missions – nearly one every year. After the signing of the Noumea Accord, there were no more Forum missions. Therefore the mission that’s just been was of the highest importance. It’s been able to evaluate everything that’s happened over the last decade.”

For the FLNKS, there are still some doubts about joining the Forum as a full member before New Caledonia’s final political status is determined. Wamytan said there were differing opinions about the speed that a membership decision should be finalised.

“When it comes to the question of New Caledonia’s full membership of the Forum, the independence movement is a bit ambivalent,” Wamytan said. “One part of the movement feels that we should become a full member of the Forum reasonably quickly. There are others who say that we shouldn’t put our Pacific friends in a predicament, because we still have a strong relationship with our administering power France.”

Wamytan noted: “France continues to control the sovereign powers like defence, foreign affairs, currency and so on. That could put our friends in the Pacific in a dilemma because the Forum and the MSG want New Caledonia to be a member of their organisations, but they don’t want France to join at the same time! The member countries of the Forum and MSG want New Caledonia to further integrate into the activities of the regional organisations, but they don’t want France to do so because it’s been a colonial power in the past.”

New Caledonia’s government believes its bid for full membership of the Pacific Islands Forum will be discussed by leaders at their retreat on Thursday.

President Martin said: “We talked about our new status within the Forum today and so the Secretary General of the Forum and the outgoing Chair will present our case to the retreat on Thursday – and we’ll see their decision after that.”

With Martin enthusiastic for a quick decision, but a more measured attitude from the independence movement, can Forum leaders come to a decision this week? For Roch Wamytan, some steps forward are possible.

“The compromise that might come out of the recent mission, and which will be discussed this week, is that we could take it by steps, to allow time for New Caledonians to consult with France,” Wamytan said. “This allows a negotiation between New Caledonia and the French State, and once we’ve come to an agreement, we could convene a tripartite committee between France, New Caledonia and the Forum to negotiate the steps that must be taken for us to achieve the status as a full member of the Forum.”

Wamytan, a member of the recent Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Eminent Persons Group, said that the major powers need to respect the growing sense of autonomy in island nations.

“You see this across the region, especially with the Melanesians but also with the Polynesians and Micronesians,” he said. “All of us want a certain autonomy and to cease constantly being under the influence of the colonial powers – or even the larger nations like Australia and New Zealand. We want to have a space where we can talk amongst ourselves without each time having to refer to the big countries, each of which have their own interests.”.

SOURCE: ISLANDS BUSINESS/PACNEWS

5) Human Rights Watch slams Fiji’s new draft Constitution

Updated 5 September 2013, 9:56 AEST

Human Rights Watch says Fiji’s new draft Constitution includes considerable restrictions on rights and sections of it need to be redrafted.

File photo: Fiji’s President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau. He is due to give presidential assent to the country’s new draft Constitution on Friday. (Credit: ABC)

Human Rights Watch says Fiji’s new draft Constitution includes considerable restrictions on rights and sections of it need to be redrafted.

The US-based organisation has attacked the Constitution’s limits on the rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association and restrictions on workers rights.

Jessia Evans from Human Rights Watch in Washington told Pacific Beat that unless the draft Constitution is amended before being assented by the President on Friday, rights in Fiji will remain restricted.

“The broad limitations to these rights set out in the Constitution include in the interests of national security, public safety, public order, public morality, public health and the orderly conduct of elections,” she said.

“This elections exemption is particularly chilling given that Fiji’s military government has long stated it intends to hold national elections under the new Constitution before September 2014.”

The draft Constitution is due to be given presidential assent, two weeks after it was released.

Human Rights Watch says the immunity provision for those involved in the 2006 military coup amounts to a whitewash of past rights abuses.

“There is no limit to this immunity and the draft Constitution states that the immunity provisions should never be revoked or altered, nor can any court review them,” Ms Evans said.

“This kind of incredibly broad immunity provision violates international human reights standards and it prevents people from holding their military rulers or their forces to account for past human rights violations.”

Ms Evans also says the new draft Constitution again imposes restrictions on workers rights.

“It would permit again limitations on the freedom of association and the right to collective bargain for the purposes of regulating the registration of trade unions and the collective bargaining process,” she said.

“These provisions would undermine the ability of trade unions to defend the fundamental rights of workers on the job freely, further contributing to a climate of fear and impunity which continues to exist in Fiji.”

Human Rights Watch says it is hopeful – but not confident – the Constitution will be altered prior to it receiving presidential assent tomorrow.

“At this stage it’s looking very likely this will be the Constitution that Fiji ends up with,” Ms Evans said.

“At the same time we’re really encouraging foreign governments and international financial institutions engaged with Fiji to put pressure on the government to ensure that these basic provisions don’t limit human rights and freedom.”

“We’re hopeful that there will be revisions even at this very last minute.”

Ms Evans says the new draft Constitution continues the practice of Fiji’s military government ignoring human rights.

“The Fiji government or military rulers have been turning their noses up at human rights for far too long and this Constitution currently drafted gives the military and the new government the ability to continue to limit human rights in Fiji,” she said.

“This is of course incredibly problematic as a principle and for the people of Fiji going forward.”

“In addition it creates a hurdle for the sustainable development of Fiji.”radio australia

6) HRW calls for Fiji constitution to be amended

Posted at 03:38 on 05 September, 2013 UTC

The organisation Human Rights Watch has called on the Fiji regime to amend its draft constitution, which is due to come into force tomorrow.

It says the draft constitution, which was released two weeks ago, represents a major step backwards for human rights from the constitution thrown out by Fiji’s military in April 2009.

Human Rights Watch says unless the government revises this draft to guarantee freedom of association, assembly and expression, it’s hard to see how Fiji could become a rights-respecting democracy.

It says rarely has a whitewash of past rights abuses been so sweeping and absolute, warning that the adoption of sweeping immunity provisions will slam the door on efforts to achieve accountability and justice in Fiji.

The new draft was commissioned in January, when the regime dumped an earlier draft by the Constitution Commission, with the president arguing that Fiji had to break with its past and ensure that unelected people no longer made decisions for the general public.

Radio New Zealand International

7) Fiji’s United Front astonished at NZ and Australia’s ’appeasement’
By Online Editor
10:09 am GMT+12, 05/09/2013, Fiji

The United Front for a Democratic Fiji says New Zealand has capitulated to Fiji’s government over its constitution and that sends out dangerous signals to Pacific Island countries.

The New Zealand Prime Minister John Key says New Zealand views the constitution as a positive step towards elections even if it’s not perfect.

A spokesperson for the grouping of political parties, Mick Beddoes, says front members are astonished at Mr Key’s comments and what they see as a shift in policy towards appeasement.

“The kitchen’s too hot for him so he’s wanting to get out of the kitchen really isn’t he? And no doubt the regime is celebrating as we will no doubt know. They’ve actually managed to outwit the New Zealand prime minister.”

Beddoes says New Zealand and Australia are ignoring the plight of the people of Fiji.

SOURCE:RNZI/PACNEWS

8) Fiji military denies working with New Zealand SIS
By Online Editor
5:24 pm GMT+12, 05/09/2013, New Zealand

The Fiji military denies having worked with a New Zealand-based spy agency to raid the New Zealand home of a former Fiji government minister.

A New Zealand opposition MP, Winston Peters, claims the SIS spied on Rajesh Singh and the Fiji government knew about it.

He says the commander of the Fiji Land Forces, Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga, texted  Singh to warn him that he was about to be raided by the SIS.

But Col Tikoitoga says he never sent any text messages, and only heard about the raid after it happened.

He says a search of Singh’s phone records will show there was no communication from him.

Col Tikoitoga has told Auckland’s Radio Tarana that there is no information sharing between the Fiji military and the SIS.

“There is no information that we requested. It only makes sense. The New Zealand authorities were not talking to Fiji about the Fiji military in particular. Why would they now think that we work together? They’ve never worked with us. In fact, they don’t recognise us.”.

SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

AUSTRALIA:

9) MEDIA RELEASE: Australian South Sea Islanders (ASSI) Receive $50,000 Federal Grant for Community Cultural and Economic Capacity Building

Australian South Sea Islanders (Port Jackson) (‘ASSI.PJ’)

Media Release 3rd September 2013.

Australian South Sea Islanders (ASSI) Receive $50,000 Federal Grant for Community Cultural and Economic Capacity Building

Grant of the Office of Senator Kate Lundy

Emelda Davis, President of The Australian South Sea Islanders (Port Jackson) (ASSI.PJ) interim national body announced today that she ‘would like to sincerely thank Senator Kate Lundy, Minister for Multicultural Affairs Canberra for the receipt of a $50,000 Community Development Grant.’ The monies will be used to stage three educational and fact-finding, community capacity building workshops for ASSI people over the next 12 months.’

Patron for the ASSI.PJ Mrs Bonita Mabo added her support, saying that ‘This is the first ever major funding that Australian South Sea Islanders have seen in 150 years in recognition of the contribution made by our people including our forefathers to the building of this great nation. I would like to thank the Prime Minister and Senator Kate Lundy for their support.’

Ms Davis said that ‘The funding is a very overdue but much appreciated Federal initiative  representing an historic milestone in the history of the acknowledgement of the significant contributions made by Australian South Sea Islanders within the Australian community. It will be used to progress the much needed process of cultural education, connection and healing between ASSI and broader community groups in Australia.’

2013 marks a significant 150 years for Queensland since 55,000 South Sea Islanders (95% male) were bought to Australia on 62,000 indentured contracts to establish sugar, maritime and pastoral industries. Many of these men and women did not return to their Island homes and 15,000 —a third —lost their lives to common disease to which they lacked immunity. During the implementation of the White Australia Policy a mass deportation of some 7,000 SSI’s occurred, and 1,600 were allowed to remain under humanitarian circumstances. Several 100’s had crossed the border into NSW in the 1890’s and 1900s to escape the more severe conditions in Queensland.

1992 saw the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission published a Report which called forrecognition of the ASSI community as a distinct ethnic group within Australian. This was followed by Commonwealth recognition in 1994. In 1995 NSW Premier Bob Carr advised ministers to include ASSI’s in all programs and services. This memorandum has been overlooked to date.  In 2000 Premier Peter Beattie recognised ASSI in Queensland. Despite these official gestures there was little sustained government assistance to the ASSI community.

On 15th August 2013 Alex Greenwich, Independent Member for Sydney supported the ASSI.PJ with a timely motion seeing meaningful debate recognising ASSI’s and gaining unanimous support from all parties in the NSW Parliament seeing two Ministers and five Members speak strongly in favour of the overdue recognition of ASSI.

For NSW, 2013 marks 166 years since the first South Sea Islanders were bought to Eden by entrepreneur Ben Boyd who had already used Aboriginal, Maori and Pacific Islands labourers in his whaling industry ventures. Worried about not having sufficient labour for his pastoral properties, in 1847 he decided to experiment with bringing in a Pacific Islanders workforce, without waiting for government permission. This was a human disaster.

Ms Davis: said that ‘Our organisation prides it self on being the interim national representative body that has led by example through meaningful collaboration with governments, and educational, community organisations and agencies. The ASSI.PJ team acknowledges the trust and respect that has been entrusted through the grants that are now being received by this group through the Commonwealth.’

Capacity building workshops are titled ‘Wantok 150’ and will take place in Mackay, QLD, Tweed Heads, NSW.

A major forum will be held in Brisbane at the State Library Queensland on the 1st 2nd and 3rd of November. The Library has also donated $10,000 worth of resources in recognition of 150 years.

Emelda Davis

assi.pj@gmail.com                         Mobile: 0416300946

10) ‘If Abbott is elected, Australia’s natural wonders will gradually be rubbed away'(Guardian,5.9.13

The Guardian (Australia): ‘If Abbott is elected, Australia’s natural wonders will gradually be rubbed away’ : George Monbiot

Tony Abbott’s climate policies are about removing the social and environmental protections enjoyed by all Australians to allow the filthy rich to become richer – and filthier

George Monbiot

Thursday 5 September 2013

theguardian.com

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/05/abbott-climate-change-election

His views have changed, but don’t expect Tony Abbott to acknowledge this, let alone apologise to Australians for misleading them. In 2009 he maintained that manmade climate change is “absolute crap”. Now he says “I think that climate change is real, humanity makes a contribution.” But he has merely switched from denying global warming to denying the need to act on it.

Abbott is following a familiar script – the 4 Ds of climate change inaction promoted by fossil fuel lovers the world over. Deny, then defer, then delay, then despair.

His Direct Action programme for reducing emissions is incapable of delivering the cuts it promises,absurdly underfunded and surrounded by a swarm of unanswered questions. Were it to become big enough to meet its promises, it would be far more expensive than a comparable carbon trading scheme, which Abbott has falsely claimed would incur “almost unimaginable” costs. But it won’t be big enough, because he refuses to set aside the money it requires. Direct Action is a programme designed to create a semblance of policy, in the certain knowledge that it will fail to achieve its objectives.

Why? The answer’s in the name. Coalition policies begin with coal: getting it out of the ground, moving it through the ports, stripping away the regulations that prevent mining companies from wrecking the natural beauty of Australia – and from trashing the benign climate on which we all depend. The mining boom in the world’s biggest coal exporter has funded a new, harsher politics.

Climate change protesters wait for Tony Abbott at Penrice Soda Holdings in Adelaide. Photograph: Alan Porritt/AAP

Like the tar sands in Canada, coal has changed the character of the nation, brutalising and degrading public life. It has funded a vicious campaign of mud-slinging against those who argue for the careful use of resources, for peace and quiet and beauty and the health of the living planet. Australia, like Nigeria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, suffers from a resource curse.

To those four Ds you can add an R: retreat. Like Canada, Australia is slipping back down the development ladder, switching from secondary and tertiary industries towards primary resource extraction. Note Abbott’s disparagement of what he calls a “restaurant-led economy” in Tasmania, and his intention to replace it with the businesses that preceded it: logging and pulping, mining and unregulated fishing. A 21st century nation is returning to a 19th century economy. It makes no financial sense, but mining and logging corporations are more powerful lobbyists that restauranteurs and eco-tourism companies.

That R also makes the difference between coal and coral. If, as we can expect, Abbott allows a massive expansion of the coal port at Abbot Point, which means the dredging and dumping of 3m cubic metres of material inside the Great Barrier Reef marine park, it would threaten coral, dugongs, turtles, dolphins and much of the rest of the reef’s profusion of life. If it happens, it will be a simple declaration that nothing – not even the Great Barrier Reef, on which so much of Australia’s image and revenue depends – will be allowed to stand in the way of extraction and destruction.

Abbott will dump coal onto the bonfire of environmental protection lit by some of the state governments. He intends to cut what he calls “green tape” – the rules that protect humankind’s common heritage from greed and selfishness – and withdraw the federal powers that are often the last line of defence against state governments captured by the industries they are supposed to regulate.

None of this is to suggest that Labor has distinguished itself on these issues. The announcements of the past few weeks look like a last minute scramble to help voters forget its record of vacillation and cowardice. Labor’s failure to protect the natural world ensures that Abbott’s philistinism is harder to contest. As usual, it’s only the Greens who have consistently been advocating responsibility and statesmanship.

It’s been bad enough under Gillard and Rudd. If Abbott is elected, the natural wonders that distinguish this nation will gradually be rubbed away until it looks like anywhere else: a degraded landscape and seascape, supporting just a few generic exotic species.

The country will be run exclusively for the class to which Gina Rinehart, Clive Palmer and Ivan Glasenberg belong: the 1% of the 1%. Forget the pious rhetoric and nationalistic bombast. Abbott’s policies are really about removing the social and environmental protections enjoyed by all Australians, to allow the filthy rich to become richer – and filthier.

Article ends.

NEW ZEALAND:

11) NZ aid program suffers for lack of civil society input

Posted at 09:09 on 05 September, 2013 UTC

An academic says New Zealand’s aid programme is poorer for lacking support for civil society’s advocacy roles in the Pacific region.

Professor Regina Scheyvens of the School of People, Environment and Planning at New Zealand’s Massey University was one of the speakers at a forum about the future of New Zealand aid held yesterday in Wellington.

The government has been pursuing a results-based management framework to its overseas development efforts.

Professor Scheyvens says this has seen gains in areas like education and infrastructural development in the Pacific.

But she says New Zealand is failing to deliver in other areas identified by her post-graduate students.

“They’re often talking to people working for NGOs, trying to deliver development programmes in the region, and they’re finding that they’re facing a number of frustrations. There are NGOs in the Cook Islands who said to one of my students that they’re really disappointed that they feel like they’re just in a role of service delivery now, that they’re contracted to do that now by donors rather than actually having the voice that they used to have in the past.”

Professor Regina Scheyvens

Radio New Zealand International

TOK PISIN:

12) Ol Forum lida imas noken maus wara nating long climate change

Updated 5 September 2013, 14:58 AEST
Caroline Tiriman

Ol Pacific lida imas stop long toktok nating long Climate change na mekim ol trupla wok blong helpim ol communiti blong ol em oli bungim heve long rising sea levels

Solwara i bagarapim Caterets Atolls long PNG (Credit: ABC)
Odio: Ursula Rakova blong Tulele Peisa itoktok wantem Caroline Tiriman

Despla toktok i kamap long wan kaen em bikpla miting blong Pacific Islands Forum iwok long go hed long Majuro, biktaon blong Marshall Islands.

Climate Change emi wanpla long ol bikpla toktok em ol despla lida itoktok long en long miting blong ol.

Pastem PNG Praim Minista Peter O’Neill ibin go long miting emi bin tok climate change i ronim pinis sampla pipal blong en, olsem ol pipal blong Caterets long Autonomous rijan blong Bougainville.

Tasol Ursula Rakova, lida blong ol Caterets pipal long Autonomous rijan blong Bougainville itok olsem emi gutpla ol Pacific lida itoktok long climate change, tasol oli mas stat nau long help tru ol pipal na noken maus wara nating.

Emi tok tu olsem United Nations isave givim moni long halvim wok blong helpim ol pipal husat i bungim heve long climate change, tasol ol Pacific gavman ino save helpim ol pipal blong ol long despla.

Despla moni em United Nations isave givim oli kolim long Climate Change Adaptation Fund.radio australia

BAHASA:

13) Negara Asia Pasifik kurangi penangkapan tuna sirip biru

Terbit 5 September 2013, 21:30 AEST

Negara negara Asia dan Pasifik sepakat mengurangi penangkapan terhadap tuna sirip biru muda sebesar 15 persen.

Sejumlah pengamat konservasi menyatakan ketersediaan spesies tuna sirip biru dalam tahap mengkhawatirkan. (Credit: AAP)

Kesepakatan merupakan konklusi dari pertemuan selama empat hari dalam forum Komisi Perikanan Pasifik Tengah dan Barat (WCPFC) di Fukuoka, Jepang,yang di sembilan negara  termasuk Amerika Serikat, Cina, Korea Selatan dan Taiwan.

Para negara peserta menyetujui mengurangi tangkapan tuna sirip biru berusia tiga tahun atau yang lebih muda dimulai sejak 2014, sebesar 15 persen dari rata-rata antara 2002 dan 2004.

Seorang pejabat badan perikanan Jepang mengungkapkan, Amerika bahkan mengusulkan angka pengurangan hingga 25 persen, namun sebagian negara peserta mengkhawatirkan dampaknya kepada industri perikanan lokal dan berakhir dengan menyetujui usul Jepang.

LSM Internasional yang getol mengkampanyekan penyelamatan lingkungan, Greenpeace,  menginginkan agar ada larangan total terhadap tangkapan tuna sirip biru sampai jumlah spesies ini kembali pulih.

Greenpeace juga menyerukan agar Jepang yang menjadi negara pengkonsumsi terbesar tuna untuk mengadopsi langkah-langkah efektif menjamin keberlanjutan tuna sirip biru di Pasifik.

Pengamat lingkungan mengatakan industri perikanan yang mengeksplorasi tuna muda secara besar besaran dari lautan juga ikut andil menghancurkan populasi ikan yang dihargai mahal di restoran Sushi Jepang.

Forum  WCPFC  terbentuk pada 2004 merujuk pada perjanjian PBB untuk melindungi dan mengelola tuna dan ketersediaan ikan yang di wilayah Pasifik tengah dan barat.

AFP

FRENCH:

14) 44ème sommet du Forum des îles des Pacifique aux Îles Marshall

Posté à 5 September 2013, 8:05 AEST
Pierre Riant

Jusqu’à présent le changement climatique s’impose et Fidji n’a fait l’objet que de quelques mentions.

Le changement climatique au centre de la réunion au sommet du Forum des îles du Pacifique (Credit: AFP)

Henri Puna, le Président sortant du Forum et Premier ministre des Îles Cook, a prononcé un discours passionné en soulignant que le Pacifique se sentait frustré, oublié et sous-évalué par des années d’inaction sur le réchauffement planétaire de la part des nations industrialisées.

Qu’est-ce que réclame le Pacifique à Majuro. C’est ce que nous avons demandé à notre envoyé sur place, Sean Dorney.

DORNEY : « Et bien il y aura cette déclaration de Majuro sur le leadership à propos du changement climatique. Nous avons essayé lors de la conférence des petits États insulaires d’en savoir plus sur cette déclaration de Majuro, mais on nous a dit qu’il fallait attendre le communiqué qui sera publié après la retraite des dirigeants pour savoir exactement ce que cette déclaration contient.

Mais comme vous l’avez dit, Henri Puna a fait un discours très passionné. Il a dit qu’en plus d’avoir été oubliés, sous-évalués et ignorés par les nations les mieux placées pour prendre des mesures de d’atténuation à propos du changement climatique, les dirigeants du Pacifique étaient aussi déçus et mécontents.

Le nouveau président du Forum et Président des Îles Marshall a lui aussi prononcé un discours passionné. Il a dit que les terres des îles du Pacifique étaient leur pays d’origine, leur patrimoine et leur identité à tel point que la langue anglaise ne peut même pas l’exprimer.

C’est mon pays, a-t-il déclaré, et je resterai ici. Et si l’eau vient, elle vient. »

Si le changement climatique a nettement dominé l’ouverture de ce 44ème sommet, tout le monde pensait que la question fidjienne et notamment la réintégration de Fidji au sein du FIP serait aussi une priorité. Mais jusqu’à présent ce n’est pas le cas.

DORNEY : « Non, pas beaucoup de mentions. Hier soir, trois grands discours ont été prononcés : celui de Neroni Slade, le secrétaire-général du Forum, qui dans un discours assez long a brièvement mentionné Fidji. Il a dit que les ministres des Affaires étrangères du Forum ont été aux îles Fidji en avril et qu’ils informeraient leur dirigeant respectif. C’est à peu près tout.

Et à propos de Fidji, le Contre-amiral Bainimarama a déclaré à plusieurs reprises qu’il n’était plus vraiment intéressé par le Forum des îles du Pacifique.

Henri Puna n’a pas du tout mentionné Fidji dans son discours et le Président des Îles Marshall a brièvement mentionné Fidji en disant que l’unité régionale est très importante dans des situations politiques complexes. Notamment la réaction de la région face aux derniers développements à Fidji.

Et c’est tout, il n’a pas été plus loin sur ces développements ; une allusion évidente à la nouvelle Constitution fidjienne et aux élections de septembre, l’année prochaine. »radio australia

CLIMATE CHANGE,CONSERVATION AND ENVIROMENT:

15) EU gives US$26m climate aid to Pacific

Posted at 08:12 on 05 September, 2013 UTC

The European Union says it will provide 26 million US dollars to support the Pacific states in addressing the impacts of climate change and the urgent need to improve resilience to natural disasters.

The commitment was formalised at the Pacific Islands Forum in the Marshall Islands by the European Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard, and the head of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Jimmie Rodgers.

Ms Hedegaard says for the Pacific people climate change is not about a distant future but has become the new normal.

The programme is the Pacific component of the cooperation with the European Union on Disaster Risk Reduction.

Radio New Zealand International

16) Kiribati floating island still an option for climate refugees

Posted at 09:09 on 05 September, 2013 UTC

The president of Kiribati, Anote Tong, says his country is still considering a scheme to house refugees from sea level rise on a floating island.

Speaking during the Pacific Islands Forum summit, Mr Tong, says Kiribati will need to relocate some of its population and an idea first broached two years ago – building a floating island – is still being discussed with aid donors.

He says his government has had discussions with Japan about it.

“It’s worth two billion dollars. It would accommodate something like 30 thousand people for the next 100 years,, but we are looking at all of these options. I had a visit from one of the largest corporations in Japan who are interested in doing this – something like an oil rig OK but it will just be a floating city.”

Radio New Zealand International

SPORTS:


17)NRL stars in Fiji Bati for Rugby League World Cup
By Online Editor
11:18 am GMT+12, 05/09/2013, Fiji

The Vodafone Fiji Bati will be taking a powerful forward pack to the Rugby League World Cup next month.

Fiji National Rugby League yesterday confirmed 18 players in the National Rugby League and Super League have declared their interest in playing for the national side at the world cup from October 26 to November 30.

Veteran Petero Civoniceva, former Bati skipper Wes Naiqama, Jason Bukuya, Daryl Millard, Sims brothers Ashton, Korbin and Tariq, Sisa Waqa and Akuila Uate are some players who are cleared to play for Fiji.

Star player Jarryd Hayne remains in the frame despite not being in the list.

Parramatta Eels player Hayne and South Sydney Roosters five-eighth John Sutton are being eyed by the Kangaroos.

FNRL general manager Tomi Finau said if the two failed to make the Australia team, they would be roped to play for the national side.

However, he said the selection was still wide open for local and overseas-based players.

FNRL will name the final 24-member team on September 19 following the Battle of the Bati match between the Fiji Residents and Australia Residents at the ANZ Stadium in Suva.

“Our work continues to try and secure their (Hayne and Sutton) services and we want to secure the best team this year,” Finau said.

“The objective and resolution of the board is to field the best to represent Fiji. We will not announce the positions until we are clear that these two players are not coming.

“But otherwise, whatever the players’ decision will be, we will respect that and will work with whatever players we have.”

Fiji Bati assistant coach Jo Rabele said there were some promising players in the Fiji Residents squad that could make the final team.

NRL & Super League players: Jason Bukuya (2nd row, Cronulla Sharks), Kane Evans (front row, Sydney Roosters), Marika Koroibete (wing, West Tigers), Jacob Loko (centre/2nd row, Parramatta Eels), Kevin Naiqama (wing/fullback, Newcastle Knights), Wes Naiqama (centre, Penrith Panthers), Taqele Naiyaravoro (centre/2nd row, West Tigers), Daryl Millard (Centre, Catalan Dragons), Ashton Sims (front row, North Queensland Cowboys), Korbin Sims (front row, Newcastle Knights), Tariq Sims (2nd row, North Queensland Cowboys), John Sutton (five-eighth, South Sydney Roosters), Lote Tuqiri (wing/centre/fullback, West Tigers), Sisa Waqa (wing/centre, Melbourne Storm), Brayden Joji Wiliame (wing/centre, Parramatta Eels), Semi Radradra (wing, Parramatta Eels), Akuila Uate (wing, Newcastle Knights), Petero Civoniceva (front row, Redcliffe Dolphins).

National team officials: Mesake Navugona (team manager), Rick Stone head coach), Josaia Dakuitoga (assistant head coach), Wise Kativerata (assistant head coach), Rev Ilaitia Tagituimua (team pastor), Mick Reid (high performance manager), Simon Wray (physio), Peter N McGeoch (doctor), Graham Perkins (head trainer), Josefa Ravatudei (tour manager), Tomi Finau (media liaison).
SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS

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