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. 

Pacific teams gather for league showdown

RNZI reports Gold Coast Titans players David Mead and Nene Macdonald are included in Papua New Guinea's squad along with Wests' second rower Rod Griffin.

Despite the loss of Semi Radradra to Australian duties, Fiji has exciting and experienced outside backs in the form of Sisa Waqa, Akuila Uate and Kevin Naiqama.

Study on internet affordability in Pacific island countries

The study has listed Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea as having expensive internet service.

According to Network Strategies of New Zealand, the last updated report on internet access affordability on Pacific Islands was three years ago.

“Technological progress in Internet access is slowly but surely being felt in the Pacific.”

It states that ADSL and/or fixed wireless broadband is available in all the countries they have included in their analysis including newcomer Nauru.

US pulls out of Pacific fisheries treaty

According to the terms of the nearly 30-year old deal with the islands region, the move will take effect in 12 months.

It is likely to hurt budgets of the island countries involved who had benefited from the annual payment of over US$80 million from the US government and industry.

The US State Department this week advised the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA)that it had officially communicated to the Papua New Guinea government - which is the depository for the treaty - that it is withdrawing from the treaty.