Pacific Islands Forum

PIF Chair reaffirms support for open, constructive dialogues, Human Rights Mission to West Papua (Papua)

In line with the Forum Leaders decisions in Tuvalu in 2019, the Forum Chair has this week written to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Her Excellency Michelle Bachelet, requesting an update on the consultations with the Government of Indonesia concerning the invitation for a mission to West Papua (Papua).

Australia works with PIF to combat COVID-19 in the Pacific

This vital Forum initiative ensures the passage of humanitarian and medical supplies within the Pacific as we work together to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Simon Kofe, Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum Foreign Ministers, welcomed the initiative and said: “Australia’s support will ensure that the Pacific Humanitarian Pathway will be able to deliver much needed humanitarian and medical supplies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through its actions, Australia is working to achieve values of familial ties and care for neighbour’s key throughout the Pacific.”

PIF Forum Foreign Ministers to consider regional response to COVID-19 Pandemic

In a letter to all Forum Leaders on 30 March, the Prime Minister of Samoa, Tuila’epa Sailele Malielegaoi, recognised that “we find ourselves in extraordinary times and circumstances where the very mettle of our nations and governments are tested beyond any limits that we have known in our lifetime”

Senior Officials of the Pacific Islands Forum have met to discuss and elaborate a possible regional response mechanism that would ease the coordination of supplies and assistance to the member states.

Outgoing Forum chair wants Pacific speaking with one voice

Samoa takes over the chairmanship of the Forum at the 48th Forum summit in Apia early next month.

But Mr Christian will still be an integral part of the organisation, becoming one of the Forum Troika Leaders, made up of past, present and incoming Forum chairs.

At a recent meeting with the Forum secretary general, Dame Meg Taylor, Mr Christian spoke of the socio-economic and related development issues facing the region.

A critical matter for him is air transport, which has long been seen as a barrier to island nations' attempts to strengthen their economies.

People’s Republic of China continues to support the Pacific Islands Forum

The money was handed over to Forum’s Secretary General, Dame Meg Taylor last week.

During the handover, the SG thanked China for their ongoing support through the fund and strong relationship between China and Pacific.

“I’d particularly like to thank you for the ongoing support to the Pacific Trade and Invest (PTI China) office in Beijing. The trade relationships we have with China are very important and the work of this office continues to help in their development,” she said.

PIF to send observers

The PIF observer team to arrive in the country this week will comprise of Solomon Islands Electoral Commissioner Taeasi Sanga, Nauru Electoral Commissioner Joseph Cain and Tonga Electoral Commissioner Pita Vuki.

The mission will be supported by staff from the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

The 14 days of nationwide polling will begin on June 24.

PIF Secretary General, Dame Meg Taylor, said the Forum was pleased to accept the invitation from the Government of Papua New Guinea.

Forum expansion unlocks new questions

RNZ reports the Forum was set up in 1971 to counter the influence of the major colonial powers, but with French Polynesia and New Caledonia added at this year's summit, France has effectively become a member of the body.

This raises questions about whether other territories in the region, such as Tokelau, American Samoa or Guam should now be included.

The director of the Pasifika Centre at Massey University, Malakai Koloamatangi, said the move had opened a lot of avenues that had seemed closed in the past.

Forum urged to act decisively on West Papua

RNZ reports for years Papuans have claimed they have been denied basic rights, particularly self-determination, and are constantly subject to Indonesian state oppression.

Demographic change in the region has also left Papuans fast becoming a minority, dominated by Indonesian culture, and has added urgency to the latest call by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) for help from the Pacific Islands Forum.

RAMSI not leaving Solomons till June 2017

The mission's special coordinator made the distinction after a Pacific Islands Forum meeting last week alluded to the mission being decommissioned in September.

Quinton Devlin says this is not the case, saying that the Forum Leaders' meeting in September will simply be an opportunity to consider the progress achieved by Solomon Islands.

He says the Forum's announcement in September would be a mere formality before the Australian-led mission leaves Solomon Islands next June, after 14 years.

PNG to chair PIF till September

Foreign Affairs Minister Rimbink Pato in his ministerial statement to Parliament today said the government will do its utmost to ensure that PIF’s agenda for development is actively progressed.

“In line with our government’s commitment to regional co-operation, we have made sure that our assessed contributions to the PIF, the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) and other regional organization are all paid so that these organisations can work together effectively,” he said.