Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 879

MELANESIA:

1) Fest’Napuan Festival istat long Vanuatu

Updated 17 October 2013, 20:46 AEST
Kene Kala

Planti pipal blong Vanuatu wantem tu sampla laen blong rijan na ol kantri long Africa i bung nau long Port Vila long despla festival.

Odio: TPI_vanfestnapuan_20131017
Richard Shing Fest’Napuan komiti memba itoktok wantem Kene Kala (Credit: ABC)

Vanuatu musik, kastom na kalsa i stat pinis insait long Fest’Napuan festival long Port Vila.

Displa yar em i 17 yar blong displa festival, bungim ol musik blong Australia, New Zealand wantaim tu, long rijon.

Richard Shing blong Fest Napuan Committee insait long Vanuatu i tok, displa yar festival i bungim ol grup i kam long Africa, long Mozambique na Re-Union Island.

Mr Shing itok tede planti lokal band i pilai long nait na tumora bai gat festival blong ol pikinini.

2) International solidarity for West Papua writes to MSG

Posted at 05:19 on 17 October, 2013 UTC

98 international and Pacific NGOS, academics, politicians and individuals have written to the leaders of the Melanesian Spearhead Group voicing support for the West Papuan bid to join the MSG.

The MSG is considering an application for membership by the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation.

The group’s members this year resolved to engage more closely with Indonesia on issues in West Papua.

However, the letter describes a threat to the survival of the indigenous Melanesians of West Papua, through rapidly declining population and ongoing human rights abuses, including the denial of the right to self-determination.

TAPOL’s Paul Barber spoke to Johnny Blades about the letter.

PAUL BARBER: Well, it’s in solidarity with the demonstrations which have been taking place across Papua, supporting that application for membership.

JOHNNY BLADES: There is a recognition that it’s a fairly important move in the internalisation of the issue.

PB: Yes, I think that’s right. It’s important from the West Papuan point of view to develop the international support and the Melanesian Spearhead Group, the Pacific Island Forum, the Pacific context is an important one for them to develop that international support.

JB: The international solidarity movement is a growing one. Who has signed this letter?

PB: Well, there are a number of different organisations – there’s 98 signatories altogether which include solidarity groups, human rights organisations around the world, including Pacific-based organisations, organisations in India and the Philippines, as well as organisations in New Zealand, Australia, the US, UK, a number of academics and other individuals who are interested in supporting the West Papuan cause.

JB: It seems as if the letter is conflating West Papuan membership in the MSG with a sort of regional peace in the Pacific. Is that right?

PB: Well, the idea is that West Papuan membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group would help to promote a process. It would be a forum in which there could be some form of dialogue with Indonesia, which would then help to promote the peaceful resolution of the conflict in Papua.

JB: What do you make of the various diplomatic strategies and movements underway with regard to Indonesia almost looking to get the individual members of the MSG to engage with them, rather than collectively on this West Papua thing.

PB: Well, obviously Indonesia will have its strategies and ways of operating. But the important thing is this letter shows the international support for the membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group and we would hope that the group would act together in accepting that application.

Radio New Zealand International

3) New post on Vanuatu Daily Digest

Vanuatu daily news digest | 17 October 2013

by bobmakin

a) Efate will not be able to work with the new land laws proposed because of the duplication of high chiefs in many places reported VBTC News last night. The disputes over chiefly ranking bring a challenge to the various fareas of the island the Chairman of the Vaturisu of Efate, Chief Manlaewia Serel, told the National Land Law Amendment Summit yesterday. The Malvatumauri, he says, has resolved that the chiefly system of Efate must be restored. Nineteen resolutions on this topic have been passed by the Malvatumauri and one concerns the registration of every high chief of every nasara throughout the country. Minister Regenvanu confirmed that Efate is not yet ready to work according to the new laws. Regenvanu explained that the law is structured such that not every place will be required to follow the new legislation from the outset. The Malvatumauri will advise which places should begin to use the new legislation. This will give time to the others [like Efate] to sort out their chiefly problems, he said. Fortunately many places are ready to proceed as many participants acknowledged in responses to questions from the task force yesterday. The Vaturisu Land Reform Commission has produced its ideas on land law reform in a booklet entitled “Ol Lan Rifom Tinting” which is available by calling 26450.

Minister Regenvanu said the Judicial Commission will appoint the chairmen of the Land Management and Planning Committees (LMPC). This will ensure the independence of the LMPC, VBTC News reported this morning. Conflicts of interest have been seen previously. The LPMCs require the presence of experts in particular fields and thus the appointment of personnel needs to be seen to be done accfording to the correct procedures.

Daily Post leads today with the clarification that indigenous citizens alone can own land: the entitlement does not extend to naturalised or adopted citizens of Vanuatu. The Constitution makes it quite clear, the minister pointed out, that only indigenous citizens can own land. The Santo landowner of Million Dollar Point, Elizabeth Moli, supports the new laws. Even though Moli took out a court order in 1998, she told the Summit, other claimants continued to sell land there.

b) Seasonal work recruiting agents are demanding a probe into the manner in which the Labour Department is managing the programme. It appears that a Work Ready Pool has been established in the Department through the Employment Services Unit. It is claimed that Labour Department personnel are operating the Employment Services Unit as a private recruiting agency, Daily Post reports. The Labour Commissioner refutes the allegations.

c) Daily Post reports a raid on the Australian premises of Robert Osborne, the owner of the Club Vanuatu premises. The Australian Securities and Investment Commission undertook the raid. Osborne has a big debt with the Australian Taxation Department, which he is paying by selling off the club.

d) Fest’Napuan gets underway this afternoon with soundchecks, and at 4 the opening speeches. Black Revolution set the pace from 5 o’clock. The festival will give its founder, Minister Ralph, we all hope, the chance to relax a bit, albeit not far from where he’s had to hang out for the last couple of days. Likewise the Summiteers.

bobmakin | October 17, 2013 at 8:37 am |

4) VKB review

Unaisi Ratubalavu
Friday, October 18, 2013

+ Enlarge this image

Taniela Qutonilaba, left, and Lusiana Bokadi of the iTaukei Lands and Fisheries Commission, browse through the Vola ni Kawa Bula at their office in Suva yesterday. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

A REVIEW of how iTaukei will be registered in the Register of Native Landowners (Vola ni Kawa Bula) will be done by officials of the Native Land and Fisheries Commission ( NLFC).

This is neccessary to avoid relationship bickering and complaints from the iTaukei community.

Commission chairman Ratu Vananalagi Vesikula said their office had cases where people provided false information about their parents and other registration details to ensure their child was registered in the VKB.

Ratu Vananalagi said they received and dealt with such cases, adding it was time-consuming for NLFC to correct pre-planned false information.

He explained that in some cases, people did not provide information from the hospital where a child was born so the child was registered in the VKB under someone else’s name.

He said the NLFC would first verify information of children who would be registered in the VKB on maternal ties.

He said registration would only be done after all information was received and verified by the head of clan or i liuliu ni tokatoka.

He also advised those iTaukei who resided at their mother’s village not to create animosity and to follow Fijian protocol by submitting to those in authority.

A case from Ovalau was revealed to this newspaper where a man’s name and 10 others were deleted from the register because that man tried to question and challenge the traditional title of that village.

Ratu Vananalagi said it was important for every iTaukei to know who they were in their vanua and their responsibilities.Fijitimes

POLYNESIA:

5) Tahiti’s first mosque closes one day after opening

Posted at 06:38 on 17 October, 2013 UTC

The city administration of Papeete has forced French Polynesia’s first mosque to close – one day after it was opened by a new imam from France.

The opening caused an uproar and prompted the presidency to restate that the French constitution guarantees freedom of religion.

Walter Zweifel reports.

“Within hours of opening, an opposition party warned against Moslem extremism and queried if the 23-year-old imam had a permit. A deputy mayor summoned the imam to say the first floor of the building rented by his Islamic Association of Tahiti can only be used as office space and no meeting may be held there for safety reasons. He says police will check on the premises to ensure no Friday prayers will be held. The mosque’s launch caused a media storm and overwhelmed a news website, which shut down the comment section because it no longer managed to vet apparently offensive contributions.”

Radio New Zealand International

AUSTRALIA:

6) NSW bushfire emergency: Hundreds of homes feared lost, crews still battling fires across the state

Updated 18 October 2013, 9:01 AEST

Thousands of New South Wales residents are dealing with scenes of “utter devastation” as dozens of bushfires continue to burn out of control across the state. Firefighters say they fear as many as 200 homes could have been destroyed as firestorms ripped through communities yesterday, and say there could have been at least one fatality. Whole streets have been razed in some Blue Mountains communities and the local mayor says the scene in the worst-affected areas is one of “utter devastation”. Thousands of people spent the night in evacuation centres, and authorities say the full extent of the disaster will become clear later today. This morning 100 fires were still burning, more than 30 of them out of control. The main threat was on the Central Coast, with an emergency warning issued and residents urged to seek shelter as a fire raged at Ruttleys Road near Wyong. An emergency warning also remained in place for a fire at Lithgow in the Blue Mountains.

Thousands of New South Wales residents are dealing with scenes of “utter devastation” as dozens of bushfires continue to burn out of control across the state.

Firefighters say they fear as many as 200 homes could have been destroyed as firestorms ripped through communities yesterday, and say there could have been at least one fatality.

Whole streets have been razed in some Blue Mountains communities and the local mayor says the scene in the worst-affected areas is one of “utter devastation”.

Thousands of people spent the night in evacuation centres, and authorities say the full extent of the disaster will become clear later today.

This morning 100 fires were still burning, more than 30 of them out of control. The main threat was on the Central Coast, with an emergency warning issued and residents urged to seek shelter as a fire raged at Ruttleys Road near Wyong.

An emergency warning also remained in place for a fire at Lithgow in the Blue Mountains.

External Link: NSW bushfire emergency: day 2 ( Radio Australia )

FRENCH:

7) Les réformes foncières préoccupent le Vanuatu

Posté à 18 October 2013, 9:02 AEST
Pierre Riant

Un sommet sur la question vient de se conclure dans la capitale Port Vila et l’un des plus grands changements proposés reste le transfert des compétences concernant l’attribution des baux fonciers qui sont pour l’instant entre les mains du ministre des Terres.

Les terres coutumières ne pouvant être vendues, elles sont louées sur le long terme.

Fait intriguant : c’est le ministre des Terres lui-même, Ralph Regenvanu, qui estime que ses compétences en matière d’attribution des baux fonciers devraient être remises à un Comité de gestion et de planification nationale.

Ralph Regenvanu en a fait son cheval de bataille et nous avons essayé d’en savoir plus sur cette question qui passionne le Vanuatu en compagnie du directeur de publication de l’hebdomadaire, The Independent, Tony Wilson.

WILSON : « C’est un évènement majeur ici au Vanuatu et la raison pour laquelle la question foncière est l’une des plus grandes préoccupation dans ce pays, c’est simplement parce que la terre est le bien le plus précieux qu’un ni-Vanuatu puisse posséder.
Les disputes foncières font partie de la vie quotidienne ici et à ce niveau rien n’a changé depuis ces 33 années d’indépendance.
Ralph Regenvanu, l’actuel ministre des Terres, tentent de démêler toute une série de règles obscures sur la propriété coutumière. »

Mais pourquoi un ministre tente de réduire ses propres compétences ?

WILSON : « C’est très surprenant et ce n’a jamais été le cas avec tous les précédents ministres des Terres. Pour être honnête, dans le domaine foncier, il y a eu d’importantes allégations de corruption au cours de ces 33 dernières années.
Un exemple : un ministre attribue une parcelle de terre à un membre de sa famille à un prix très bas. Et 2 ou 3 jours plus tard, ce membre de la famille vend ou loue ce bout de terrain 5 fois plus cher à un expat comme moi.
Ce genre d’accusations est monnaie courante.
Ce que le ministre Regenvanu aimerait bien réussir à faire, mais tout cela devra être présenté au Parlement en novembre, c’est de retirer cette compétence [d’attribution des baux fonciers] au ministre des Terres pour qu’il ne puisse plus attribuer ces baux fonciers sans l’aval du nouveau Comité de gestion et de planification national.
Regenvanu veut que toute demande de bail soit soumise à ce Comité de gestion qui étudiera chaque demande de bail pour décider du bien fondé de cette demande. »

C’est n’est pas la première que Ralph Regenvanu est associé à la lutte contre la corruption.Radio Australia

8) Australie : incendies ravageurs en Nouvelle-Galles du Sud

Posté à 18 October 2013, 8:57 AEST
Pierre Riant

Les plus graves depuis une décennie. 2 000 pompiers ont combattu les flammes toute la nuit et les résidents de cet État australien se sont réveillés dans un paysage de cauchemar : 100 maisons au moins ont été détruites, mais les pompiers pensent que les dégâts sont plus importants et que 200 habitations n’auraient pas échappées aux flammes.

Des rues entières auraient été rasées dans la région des Blue Mountains et de nombreuses localités sont affectées.

Des milliers d’habitants ont été contraints de passer la nuit dans des centres d’évacuation.

C’est environ 90 feux qui n’ont toujours pas été maîtrisés mais les températures se sont rafraichies aujourd’hui, ce qui devrait faciliter la tâche des pompiers.Radio Australia.

WORLD:


9) US debt crisis: Congress passes deal

By Online Editor
5:21 pm GMT+12, 17/10/2013, United States

The US Congress has passed a bill to reopen the government and raise the federal debt limit, with hours to spare before the nation risked default.

The Democratic-controlled Senate’s bipartisan compromise won approval by 81 votes to 18.

The deal was then passed by 285-144 in the House of Representatives, whose Republican leadership begrudgingly agreed to support the measure.

It came hours before the deadline to raise the US$16.7 trillion limit.

The bill yanked the US back from the brink of a budgetary abyss by extending the treasury’s borrowing authority until 7 February.

It also funds the government to 15 January, reopening closed federal agencies and bringing hundreds of thousands of furloughed employees back to work.

The White House budget office said federal workers should return to work on Thursday.

The deal, however, offers only a temporary solution and does not resolve the budgetary issues that fiercely divide Republicans and Democrats.

Shortly after Wednesday evening’s Senate vote, President Barack Obama told reporters at the White House he would swiftly sign the bill into law.

US lawmakers must “earn back the trust of the American people”, he said.

“We’ve got to get out of the habit of governing by crisis,” the Democratic president added.

“My hope and expectation is everybody has learned there’s no reason why we can’t work on the issues at hand, why we can’t disagree between the parties without still being agreeable and make sure that we’re not inflicting harm on the American people when we do have disagreements.”

Also speaking after the first vote, Senate Democratic Majority leader Harry Reid said: “Let’s be honest, this is pain inflicted on a nation for no good reason and we cannot, cannot make the same mistake again.”

The US Treasury has been using what it called “extraordinary measures” to pay its bills since the nation reached its current debt limit in May.

It said those methods would be exhausted by 17 October, leaving the US unable to meet all of its debt and other fiscal obligations.

Politicians, bankers and economists had warned of dire global economic consequences unless an agreement to raise the US government’s borrowing limit was reached.

Meanwhile, ratings firm Standard & Poor’s said on Wednesday that the partial US government shutdown, the first in 17 years, had already shaved $24bn from the American economy and would cut growth significantly in the fourth quarter.

Spurred on by hardline conservatives, congressional Republicans forced the standoff on 1 October by demanding that President Obama defund or delay his signature healthcare overhaul.

But they have emerged with little to show for it – under the bill just passed, the law commonly known as Obamacare escapes relatively unscathed.

SOURCE: BBC /PACNEWS

HEALTH:


10) Accelerating progress towards the Millennium Development Goals
By Online Editor
5:14 pm GMT+12, 17/10/2013, Vanuatu

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Vanuatu signed a two-year project to support the Government of Vanuatu implement the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Acceleration Framework (MAF) Action Plan. The MAF Action Plan will focus on improving reproductive health (MDG 5.B) with emphasis on reducing the adolescent birth rate (MDG Indicator 5.4), especially in rural areas, and reducing the unmet need for family planning (MDG Indicator 5.6).

The teenage fertility rate in urban cities is 40 per 1,000 women aged 15 to 19, but it is much higher in rural areas (77 per 1,000) of which 76% of the population live. Women’s education level and household wealth were strongly associated with use of modern contraceptives methods, according to a 2008 Ministry of Health and United Nations Children’s Fund report.

During the signing ceremony, the Director for the Department of Strategic Policy, Planning and Aid Coordination, Benjamin Shing said that the “Government of Vanuatu remains fully committed to achieving the MDGs by 2015 and is grateful for the assistance provided by UNDP towards accelerating progress on MDG targets that are lagging behind.”

Through this partnership he added that he is confident that the project will achieve mutually desired results.

UNDP will provide support to the following areas relating to the identified key areas of interventions. These include policy advisory services on improving access to reproductive health and social protection; mainstreaming MAF priority interventions into the National Planning and Budget Framework; resource mobilization for the implementation of the MAF Action Plan; and advocacy and awareness raising on the objectives and progress of MAF implementation at the community and political level.

Akiko Fujii, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative said, “UNDP commends the Government and non-government stakeholders in Vanuatu for its strong commitment to the MAF. Focusing and investing on the youth population is the right thing to do, as they are the future of Vanuatu. We expect that the project will support a coherent and consistent approach to the reduction of adolescent birth rates by strengthening the coordination and advocacy of MAF implementation.”

The MDG Acceleration Framework was developed by UNDP in response[1] to world leaders’ calls emerging out of the MDGs Summit in September 2010 to heighten efforts to meet the MDGs by the 2015 deadline. The MAF provides a systematic way for countries to develop their own action plan to accelerate MDG targets that are off-track or showing no or very slow progress towards the desired target.

UNDP, in collaboration with the United Nations System organizations, has been supporting the development of MDG Acceleration Action Plans in over 40 countries since 2010.

For more information contact, Patrick Tuimaleali’fano, Programme Development and Policy Analyst, or email:patrick.tuimalealiifano@undp.org

Sheryl Ho, Knowledge Communications Analyst, and tel: +679 3227504 or email: sheryl.ho@undp.org
SOURCE: UNDP/PACNEWS

BUSINESS:

11) PNG gold mining contribution to national economy rates highest in the world

Updated 18 October 2013, 2:47 AEST

Gold mining contributes a higher proportion of economic activity in Papua New Guinea than it does in any other major mining country in the world, according to a ground-breaking new report on ‘The Direct Economic Impact of Gold.

A new report shows gold mining adds more than a little glitter to Papua New Guinea’s economy.

The report says Gold mining contributes a higher proportion of economic activity in Papua New Guinea than it does in any other major mining country in the world.

The independent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers shows the direct economic impact of Gold in the world.

It was commissioned by the London-based World Gold Council and is the first to examine the whole value chain for gold.

It shows that in 2012 gold contributed 15 per cent of PNG’s Gross Domestic Product.

Ghana and Tanzania were next, with gold adding 8 per cent and 6 per cent to total economic activity.

In total, gold mining contributions to the global economy were approximately $78 billion.

World Gold Council’s Director for Development Terry Heymann told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat the figures from the research were quite impressive.

“Goldmining can contribute very significantly to economic growth and economic development and particularly when you look at the countries that are included in this study,” Mr Heyman said.

“We looked at the 15 largest gold producers and many of those are developing countries.”

Gold made up 26% of PNG’s exported products.

“These are very significant numbers when looked at within the national context,” Mr Heymann said.

“[The numbers] have a huge opportunity to help drive positive social and economic development in countries like PNG that are fortunate to have those gold reserves.”

Currently there are approximately 16,000 people working in the gold mining industry in Papua New Guinea.

Mr Heymann says the report looked at the direct economic impact of gold’s contribution to the global GDP.

He believes that mining in many places has led to the creation of entrepreneurial cultures.

“Every country that is blessed with gold reserves should think about how to use the mining industry as a way to spur development for economic opportunities that are broader than the mining industry itself,” Mr Heymann said.

“The mining industry can really help drive that.”Radio Australia

12) PNG seafloor mining project set to be world first

Updated 18 October 2013, 2:42 AEST

Canadian company Nautilus Minerals could begin seafloor mining at a second site in the Pacific in as little as four years.

The company hopes to be the first in the world to mine copper and gold from the deep ocean at its site in the Bismark Sea in Papua New Guinea.

Natuilus’s CEO, Mike Johnson, has been keeping a low profile in the media since last year when its dispute with the PNG government was referred to international arbitration.

Now that the dispute has been resolved, the company is pushing ahead with its plans in PNG and elsewhere in the Pacific.

Natuilus is now willing to answer questions from its critics.

Nautilus Minerals says it is to ready ramp up its deep-sea copper and gold exploration project after an international arbitrators ruling on its dispute with the government of Papua New Guinea.

Earlier this month former Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia Murray Gleeson ordered PNG to pay for its 30 per cent stake in the joint venture and to pay its share of costs to date.

Papua New Guinea had argued that Nautilus had not kept its obligations, allowing it to terminate its role in the venture.

Mike Johnson told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat the project is still on track to become the world’s first commercial deep-sea copper and gold mine.

“Now that the arbitration dispute has been dealt with…we are looking forward to accelerating the rest of the contracts and build [our] schedule,” Mr Johnson said.

The State has been told to comply with the arbitrator’s decision which means the PNG government is expected to pay US$118 million by October 23rd.

Mr Johnson said they are confident that the state would meet its obligation.

Metal prices have been falling and the dispute caused delays and extra costs.

But Mr Johnson believes the value of copper is still rating well enough.

“The project is largely a copper mine. Copper pricing is still very, very good; $3.20 last friday,” Mr Johnson said.

“There is a little bit of jitteriness around gold as there always is when you have significant political events happening, and I guess the current sate of the U.S. would be classified as a significant political event.”

Mr Johnson admits that the dispute had some damaging effects on the company.

“Definitely, it has had an impact on our company…and on the project because delays ultimately result in increased cost,” Mr Johnson.

“We have managed to track to a revised schedule on [our three main contracts] but any delays, generally, in the mining industry result in increased cost.”

Mr Johnson believes the dispute has not risked the commercial viability of the project.

“We always planned for a significant ramp-up period when we were commissioning the machines and bringing them on line, but now we will have the ability to do a fair bit of that work closer to home where they were built back in Newcastle.” Mr Johnson said.

“It will be a lot easier to fix any minor problems…so there has been a few benefits there with the time delay.”

Mr Johnson believes there is a lot more support for the project than people are aware of.

“It is a very, very good project that suits what PNG needs [to] go forward,” he said.

“Papua New Guinea needs to start developing small to medium sized enterprises. This project sits nicely in the desire to develop those sorts of industries.”

“It is not your normal type of mining project.”

Mr Johnson believes if PNG takes up the areas of business associated with the project, it can capture 60-70 percent of the value chain for an investment of 30 per cent of the actual capital.

“It is my belief that this would still be the first project [commercial deep-sea mining] in the world,” Mr Johnson said.

“We are well advanced on design work for the vessel and discussions with yards and financiers but until a contract is decided on and awarded we won’t be able to say exactly what that timeframe will look like.”Radio Australia

13) Papua Mine, Union Reach Collective Bargaining Agreement
Negotiations with Freeport will bring pay increases for workers

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 16, 2013) – The miner Freeport-McMoRan says it has successfully concluded negotiations with union workers at its Papua site in Indonesia on terms for the Collective Labor Agreement.

In a release, Freeport says both parties have agreed in principle on the substantive terms to be included in the agreement for the upcoming two-year period, including a base pay increase for the workers.

Enhancements in the pension plan and other benefits were also agreed upon.

Negotiations have been proceeding intermittently since June.

Freeport Indonesia, which employs about 24,000 workers, expressed relief that negotiations have been settled without having to go through a strike.

Relations between Freeport and unions have been strained in recent years following a three-month strike in 2011, May’s deadly tunnel collapse at Freeport’s Papua mine and a series of minor spats.

The agreement is expected to be formalised before the end of October.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

14) Concerns raised on value of trade deal
By Online Editor
1:42 pm GMT+12, 17/10/2013, Belgium

Fiji has raised some serious concerns on the value of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) to Fiji and the Pacific ACP (African Caribbean Pacific) States.

The Permanent Secretary for Industry and Trade, Shaheen Ali, raised these concerns whilst speaking at the ACP Ministerial Trade Committee Meeting in Brussels past week.

The Pacific ACP States have been negotiating the Economic Partnership Agreement for the past 10 years.

Ali said the region is now faced with three inevitable repercussions that may impede progress.

This, he said, were erosion of export preferences, the elimination of duty free access to the European Union market in 2014 and the removal of sugar production quotas in 2017.

“The value of the Economic Partnership Agreement the Pacific is negotiating with the European Union is declining, even before the agreement is concluded,” he said.

“This is as the European Commission continues to finalise and engage in Free Trade Agreement negotiations with the developed nations and large emerging economies.”

The Attorney-General and Minister of Industry and Trade, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, is also in Brussels, attending the ACP Trade Minister’s meeting.

Sayed-Khaiyum and other Pacific ACP States’ Trade Ministers will meet with the European Trade Commissioner, Karel de Gucht, this week.

They will discuss the current impasse in the Pacific ACP-EU Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations.

Meanwhile, Ali said the European Union was free to negotiate deals with third parties.

He however stated preferences in key export commodities of the Pacific, such as fisheries, sugar and kava are eroded by these agreements or through European Union’s own internal measures.

“This means that in the long term, the Economic Partnership Agreement will have limited market access benefits,” he said.

Ali said the European Union is required to consult with the Pacific prior to undertaking measures that affects trade from the Pacific, with a view to arriving at remedial measures.

This is as per the Cotonou Partnership Agreement.

Ali said amendments to market access regulations could prove disastrous.

“The situation has been exacerbated with the unilateral amendment to European Commission’s Market Access Regulations 1528 of 2007,” he said.

“This will stop market access for countries that have signed but not ratified the Interim Economic Partnership Agreement.

“The imposed changes has created further uncertainty as it threatens to halt preferential exports from ACP States.

“This is despite the fact that negotiations on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement are incomplete.

“This premature end of market access for Fiji could prove to be disastrous for the livelihoods of Fijians, especially in our sugar industry.”

Ali said even if we manage to successfully negotiate a mutually beneficial EPA by the 2014 deadline, we risk further unprecedented harm with the abolishment of the EU sugar quotas in 2017.

“The Pacific ACP States continues to negotiate in ‘good faith’,” he said.

“However, the European Commission instead of also taking responsibility for the delays is penalising the ACP states, like Fiji, by removing crucial market access.

“The European Commission is not taking the PACP-EU EPA negotiations seriously and are not coming on board with the willingness to negotiate an agreement that is beneficial for both parties.”

As the Pacific ACP region goes into discussion with the European Commission this week, Mr Ali underscored the need for the EPA to serve as an instrument for development through trade.

“The European Commission needs to work with Fiji and the Pacific ACP States to finalise a mutually beneficial and balanced EPA,” he said.

SOURCE: FIJI SUN/PACNEWS

15) ADB and JICA team up to help Timor – Leste prepare for ASEAN membership
By Online Editor
5:15 pm GMT+12, 17/10/2013, Timor-leste

Government ministers and officials, Asian Development Bank  (ADB) staff, and representatives from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) met today to prioritize actions to get Timor-Leste ready for Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) membership.

Timor-Leste applied for membership in ASEAN in March 2011.

“ADB is pleased to work with JICA in supporting the Government of Timor-Leste as it pursues closer economic ties with Asia,” said Shane Rosenthal, Resident representative of ADB’s Timor-Leste Resident Mission.

ADB and the Government of Timor-Leste are cooperating to get the country ready to benefit from closer economic ties with Southeast Asia through a technical assistance initiative. The ADB support will help Timor-Leste to create or amend legislation to comply with ASEAN requirements, forecast and plan for economic opportunities and challenges created by ASEAN membership, and strengthen government officials’ skills in areas needed to fulfill the commitments of ASEAN membership.

Today’s workshop was organized by the Timor-Leste Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation with the support of ADB.

During the workshop, stakeholders planned priority action steps to address Timor-Leste’s capacity challenges related to ASEAN membership and integration.

ADB’s long-term strategic framework, Strategy 2020, makes regional cooperation and integration one of the five core areas for achieving its mission to reduce poverty in Asia and the Pacific. ADB is integrating regional cooperation and integration into all operations to help developing member countries address regional challenges and opportunities through collective action.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region. In 2012, ADB assistance totaled $21.6 billion, including cofinancing of $8.3 billion

Sally R. Shute-Trembath
Senior External Relations Officer
Pacific Liaison and Coordination Office in Sydney, Australia
Asian Development Bank
Tel +61 2 8270-9444
www.adb.org

SOURCE: ADB/PACNEWS

16) Scientists admonish fishery commission after record 2012 tuna catch

Posted at 20:17 on 17 October, 2013 UTC

An international group of scientists has reprimanded the Western and Central Pacific Fishery Commission after news of a record 2012 tuna catch.

The total 2012 catch is approximately 2.6 million tonnes, the highest on record and includes bigeye tuna, which has been fished for decades at an unsustainable level.

The Scientific and Statistical Committee says it wants its concerns taken to the fishery commission, which manages highly migratory fish species.

The scientists reviewed the proposal put forward by Japan, the Parties to the Nauru Agreement members and the Philippines, which would reduce bigeye tuna catches for the longline fishery, including a 45 percent reduction in the current bigeye quota for the Hawai’i longline fishery.

The current quota for the Hawai’i fishery has been in place since 2009 and has caused the fishery to shut down early twice.

Should the proposed additional reduction in catches be approved, the Hawai’i longline fishery could close as early as July.

Radio New Zealand International

LAW&ORDER:

17) Locally Produced Methamphetamine Confirmed In PNG
Police say Asian syndicate allegedly using local help to make drug

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Oct. 16, 2013) – Authorities have confirmed the presence and production of pleasure drug methamphetamine or ice in Papua New Guinea.

Highly placed sources within national security agencies including the Royal PNG Constabulary told the Post-Courier that they are investigating reports that a factory is located in a Port Moresby residence and is run by Asians with the assistance of Papua New Guineans.

The revelation followed last week’s arrest of 40-year-old Papua New Guinean Mary Yawari at the Cairns Airport after Australian Customs and Border Protection Service Officers discovered four kilograms of the drug in her luggage upon her arrival from PNG. The woman is in Australian police custody and will appear in court on December 12. She faces life imprisonment or a $A1.275 million fine. Australian authorities estimated that the drug haul had a street value of $A2 million.

In separate interviews with this newspaper, national security officials said there was a PNG-based Asian syndicate producing the methamphetamine for consumption by elite Papua New Guineans as well as the country’s growing expatriate community.

The same group are also allegedly behind a prostitution racket involving Asian women.

The growing of the PNG economy and the impact of globalisation was also making the country attractive to foreigners seeking employment and business opportunities, consequently creating a local market for illicit drugs, prostitution and gun smuggling.

According to the police and intelligence gathering officials, high ranking Papua New Guineans were involved in the distribution and consumption of methamphetamine.

“The issue is very sensitive as it also involves high ranking PNG elites. This drug is already on the market in PNG,” one of the officials said.

Former Defence Force commander and PNG Flag Officers League secretary general, General Jerry Singirok (retired), told this newspaper last night that he was not surprised with reports that methamphetamine was being produced locally.

He said “lip service” by the current and previous governments decapitated the ability of the RPNGC, the PNGDF, the National Intelligence Organisation (NIO) and PNG Customs to respond effectively to national security threats.

“We have no mechanisms to check our imports of goods and our border security, border security is nonexistent and therefore we will expect an increase (in illegal activities). And it will only stop when the government wakes up to itself to enforce border security and to prevent transnational crime by supporting all line agencies in a coordinated approach to address this particular issue,” he said.

General Singirok appealed to the government to give more funding and resources to the key security agencies.

An Australian government drug campaign against methamphetamine lists its dangers amongst others paranoia, stroke, addiction, chronic sleep problems, memory loss, blood-borne infections, anorexia, malnutrition and heart and lung problems.

PNG Post-Courier: http://www.postcourier.com.pg/

18) Solomons Police Investigate Large Bêche-De-Mar Theft
Sea cucumbers stored in Fisheries office had been illegally harvested

By Jeremy Inifiri

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Oct. 16, 2013) – A group of men illegally removed 59 bags of bech-de-mer that were seized from Ontong Java last week and kept in the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources Office, Monday.

Director of Fisheries James Teri said the group arrived at the office after 6am when the security guards finished their shifts and only the office cleaners are around.

“They took all 59 bags, which weigh up to 2,000kg, and went off,” Mr Teri said.

Police and Fisheries officials confiscated the illegally harvested bech-de-mers from Ontong Java last week and stored them at the fisheries headquarters.

Mr Teri said police have been informed and an investigation is underway.

“We are helping the police to identify those responsible and located where the bech-de-mers were taken and stored,” he said.

Mr Teri said police have identified various locations they believed the bags were taken to and stored.

Meanwhile, Opposition leader Dr Derek Sikua last night claimed the bags were taken to and stored at Anolpha Warehouse in the Henderson area.

Anolpha Warehouse is owned by the MP for Fataleka Steve Abana.

“I am fully aware that the bags of mixed species of beche-de-mer were removed to the Anolpha Warehouse upon a directive from Hon. Steve Abana,” Dr Sikua said.

He called on the Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources to come forth and explain why his ministry had to comply with a directive by the MP for Fataleka (see separate story).

Mr Abana could not be reached yesterday despite attempts to get him on his mobile phone.

Mr Teri also said they are doing their internal investigations to see if staff of the ministry are involved.

“We will get to the bottom of this,” he said.

The Police Media Unit said police are taking on the case but say he would not reveal operational matters.

Solomon Star

19) Chinese Nationals Arrested For Allegedly Using Forged Tongan Passports
Investigation ongoing into ‘passport irregularities’: Police Commissioner

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Oct. 16, 2013) – Two Chinese national were arrested by police at Fua‘amotu International Airport on Tuesday, October 15 and charged with the possession and the use of forged Tongan passports.

The accused appeared in the Nuku‘alofa Magistrate’s Court this afternoon, October 16. One has been charged with three offences under the Passport Act, while the other face one count. The two accused have been remanded in custody for a week, until 24 October.

Police Commissioner Grant O’Fee said further inquiries are being made into this matter as it is related to previous arrests concerning Tongan passports earlier this year.

“This is part of an ongoing enquiry led by the Deputy Commissioner ‘Unga Fa‘aoa into passport irregularities,” said Commissioner Grant O’Fee.

Matangi Tonga Magazine: www.matangitonga.to/home/

20) Israel To Assist PNG With Security, Defense, And Intelligence
PM O’Neill meets Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Oct. 17, 2013) – Israel has signalled its willingness to help Papua New Guinea with defence, security and intelligence capabilities.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Prime Minister Peter O’Neill during a meeting in Jerusalem that Israel had long-established capabilities in these areas.

“Israel is willing to deploy an inter-departmental delegation from Israel to PNG to discuss these matters and offer the relevant assistance specifically for defence, security and intelligence training and capacity building and for farming and irrigation,” Netanyahu said.

Before the meeting, O’Neill and Netanyahu signed a joint declaration of cooperation which will serve as the umbrella agreement to manage all aspects of existing relations.

Netanyahu and Foreign Affairs Minister Rimbink Pato also concluded an agreement on visa exemption for holders of diplomatic services, official and ordinary passports.

In terms of the proposed establishment of a PNG diplomatic mission in Israel, Netanyahu was quick to respond, saying: “Oh yeah, if you want to, I can give you the real estate in Israel now”.

Both prime ministers agreed that discussion should commence immediately to establish a PNG diplomatic presence in Tel Aviv – the economic capital of Israel.

Netanyahu also accepted an invitation to visit PNG in the next few months.

O’Neill told Netanyahu his two-day visit, the first to Israel by a prime minister of PNG, was to reactivate and give practical meaning to overall relations between the two countries.

“Israel being a nation established in 1948 had gone through a very difficult period towards achieving nationhood,” O’Neill said.

“The Jewish people despite these adversities had transformed their economy from an agro-based society to a high-tech industry-based economy.”

The National: www.thenational.com.pg/

21) US Navy Seeks To Double Size Of Training Area In Pacific
Ocean around Guam, CNMI eyed for training, weapons testing

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 16, 2013) – The United States military is looking to double the size of the ocean area it uses for training and weapons testing around Guam and the Northern Marianas.

The director of Guam’s military build-up office says a period of public consultation on the plans has been extended until December because of the US government’s partial shutdown.

It has been suggested that the military also wants to double the size of the explosives it can use but Mark Calvo says his office is not aware of that.

He says it is fortunate that Guam has gone through several iterations of environmental studies.

“And the public has gotten a little keener on the process and comfortable with the process as well as has seen proof that the public comment does allow concerns that are real and valid to be considered.”

Mark Calvo says the decision around a new firing range is an example of such proof.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

CLIMATE CHANGE,CONSERVATION & ENVIROMENT:

22) I-Kiribati Man Seeks Climate Change Refugee Status In New Zealand
Visa overstayer says he’ll suffer if returned to islands

By New Zealand correspondent Dominique Schwartz

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Oct. 17, 2013) – A man from the low-lying South Pacific nation of Kiribati has asked a New Zealand court to let him pursue his claim as a climate change refugee.

Ioane Teitoa, 37, appeared in the Auckland High Court with his wife and three young children, who were all born in New Zealand.

Mr Teitoa has lived in New Zealand for six years, most recently as an illegal immigrant after his work visa expired.

His bid to stay in the country as a refugee was rejected by an immigration tribunal, but he is appealing against the decision.

His lawyer Michael Kidd argues that Mr Teitoa faces persecution or harm if he returns to Kiribati because of flooding, sickness, and water and food shortages caused by rising sea levels.

Kiribati, part of former British colony the Gilbert and Ellice Islands, comprises 32 atolls and one raised coral island straddling the Equator halfway between Australia and Hawaii.

Spread over 3.5 million square kilometres of ocean, it has a population of more than 100,000, but its average height of 2 metres above sea level makes Kiribati one of the countries most vulnerable to rising waters and other climate change effects.

“There’s no future for us when we go back to Kiribati,” Mr Teitoa told the appeal tribunal, adding that a return would pose a risk to his children’s health.

Mr Kidd says the case is targeting outdated refugee laws.

“The refugee convention which came into effect at the end of the second world war needs to be changed, to incorporate people who are fleeing climate catastrophe, and what’s happening to Kiribati in the next 30 years is a catastrophe,” Mr Kidd told Radio New Zealand.

New Zealand’s Immigration and Protection Tribunal accepted the genuineness of Mr Teitiota’s claims, but said he was in the same position as other residents of Kiribati, which itself is taking action to avert the impact of rising sea levels.

The High Court has reserved its decision.

Last month, leading climate scientists said they were more certain that human activity was the main cause of global warming, which would bring rising sea levels to swamp coasts and low-lying islands.

Mr Teitiota’s claim for refugee status spelled out how high tides breached seawalls and rising ocean levels were contaminating drinking water, killing crops and flooding homes.

Kiribati has bought land in Fiji to grow food and build a potential resettlement site for people displaced by rising seas.

It is trying to give its people skills to become more attractive as immigrants, an approach it calls “migration with dignity”.

New Zealand and Australia, the two most developed countries in the South Pacific, have resisted calls to change immigration rules in favour of Pacific people displaced by climate change.

Jane McAdam, an expert on refugee law at Sydney’s University of New South Wales, says while conditions in Kiribati are difficult, there is little chance they fall within the scope of the refugee convention or the UN human rights convention.

She says there is “certainly not the political will” to extend the laws to include climate change impacts.

“We need a whole toolbox of responses,” Ms McAdam said.

“We need to be looking at adaptation, we need to be looking at migration as a form of adaptation, we need to be looking at disaster risk reduction and then, of course, we need to look at humanitarian protection and assistance.”

Radio Australia: www.radioaustralia.net.au/

23) Research On Early Human Settlement In Marianas Goes Online
ANU researchers to make archaeological work on Tinian available

By Alexie Villegas Zotomayor

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Oct. 17, 2013) – Research on early human settlements in the Northern Marianas will soon be shared online.

Dr. Mike T. Carson and his wife, Dr. Hsiao-chun Hung, from Australian National University in Canberra are finalizing their reports on their archaeological work on Tinian.

“After the report is finished and approved, we plan to publish all of the information as free access on-line,” said Dr. Carson adding that they are working with the Australian National University’s E-Press for this purpose.

He said the ANU E-Press has a good record over the last several years of publishing Asia-Pacific research, all for free access on-line.

Earlier, the couple stated that the establishment of human settlements in the Marianas 3,500 years ago required long-distance migration and may have involved the longest ocean-crossing in human history at the time.

The couple discovered evidence of significantly earlier settlement in the Marianas that required a longer-distance migration compared to the previously reported settlements in Melanesia or Polynesia.

Dr. Carson told Variety that it was a 2,000-kilometer migration.

“That constituted the longest ocean-crossing in human history of its time 3500 years ago,” he said.

Dr. Carson, who was on Tinian with his wife Dr. Hung last March as they continued their research on migration and early settlements in the region.

The Carson couple worked at a site north of the House of Taga on Tinian — the same site where Fr. Marcian Pellette uncovered finely decorated pottery — the earliest pottery in the Marianas — in the 1950s.

The couple unearthed human remains in six burial sites in 2011 and again found more human remains this year including the remains of a seven-to-eight-year-old child that predated Ferdinand Magellan’s arrival by about 200 years.

In an earlier interview with Variety, the Carson couple also pointed to a pottery trail extending from the Philippines to the Marianas.

Dr. Carson earlier said that the oldest traces were found in the Philippines from about 3,800 years ago or earlier.

“The oldest in the remote Pacific Islands, however, are in the Marianas from about 3500 years ago,” Dr. Carson told Variety.

According to the Carson couple, the pottery discovered in the Northern Philippines and in the Marianas share many similar design motifs at the same time 3,500 years ago.

Asked about the progress of their work, Dr. Carson said, “The Tinian research is going well. We are working on the full documentation of the findings, so that we can present a report to the CNMI Historic Preservation Office by January 2014.”

He said it is taking a long time for proper analysis and documentation given the sheer size of the excavation.

“Meanwhile, we have been sharing information, pictures, and ideas with our partners at HPO. The close communications help us very much to stay on-target with the work, as well as to maintain a high level of excitement about finishing the project,” he said.

Dr. Carson said he and his wife will come back to Tinian “as soon as possible in 2014.”

He said they will assist with the final decisions about the artifacts and materials from the excavated site.

“The CNMI Museum is officially in charge of this, but we would like to participate and lend our expertise in connection with how to manage the physical storage, long-term curation, and education for the public. We are sure that the Historic Preservation Office, Mayor’s Office, and many others also will want to participate,” he said.

Dr. Carson said in order for them to do this properly, they will need to wait a little longer to hear about grant funding from the Australian Research Council, due to announce in November-December 2013.

“For other research on early sites in the Mariana Islands, we continue working with HPO to develop further projects on Tinian, as well as on Saipan. At the same time, we continue investigations in Guam, at the Ritidian Site in Guam National Wildlife Refuge, managed by US Fish and Wildlife Service,” added Dr. Carson.

Meanwhile, Dr. Carson’s book, “First Settlement of Remote Oceania” published by Springer is available.

It is the only synthesis of the early-period Marianas archaeology.

For those interested in getting a copy, go to www.fishpond.au.

Marianas Variety: www.mvariety.com

SPORTS:


24) PNG Kumuls keeping it simple
By Online Editor
5:34 pm GMT+12, 17/10/2013, United Kingdom

The PNG Kumuls are not complicating their preparations for the Rugby League World Cup.

Every answer, every comment and every goal has three things in common: belief, talent and preparation.

These are the factors Kumuls coach Adrian Lam and PNG Rugby League coaching director Mal Meninga are counting on to embolden the side to play out of their skins to make an impact at the 2013 World Cup.

Speaking to the Hull Daily Mail Meninga repeated sentiments he and Lam shared on their departure from Port Moresbyhas

Meninga also called for the city of Hull to support his adopted nation during the upcoming World Cup.

And he has promised to reward the fans with an exciting brand of rugby league as the Kumuls look to take the competition by storm.

Getting Meninga involved as part of Lam’s backroom staff is a masterstroke, which it is hoped could give them the edge over France and Samoa in their first two Pool B matches, before facing defending champions New Zealand.

Meninga knows his inexperienced side need all the support they can get and he’s hoping Hull can make the PNG team as comfortable in the city as they did back in 1995.

“Papua New Guinea stayed in Hull for that World Cup and they had a fantastic time,” Meninga told the Mail.

“Adrian Lam played back then and told me stories of their stay here.

“There is a really good vibe for us in the city. We want the Hull fans to be our home crowd.

“I think the French are staying in Hull too, but we want the locals to support us – and we will provide them with some exciting rugby to watch on the pitch.”

Meninga, who has coached Queensland in the State of Origin, is excited about the potential in the squad he and Lam have at their disposal.

Led by skipper and new Hull KR signing Neville Costigan, Meninga knows they could be the surprise package of the World Cup.

“This is a talented bunch of players, they just don’t know how talented they are just yet,” Meninga said.

“And I don’t know how to rate this squad but we have dreams and ambitions.

“This is a five-year plan and this is the best preparation any PNG side has had for a World Cup.

“They have had success in previous tournaments and hopefully we can repeat that.

“We’re excited because we’re underdogs and it’s a fair challenge for us.

“We want to be in the quarter-finals as every team would love to and whatever happens from there, happens.
“We can surprise teams because we have enough talent in our squad to challenge in the quarter-finals and maybe the semi-finals.

“Belief is the key for us and we need to make sure we don’t get overawed by playing against the big teams.

“We need to play to our strengths and worry more about ourselves and not the opposition.”

SOURCE: HULL DAILY MAIL/THE NATIONAL

25) We want to rattle some Irish cages: Bukuya
By Online Editor
5:39 pm GMT+12, 17/10/2013, United Kingdom

Vodafone Fiji Bati utility, Jason Bukuya is focussin on what he can contribute to the team to upset Ireland in their Rugby League World Cup opener in Rochdale, England.

The match kicks off in 12 days time and the NRL Cronulla Shark believes with the Fiji Bati outfit at this World Cup, the game against the Irish will determine how well they do this time around.

“We do wanna win that game. it’s a big game for us and if we can that’ll put us in good stead for the rest of the tournament. Hopefully we get off to a good start and are able to rattle some Irish cages. We have a very good team, a very strong team with an even stronger backline. The amount of talent that we have this year is just awesome.”

Fiji Bati head coach, Rick Stone has in the meantime, lined up two warm-up matches for his side ahead of this game.

And Fiji Bati ambassador for the Rugby League World Cup in England, fellow Fijian, Derek Derenalagi says the team will not be short of support at Spotland Stadium in Rochdale on October 29.

“I believe most Fijians living in the UK and Europe have already booked themselves for that night to watch the first game between the Fiji Bati and Ireland. Most of the players who are going to be playing for the Fiji Bati are very experienced players and they are even going to give a hard game to the host nation, England too.”

Two months ago, tickets were already fast selling for Fiji’s first game.

Now, everyone’s rushing to purchase tickets for their second group match agains the hosts England where Derenalagi is scheduled to escort the RLWC trophy to the middle of the field before kick-off.

SOURCE: FBC SPORTS/PACNEWS

26) Interim committee takes charge of Solomon Islands Football

Posted at 05:19 on 17 October, 2013 UTC

An interim committee has taken over the running of the Solomon Islands Football Federation.

The establishment of the ’normalisation committee’ was approved by FIFA last week and comes after the Solomons approached the Oceania Football Confederation for help earlier this year.

The General Secretary of Oceania Football, Tai Nicholas, told Vinnie Wylie the old administration has resigned after struggling to manage a shortfall in funding.

TAI NICHOLAS: It’s important that we make sure that the money that is invested is accounted for and is spent in the right places. The problem, currently, in the Solomon Islands is there’s a whole lot of international and domestic activity which has overtaken the amount of funds that were available. What we have to do is work with FIFA to install a normalisation committee. This is an interim committee of a cross-section of the football community, who will be able to look into the administration and improve the way that football is being administrated in the Solomon Islands.

VINNIE WYLIE: In terms of any concerns the OFC may have had about the management and how that was the case, when did that first come about? When did you guys approach FIFA about possibly making some changes?

TN: At the beginning of this year the Solomons came to us with the lack of financial resources that they had presently to take into account the amount of activity that was involved. What happens is that in order to get money or funds from FIFA or OFC, you have to account for your last amount of money from last year. So because these reports weren’t regular, in order for us to help football in a country like the Solomons, the best way forward is to ask the current administration to resign and to install a new interim administration to take over and reform the process of the administration. And hopefully a new football administration will be installed before the end of next year. And if you can see, the committee is made up of a combination of government and private sector members who have volunteered their time to look at the reform process of Solomon Islands football and get it back on track.

VW: There’s no suggestion here of misappropriation or mismanagement of funds. It’s just a matter of having people to come in and make sure all the reports are there and that all the financial expenditure is detailed and there to be seen, basically.

TN: Yeah, we had an OFC Ethics Committee enquiry and we had a look at the management. It was more the lack of better financial management of both the resources and the income. All the stakeholders in the Solomons wanted to have a more transparent way that the funds were neutralised. The problem we’re having across the Pacific where there are not enough funds to cater for all the different activities. I think, if anything, the previous administration were guilty of trying to do too much with a limited amount of funds. So what we want to do is install a new administration and focus on some priorities and maybe more focus on developing football domestically across the province and nationally before they get to the international stage.

News Content © Radio New Zealand International

27) Pacific nations strong contenders in Rugby League World Cup
By Online Editor
4:55 pm GMT+12, 16/10/2013, United Kingdom

There will be strong representation from Pacific nations in the Rugby League World Cup, which kicks off in the United Kingdom on October 26.

Among the 14 countries competing will be Fiji, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands and Australia.

Both Papua New Guinea and Tonga say they are setting their sights on a place in the quarter final.

Coach of the Mate Ma’a Tonga team, Charles Tonga has told Pacific Beat his team has a mixture of young and experienced players.

He says preparation will be the key to achieving success in the World Cup in England later this month.

“I started working, I got appointed four years ago,” he said.

“It has been a long process and I work with the boys.

“I like building a relationship, sort of showing my vision, you know.”

The Tongans will play Scotland, Italy and Pacific rivals Cook Islands in the pool round.

The Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League has engaged Australian Rugby League Legend, Mal Meninga, as high performance coaching director for the Kumuls.

He has told Pacific Beat the team is well prepared and is expected to make PNG proud.

“They are a great bunch of young people who understand the expectations of this country,” he said.

“They understand that they need to play to their potential to be successful

“We have set some goals around the quarter final, but our challenge is individually and as a group to play as best as we possibly can.

“We have got tremendous attitude and passion and desire when we put the Kumal Jersey on, we will do well.”

The Kumuls first game is against France on October 27 and they will also face Samoa and New Zealand in the pool round.

SOURCE: RADIO AUSTRALIA/PACNEWS

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