Pacific

Tsunami warnings across Pacific lifted

The centre issued warnings for Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Nauru, New Caledonia, Tuvalu and Kosrae.

It said people near impacted coastal areas should stay alert and exercise normal caution near the sea.

American Samoa had issued a tsunami watch following the earthquake but that was later cancelled.

The quake, which hit just before 5am local time on Friday morning, was initially reported to be of magnitude 8 by the US Geological Service but was downgraded shortly afterwards.

Pacific pushing for 1.5 degree commitment at COP 22

RNZ reports they are meeting at the COP 22 meeting in Morocco.

The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) said the chant of "1.5 to stay alive" has been given wider recognition within the Paris Agreement, which was produced at last year's COP meeting.

SPREP said that by 2018, a special report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and the related global greenhouse gas emissions will be released, giving further weight to the chants of "1.5 to stay alive".

US nuke sub, troops send Pacific-wide message

A US Navy submarine carrying nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles is visiting Guam for the first time since the late 1980s and US and Japanese troops will practice amphibious landings on Pacific islands.

The submarine USS Pennsylvania (SSBN 735) is making what the Navy formally calls a "scheduled port visit" to the US territory in the Pacific, according to a Navy press statement.

But a US defense official says that both Japanese and South Korean delegations are in Guam at this time and will be offered rare tours of the submarine.

'Youth Bulge' a threat to stability

RBZ reports fifty percent of Pacific island people are now under the age of 25, a phenomenon called the "youth bulge."

PhD candidate, Aidan Crany, said the youth bulge is an untapped resource for the Pacific that if disregarded could cause social instability.

He said skill gaps in Pacific economies are not being filled by local students who are not encouraged to become trades people.

"The problem there seems to be as much as anything, skilled trades," he said.

Regional partnerships to strengthen disaster risk management in the Pacific

Disaster managers from 15 Pacific Island countries, disaster risk reduction experts and humanitarian response partners are coming together to help create a more disaster-resilient Pacific. They aim to strengthen national and regional collaboration on disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery from disaster.

ANZ and Digicel partner to deliver MoneyMinded in the Pacific

The partnership involves the certification of 14 Digicel staff as MoneyMinded trainers to deliver the programme to their staff and community partners.

ANZ Regional Executive Pacific, Tessa Price, welcomed the partnership, describing the initiative as one that would help build financial management skills across the region.

Chinese government officially handed Conventional centre to PNG

Being the biggest project in the Pacific by the government of the People's Republic of China Ambassador HE Li Ruiyou handed the Centre to Minister for Sports and National events Justin Tkatchenko on behalf of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

Ruiyou said the project was given as a token of appreciation for the relationships China have with PNG for the past 40 years.

“40 years of diplomatic ties have made the relationship between our two countries reach the maturity and secured on the right tracks in the right direction.

"A friend in need is a friend indeed."

ADB wants more profitability from Pacific SOEs

RNZ reports SOE portfolios in eight Pacific countries examined contribute only 1.8% to 12% of gross domestic product, despite having very large asset bases, ongoing government cash transfers, and monopoly market positions.

The ADB said productivity levels of the SOEs were also well below that found in developed countries.

But the Bank noted some successes in pursuing commercially-oriented reforms.

It said that over the past 14 years Solomon Islands has improved significantly, with Tonga also doing better.

 

"Violence against women must be stopped"

According to RNZ that is the message from this week's meeting in Fiji of more than 40 practitioners and experts working on ending violence against women in the Pacific.

Representatives from Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Tonga, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea and Samoa are taking part in the regional consultation with a focus on preventing violence.

UN Women multi-country representative Aleta Miller said all parties agree violence is not inevitable and can be prevented and are seeking systematic measures to stop it.

Pacific chief trade advisor still hopeful for PACER-Plus

RNZ reports On Friday, Fiji's trade minister, Faiyaz Koya, said his country was withdrawing from negotiations for PACER-Plus, citing inflexibility from Australia and New Zealand.

Fiji's withdrawal would mean the Pacific's two largest economies outside of New Zealand and Australia - Fiji and Papua New Guinea - would not be included in the deal.

Vanuatu had also recently expressed dissatisfaction.

But Dr Edwini Kessie said the remaining issues were not serious, and he believed a deal could still be reached - with Fiji included.