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.

Concerns over rise in Pacific HIV infections

Reports in recent years noted that cases of HIV were decreasing steadily in the Pacific after a 2008 United Nations report estimated that 54,000 people in Papua New Guinea were living with HIV.

According to RNZI, the Chairman of the Pacific Sexual Diversity Network, Joey Joleen Mataele, says there's still a taboo around HIV or AIDS in Papua New Guinea, Tonga, and Fiji which does contribute to the spread of the disease.

Joey Joleen Mataele says HIV appears to be spreading again as confusion over religious beliefs leads to unprotected sex being common practice.

Pacific losing battle against NCDs

Seventy five percent of all deaths in the Pacific are NCD-related and this has even been linked to the decline in life expectancy in some countries.

According to RNZI, the Director General of the SPC said countries are not doing enough to combat the epidemic.

Pacific summit to strengthen response to non-communicable diseases crisis

NCDs – primarily heart disease, cancers, lung disease and diabetes – are the leading cause of death in the Pacific, with life expectancy declining in some Pacific Island countries as a result of NCD-related premature deaths.

Pacific to push for reform at World Humanitarian Summit

RNZI reports the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon has convened the first World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul as part of his call for humanity to be placed at the heart of global decision-making.

The Executive Director of PIANGO, Emele Duituturaga, is among civil society groups attending from the Pacific.

Pacific nations want more say in climate programmes

A Scholar for the Islands Society, Genevieve Neilson, said climate change funding for Pacific countries is improving with the US contributing $US500 million to the Green Climate Fund, and new programmes starting in the region.

But she said Pacific states would like greater opportunity to make decisions about how the money was spent.

"If it's being decided in a boardroom somewhere which programmes are being run or how programmes are going to be run or funded then that can really take away from the closer needs of the community."

Pacific islands boost electoral standards with Commonwealth support

The senior electoral representatives will be supported by the Commonwealth Electoral Network, the Pacific Islands, Australia and New Zealand Electoral Administrators (PIANZEA) Network, and the Fijian Elections Office as they seek to increase awareness of globally-recognised standards for credible and inclusive elections.

Historic step to monitor Healthy Islands vision and progress in the Pacific

The decision to create a Healthy Islands Monitoring Framework follows deliberations by senior health officials from 22 Pacific Island countries and territories at the Fourth Heads of Health meeting in Suva, Fiji, last week, based on an outcome of the Pacific Health Ministers meeting held in Fiji last year.