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.

Obama ventures to tiny Pacific island fighting a tide of trash

Barack Obama landed on the remote Pacific island of Midway less than a week after the US President created the world's largest protected marine reserve in the area surrounding the tiny atoll.

It's a big green feather in Obama's cap as he seeks to cement his environmental legacy before he leaves office.

MSC recertification for PNA's tuna fishery

A third party independent auditor, Acoura Marine, has been contracted by the PNA to undertake the reassessment.

Pacifical c.v., the global tuna marketing company jointly set up by eight PNA countries in 2011 to promote its MSC certified sustainably caught tuna, said that the process should go smoothly and that deliveries of Pacifical MSC tuna will continue uninterrupted through 2017.

Coherence between Pacific trade and health policy needed to combat NCDs

RNZ reports heart disease, cancers, lung disease and diabetes are the leading causes of death in the Pacific with most countries losing their productive citizens to NCDs.

The United Nations Development Programme's Ferdinand Strobel says health and trade interests in the region are often developed in silos and end up undermining each other’s' efforts.

He said with the right legal framework they could be made to work together to help in the fight against NCDs.

Regional energy regulators address challenges

This is especially in light of the ambitious renewable energy and energy efficiency targets of Pacific Island countries as part of the Paris Agreement process and towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 7) of ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

This was one of the key messages emerging from the week-long training for Energy Regulators which concluded in Nuku’alofa, Tonga, yesterday.

Cost for Pacific power among the highest in the world

A energy specialist from the World Bank addressed the 25th Pacific Power Association Conference in Nuku'alofa.

Matai’s diary from Rio Olympic Village

The number of delegations in the Games Village is nearing 200 by Sunday afternoon here in Rio.

206 is the full complement of nations that make up the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

IOC boss Thomas Bach reiterated his confidence at a press conference of an excellent Rio Games following all the internal and external challenges faced by the Rio Organising Committee.

Bach is expected to tour the village and have lunch at the dining hall again today.

For the Pacific Islands, two more countries have arrived- Solomons and Federated State of Micronesia.

Youth training programme to expand

RNZI reports the Pacific Community will train 20 youth from Fiji, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu to act as leaders to help unemployed youth in their home countries.

The SPC's Melanesia director, Mia Rimon, said 20 percent of the Pacific's 11 million people are 15 to 24 years old, and approximately half are unemployed.

Addressing Pacific NCD crisis will advance other development priorities

He made the comment to several hundred guests today at the opening ceremony of the inaugural Pacific NCD Summit in Nuku’alofa.  

“We have the ability to halt and reverse this NCD crisis. We have the power to protect our children and keep our development aspirations on track. So let us keep in mind some of the practical ways this NCD crisis may be addressed,” HM King Tupou VI said.

Ending family violence in Pacific: law is not enough

Former Judge Mere Pulea delivered the opening address at the Pacific Community Gender and the Law Consultation 2016 in Nadi during the week, which was organised by the Pacific Community’s Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT) in partnership with UN Women and the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement.

“Putting in place laws against domestic violence in 11 Pacific Island countries is a major achievement which will have profound impacts on the lives of victims of violence. However, legislation in itself is only part of the solution,” Judge Pulea said.