PBB Umumkan Solomon Islands Layak Keluar dari Daftar LDCs
Jose Antonio Ocampo, ketua Committee for Development Pocy (CD) (kiri) dan Anggota CDP, Diane Elson, profesor di University of Essex di Inggris (Foto: UN)
Jose Antonio Ocampo, ketua Committee for Development Pocy (CD) (kiri) dan Anggota CDP, Diane Elson, profesor di University of Essex di Inggris (Foto: UN)

NEW YORK, SATUHARAPAN.COM – Salah satu negara dari rumpun Melanesia di Pasifik Selatan, Solomon Islands, dinyatakan memenuhi syarat untuk naik kelas dari daftar Least Developed Countries (LDCs) atau daftar negara-negara terbelakang.

Selain Solomon Islands, tiga negara lainnya, yaitu Bhutan, Kiribati serta Sao Tome dan Principe, juga dinyatakan memenuhi persyaratan serupa.

Negara-negara itu dinyatakan telah meningkatkan pendapatan nasional mereka dan memperbaiki akses terhadap perawatan kesehatan dan pendidikan, membuat mereka memenuhi syarat untuk keluar dari kelompok negara-negara terbelakang.

“Ini adalah peristiwa bersejarah,” kata Jose Antonio Ocampo, ketua Committee for Development Pocy (CDP), dan menekankan bahwa baru lima negara yang naik kelas sejak PBB membuat kategori LDCs  pada tahun 1971.

LDCs dinilai dengan tiga kriteria: target kesehatan dan pendidikan; kerentanan ekonomi dan pendapatan nasional bruto per kapita.
Untuk dipertimbangkan keluar dari daftar LDCs, negara harus memenuhi dua dari tiga kriteria tersebut dalam dua kali peninjauan berturut-turut. Sedangkan jangka peninjauan itu berlangsung tiga tahun sekali.

Selanjutnya, CDP akan mengirimkan rekomendasinya ke Dewan Ekonomi dan Sosial PBB (ECOSOC) untuk pengesahan, yang kemudian akan merujuk keputusannya ke Majelis Umum PBB.

Anggota CDP, Diane Elson, profesor di University of Essex di Inggris, pengumuman Kamis adalah kabar baik bagi jutaan wanita di daerah pedesaan. Dia menunjukkan bahwa sesi terakhir Komisi PBB untuk Status Perempuan (CSW), yang saat ini sedang berjalan di New York, membahas tantangan yang dihadapi populasi ini.

“Keberhasilan negara-negara yang lulus mencerminkan hal-hal seperti peningkatan kesehatan dan pendidikan masyarakat, yang meluas ke perempuan pedesaan, dan peningkatan pendapatan di negara ini, yang meluas ke perempuan pedesaan,” katanya.Namun, Elson menekankan bahwa negara-negara tersebut memerlukan dukungan internasional yang terus berlanjut karena mereka tetap rentan terhadap guncangan eksternal, termasuk dampak perubahan iklim. Ocampo mengatakan kerentanan ini sangat terlihat di negara-negara Kepulauan Pasifik seperti Kiribati.

Secara global, ada 47 negara yang masuk dalam daftar LDCs. Mayoritas, 33, berada di Afrika, sementara 13 negara lainnya berada di wilayah Asia Pasifik, dan satu di Amerika Latin. Dalam 47 tahun keberadaan kategori LDCs, hanya lima negara yang lulus (Botswana, Cabo Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Maladewa dan Samoa)

CDP mengatakan dua negara lagi, Vanuatu dan Angola, dijadwalkan untuk keluar dari daftar tiga tahun ke depan. Nepal dan Timor-Leste juga memenuhi kriteria namun tidak direkomendasikan untuk naik kelas saat ini, karena tantangan ekonomi dan politik.
Bangladesh, Republik Demokratik Rakyat Laos dan Myanmar memenuhi kriteria kelulusan untuk pertama kalinya namun harus melakukannya untuk kedua kalinya agar memenuhi syarat untuk dipertimbangkan.

Menurut PBB, Sebuah negara dikatakan sebagai negara terbelakang atau negara tertinggal apabiia terdapat tiga kritieria utama dibawah ini :

Kemiskinan atau Poverty – Kriteria kemiskinan ini berdasarkan rata-rata Pendapatan Nasional Bruto atau GNI (Gross National Income) selama tiga tahun. Mulai tahun 2015, Negara yang Pendapatan Nasional Brutonya kurang dari US$1.035,- akan dimasukan ke dalam daftar Negara Terbelakang ini. Sedangkan Negara yang Pendapatan Nasional Brutonya US$1.242,- dinyatakan lulus atau dikeluarkan dari daftar Negara Terbelakang (Least Developed Countries list) ini.

Indeks Aset Manusia  atau Human Assets Index (HAI) – Kriteria ini berdasarkan indikator kesehatan, nutrisi, pendidikan dan tingkat melek aksara atau melek huruf. Mulai tahun 2015, Sebuah negara dikatakan sebagai negara terbelakang apabila indeks Aset Manusia (HAI) ini berada dibawah nilai 60. Negara Terbelakang yang nilai Indeks Aset Manusia diatas nilai 66 akan dinyatakan lulus dan dikeluarkan dari daftar negara terbelakang atau negara tertinggal ini.

Kerentanan Ekonomi atau Economic Vulnerability Index (EVI) – Kriteria ini berdasarkan ketidakstabilan produksi pertanian, ketidakstabilan ekspor barang dan jasa dan persentase penduduk yang mengungsi akibat bencana alam. Mulai tahun 2015, Sebuah negara dikatakan sebagai negara terbelakang apabila nilai Indeks Kerentanan ekonomi ini berada diatas 36. Negara Terbelakang yang nilai indeksnya dibawah 32 akan dinyatakan lulus dan keluar dari daftar negara-negara terbelakang ini.

Menurut daftar yang sudah diperbarui pada Juni 2017, berikut ini nama-nama negara yang masuk dalam LCDs

1 Angola (Afrika)
2 Benin (Afrika)
3 Burkina  Faso (Afrika)
4 Burundi (Afrika)
5 Chad (Afrika)
6 Djibouti (Afrika)
7 Eritrea (Afrika)
8 Ethiopia (Afrika)
9 Gambia (Afrika)
10 Guinea (Afrika)
11 Guinea-Bissau (Afrika)
12 Komoro (Afrika)
13 Lesotho (Afrika)
14 Liberia (Afrika)
15 Madagascar (Afrika)
16 Malawi (Afrika)
17 Mali (Afrika)
18 Mauritania (Afrika)
19 Mozambik (Afrika)
20 Niger (Afrika)
21 Republik Afrika Tengah (Afrika)
22 Republik Demokratik Kongo (Afrika)
23 Rwanda (Afrika)
24 Sao Tome dan Principe (Afrika)
25 Senegal (Afrika)
26 Sierra Leone (Afrika)
27 Somalia (Afrika)
28 Sudan (Afrika)
29 Sudan Selatan (Afrika)
30 Tanzania (Afrika)
31 Togo (Afrika)
32 Uganda (Afrika)
33 Zambia (Afrika)
34 Haiti (Amerika Utara)
35 Afghanistan (Asia)
36 Bangladesh (Asia)
37 Bhutan (Asia)
38 Kamboja (Asia)
39 Laos (Asia)
40 Myanmar (Asia)
41 Nepal (Asia)
42 Timor Leste (Asia)
43 Yaman (Asia)
44 Kepulauan Solomon (Oseania)
45 Kiribati (Oseania)
46 Tuvalu (Oseania)
47 Vanuatu (Oseania)

Editor : Eben E. Siadari

Prancis Cemas Jelang Pelaksanaan Referendum Kaledonia Baru
PM Prancis Edouard Philippe (Foto: AFP)
PM Prancis Edouard Philippe (Foto: AFP)

NOUMEA, SATUHARAPAN.COM – Kendati belum diumumkan secara resmi, sudah nyaris pasti bahwa referendum di Kaledonia Baru akan berlangsung pada 4 November mendatang. Kongres Kaledonia Baru diharapkan akan bersidang pada 19 Maret ini untuk menetapkan tanggal pelaksanaan referendum.

Referendum tersebut nantinya akan memberi kesempatan kepada rakyat Kanaks di Kaledonia Baru untuk menentukan sikap, apakah akan menjadi negara sendiri atau tetap bersama dengan Prancis. Meskipun demikian, sampai sekarang belum ditetapkan bentuk pertanyaan yang akan diajukan dalam kertas suara.

Kemungkinan ditetapkannya tanggal referendum itu diungkapkan oleh salah seorang anggota parlemen Prancis dari Kaledonia Baru, Philippe Dunoyer.

Ia mengungkapkan hal itu setelah Komisi Hukum parlemen mengetujui perubahan undang-undang pemilihan sehigga pendaftaran lanjutan bagi 11.000 pemilih diperbolehkan dalam referendum yang terbatas itu. Sebelumnya, Senat Prancis telah menyetujui perubahan tersebut.

Dikabarkan bahwa kesepakatan tentang  tanggal 4 November itu dicapai bulan lalu ketika 10 pemimpin Kaledonia Baru dari partai-partai utama bertemu dan membicarakan bagaimana masa depan Kaledonia Baru pascareferendum.

Bagaimana wujud kedaulatan Kaledonia pascareferendum –seandainya pro-kemerdekaan menang — sampai saat ini masih menjadi tanda tanya besar bagi sebagian kalangan.

Pemerintah Prancis sendiri mengkhawatirkan kemungkinan perpecahan di kalangan rakyat Kaledonia Baru pascareferendum, apa pun hasilnya.

Hari Rabu lalu, Perdana Menteri Prancis, Edouard Philippe mengutarakan imbauannya agar semua orang di Kaledonia Baru memelihara perdamaian yang sudah dicapai selama 30 tahun.

Ia mengatakan, referendum yang bertujuan menanyakan apakah rakyat ingin tetap bersama Prancis atau berdaulat penuh, tetap mengandung risiko perpecahan. Dan hal ini, menurut dia, sangat berbahaya. Ia mendesak agar semua orang mengutamakan persatuan di Kaledonia Baru.

Beberapa hari sebelumnya, ia juga telah melancarkan imbauan agar dialog 10 pemimpin kelompok-kelompok di Kaledonia Baru yang terbentuk atas bantuannya, dilanjutkan kembali. Dialog itu telah terhenti setelah dua politisi pro-negara Prancis menyatakan mengundurkan diri.

Ia mengatakan sangat penting dialog terus berjalan dan tidak terputus. Philippe mengatakan pembentukan G10, nama julukan bagi forum dialog itu, perlu untuk membicarakan secara tertutup bagaimana masa depan Kaledonia pasca referendum.

Dua pemimpin Kaledonia, Sonia Backers dan Therry Santa, dua pekan lalu menyatakan mengundurkan diri setelah pemimpin pro-Prancis lainnya, Philippe Gomes, membocorkan isi pembicaraan. Gomes mengatakan bahwa semua kelompok telah setuju referendum Kaledonia Baru diadakan pada 4 November.

Pemerintah Prancis Diminta Nyatakan Sikap

Sementara itu, Mantan PM Prancis, Manuel Valls, menyampaikan imbauan agar pemerintah Prancis mengungkapkan apa preferensinya terhadap referendum yang akan dilangsungkan.

Valls, yang berada di Noumea, Kaledonia Baru, sebagai ketua delegasi parlemen Prancis, mengatakan hal itu dalam sebuah debat publik.

Ia mengatakan secara pribadi ia menginginkan Kaledonia Baru tetap berada di dalam negara Prancis dan tidak menginginkan akan  ada perjanjian ketiga setelah Perjanjian Matignon dan Perjanjian Noumea. (Perjanjian Matignon adalah perjanjian yang ditandatangani di Hôtel Matignon oleh Jean-Marie Tjibaou dan Jacques Lafleur pada 26 Juni 1988 antara loyalis Prancis dan kelompok separatis.

Perjanjian itu menetapkan periode pembangunan selama 10 tahun ke depan sehingga memberi kekuatan ekonomi dan kelembagaan bagi rakyat Kanak. Selama 10 tahun rakyat Kaledonia Baru sepakat tidak mengangkat isu kemerdekaan.

Perjanjian Noumea dibuat tahun 1998 di Noumea, ibukota Kaledonia Baru, yaitu perjanjian antara Prancis dengan rakyat Kanak, penduduk asli Kaledonia baru, untuk memberikan kekuatan politik lewat referendum 20 tahun setelah perjanjian ditandatangani).

Menurut dia, setelah keluarnya Inggris dari Uni Eropa, Prancis satu-satunya kekuatan Eropa di Pasifik. Ia juga mengatakan bahwa kehadiran Prancis di Pasifik diinginkan oleh Australia dan Selandia Baru.

Komentar Valls telah mendatangkan kecaman dari politisi pro-kemerdekaan Kanaks. Komentar itu dianggap melanggar netralitas pemerintah.

Namun, PM Prancis, Philippe, membela pernyataan Valls. Menurut dia, komentar Valls tidak mengganggu kenetralan pemerintah.

Kaledonia Baru dijajah oleh Prancis pada tahun 1853. Saat ini statusnya adalah wilayah khusus pemerintahan Prancis dan sejak tahun 1986, PBB telah menempatkan wilayah ini dalam daftar Non-Self Governing Territories.

Pada 13 September 1987, pernah diselenggarakan referendum kemerdekaan Kaledonia Baru. Hasilnya, hanya 842 atau 1,7 persen dari total 50.250 pencoblos yang memilih opsi merdeka.

Meskipun demikian, pemilihan itu dianggap tidak fair karena tidak diawasi oleh Perserikatan Bangsa-bangsa (PBB). Referendum tersebut juga diboikot oleh partai politik terbesar bangsa Kanaks. Ada 34.772 atau 49,1 persen dari pemilih terdaftar yang tidak menggunakan hak pilihnya. (radionz.co.nz)

Editor : Eben E. Siadari

Melanesian Spearhead Group spat about Indonesia spills over

Fiji has hit back at the deputy prime minister of Solomon Islands over criticism about the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

Speaking in the Solomons parliament yesterday, Manasseh Sogavare said Fiji should apologise for bringing Indonesia into the MSG.

Manasseh Sogavare Photo: RNZI
Manasseh Sogavare Photo: RNZI

He said Fiji’s prime minister Frank Bainimarama breached MSG procedure by forcing the other four full members to accept Indonesia as part of the sub-regional grouping, whose full members are Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and FLNKS Kanaks movement of New Caledonia.

Indonesia was admitted to the MSG with observer status in 2011 after Mr Bainimarama assumed the MSG’s rotational chairmanship.

“There was no consensus in the admission of Indonesia by member countries,” claimed Mr Sogavarewho wants Indonesian control of West Papua reviewed by the United Nations.

In 2015 Indonesia had its status in the group elevated. This remains a complicating factor as the MSG wrestles with the sensitive issue of a West Papuan membership bid.

However, in response, Fiji’s Defence Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, who often represents Fiji at MSG summits, denied Mr Sogavare’s claim that the MSG didn’t reach consensus on the issue.

“I think he is either suffering from memory loss or trying to play politics with his own constituents,” said Ratu Inoke.

“He has forgotten that it was during his term as chair of the MSG when Indonesia was admitted to the MSG as an associate member. All members of the MSG had agreed.”

Fiji Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades
Fiji Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

Mr Sogavare had chaired the 2015 meeting in Honiara where, according to Ratu Inoke, MSG leaders reached consensus about Indonesia’s status in the group.

“I cannot really understand why he is making this statement, trying to put the blame on our prime minister, because all the (MSG) members agreed to admit Indonesia as an associate member,” said the Fiji minister.

Following the 2015 summit, Mr Sogavare spoke of how bringing Indonesia into the fold had been polarising for MSG leaders.

The United Liberation Movement for West Papua was itself granted observer status in the MSG in 2015, but its application for full membership continues to divide the five full members.

At their latest summit in Port Moresby last month, MSG leaders approved new clarifications on guidelines around membership in the group.

The Liberation Movement’s application has been referred to the MSG secretariat for processing, but Fiji and Papua New Guinea have signalled they remain opposed to the pro-independence West Papuans being given full membership.

Of the other full members of the group, Vanuatu and the FLNKS appear firmly in support of the Papuan bid.

Melanesian Spearhead Group leaders at their 2018 summit: (left to right:) Fiji's Defence Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, Victor Tutugoro of New Caledonia's FLNKS Kanaks Movement, PNG prime minister Peter O'Neill, prime minister of Solomon Islands Rick Hou, and Vanuatu's prime minister Charlot Salwai. Photo: Twitter / Ratu Inoke Kubuabola
Melanesian Spearhead Group leaders at their 2018 summit: (left to right:) Fiji’s Defence Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, Victor Tutugoro of New Caledonia’s FLNKS Kanaks Movement, PNG prime minister Peter O’Neill, prime minister of Solomon Islands Rick Hou, and Vanuatu’s prime minister Charlot Salwai. Photo: Twitter / Ratu Inoke Kubuabola

Solomon Islands had until recently also been strongly in support of giving West Papuans full membership in the MSG. But when Mr Sogavare was ousted as prime minister late last year, and replaced by Rick Hou, that support appeared to dim.

The position of PNG and Fiji on the West Papua membership issue had been “really clear”, according to Ratu Inoke.

“And the new prime minister of Solomon Islands, in the last meeting in Port Moresby, about three weeks ago, he took a similar position,” he said.

Mr Sogavare however remains a strong influence in government, and his stand on the Papua issue appears unlikely to diminish.

“Close association of Fiji with Indonesia is sabotaging the work of MSG and their membership in MSG is not political but economic interest,” said Mr Sogavare.

Echoing recent statements by Vanuatu’s government, Mr Sogavare said the MSG’s founding aim of working to decolonise all Melanesian peoples was at risk.

Sogavare queries MSG brotherhood
http://www.solomonstarnews.com/index.php/news/national/item/20235-sogavare-queries-msg-brotherhood
http://www.solomonstarnews.com/index.php/news/national/item/20235-sogavare-queries-msg-brotherhood

Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Manasseh Sogavare has questioned the true spirit of the members within the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG),  by stating that non-granting of the 5th Freedom Right by Fiji to Solomon Islands is an issue.

DPM said this strong desire by Solomon Islands to enjoy fifth freedom rights, through direct flights to and from countries in other parts of the world has been denied by Fiji, although negotiation made through the MSG.

He said Fiji continues to refuse to give Solomon Islands the fifth freedom right to access direct flights to other countries which raised the question whether thy are true brothers under MSG.

Sogavare told Parliament last week that Fiji continue to enjoy direct flights to America and Asia but refuse to give Solomon Islands the fifth freedom right, though attempts have been made under MSG.

The fifth freedom right allows an airline to carry revenue traffic between foreign countries as a part of services connecting the airline’s own country. It is the right to carry passengers from one’s own country to a second country and from that country to a third country and so on.

“We still negotiate fifth freedom right under Melanesian brotherhood but Fiji have routes to LA and other parts of the world which we don’t have that freedom,” said the former Prime Minister.

“So are we true brothers under MSG?” he questioned.

He raised the issue of fifth freedom right as an example of some member countries within MSG who are not genuine in their heart as Melanesian brothers.

Mr Sogavare said such treatment is obvious in the application by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) to become a full member in MSG.

By AATAI JOHN LAUNGI, Solomon Star News

Chiefs Day celebration at Ohlen Matakeru
The Chiefs of Ohlen Matakeru with MP Kalo Seule (2nd from right front) at the Chiefs Day celebration. By Jonas Cullwick
The Chiefs of Ohlen Matakeru with MP Kalo Seule (2nd from right front) at the Chiefs Day celebration. By Jonas Cullwick

The Chiefs Day celebration on March 5, 2018 at Ohlen Matakeru Mataso Island Community in Port Vila was reported to be a success.

The day began with a forum in the morning run by a member of the Port Vila Town Council of Chiefs on the role of a chief inside a community and the duties of a chief.

The theme of the Chiefs Day celebration was: “A chief has a huge responsibility in the community”, the subject of which was discussed in the forum attended by the chiefs of Matakeru and those of other island communities around Ohlen Matakeru. These chiefs from the other communities and their people also participated in the celebration at Ohlen Matakeru.

The main program began in the afternoon attended by the chiefs and their people and Member of Parliament for Port Vila who himself comes from the Shepherds Group, Kalo Seule, with the opening led by the Covenant Church Choir, which led the people to the main nasara with singing.

Chairman of Ohlen Matakeru community, Peter Tarisong, began the speeches with a welcome to everyone attending. His was followed by speeches from the chiefs five nasaras of Ohlen Matakeru representing the nasaras of Mataso Island.

Chairman Tarisong said the chiefs of the other islands also shared their thoughts on the role of the chiefs in a community. And the main speech for the day was given by MP Kalo Seule.

The chiefs cut a cake for the day and then joined in a kava ceremony followed by dinner for everyone at night with a program enjoyed by women and children until closing at 9 pm.

 Jonas Cullwick, a former General Manager of VBTC is now a Senior Journalist with the Daily Post. Contact: jonas@dailypost.vu. Cell # 678 5460922

Dua negara Kepulauan Pasifik di garis depan dampak perubahan iklim
Hutan mangrove di Pātangata, Tonga. -Kaniva Tonga News/Kalino Lātū
Hutan mangrove di Pātangata, Tonga. -Kaniva Tonga News/Kalino Lātū

Nukuʻalofa, Jubi – Menteri Pasifik Selandia Baru, Apito William Sio menyampaikan Kiribati dan Tuvalu bagaikan burung kenari di tambang batu bara yang akan memicu alarm pertama dampak perubahan iklim.

Menteri Sio menyebutkan dua negara di Kepulauan Pasifik tersebut, sebagai contoh utama kampanye pendidikannya tentang perubahan iklim, ketika dia dan partainya masih berada di blok oposisi.

Sio menuturkan bahwa setiap orang memiliki tingkat pengetahuan dan pendapat yang berbeda mengenai isu perubahan iklim.

“Orang-orang yang mengetahui lebih dalam akan isu ini, memiliki rasa urgensi. Tapi masih banyak juga orang yang tidak tahu. Masih banyak pekerjaan yang harus kita selesaikan.”

Ia mengaku pernah mengunjungi Tuvalu dan Kiribati pada 2016. Sejak saat itu ia menunjukkan video-video yang direkamnya, untuk menggambarkan dampak perubahan iklim di dua kelompok kepulauan tersebut, serta masyarakatnya sebagai bagian utama dari kampanye pendidikan yang dijalankannya.

Video-video itu menampilkan masyarakat lokal yang membahas tentang perubahan iklim dan bagaimana perubahan iklim mempengaruhi kehidupan mereka.

Sio menerangkan sekarang iklim ekstrem sering terjadi. Musim-musim berubah. “Di Kiribati, banjir laut menghancurkan tanaman pangan, rumah-rumah, dan lokasi pemakaman.”

Polusi air tanah menyebabkan air tidak lagi bersih, dan menimbulkan wabah penyakit diare, pun penyakit lainnya yang ditularkan melalui air, sehingga meningkatkan angka kematian anak-anak.

Kedua negara kepulauan itu juga menghadapi masalah yang berkelanjutan dalam pengelolaan limbah, ketahanan pangan, pertumbuhan populasi, dan ketergantungan pada barang-barang impor.

“Namun, rakyat dan pemerintah Kiribati dan Tuvalu terus bekerja keras untuk mempertahankan pulau mereka.”

Di Kiribati, pemerintah membangun tembok laut yang terbuat dari batu yang diimpor dari Fiji, sementara di Tuvalu mereka mereklamasi pinggiran laut.

Penanaman mangrove di pinggiran pantai sepanjang garis laut, juga merupakan bagian dari pertahanan negara kepulauan tersebut. “Ini tentang anak-anak kita,” tegas Sio.

“Ingat burung kenari di tambang batu bara. Saat burung itu mati, kita semua dalam keadaan berbahaya,” tambahnya. (Kaniva Tonga News)

New Delhi: Salwai-Modi Bilateral Talks Tonight
PM Salwai and his delegation with India’s High Commissioner to Vanuatu, Vishvas Sapkal. (Photo: Hilaire Bule)
PM Salwai and his delegation with India’s High Commissioner to Vanuatu, Vishvas Sapkal. (Photo: Hilaire Bule)

Prime Minister Charlot Salwai and his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi will hold bilateral talks tonight, Saturday 10th March at 8 o’clock, local time in India’s capital of New Delhi.

During their talk, the two prime ministers will explore their current relationship, exchange agreements and possibilities of new agreements.

The Government of India has been donating a grant of over Vt20 million annually since the establishment of their bilateral relationship, Government Public Relations Officer Hilaire Bule, who is part of the PM’s delegation conveyed in a statement disseminated to the media yesterday afternoon.

Just last week, New Delhi donated Vt20 million as its contribution to developing solar energy in Vanuatu.

PM Salwai arrived in New Delhi on Thursday at midnight local time to attend the first ever international meeting of International Solar Alliance.

Mr Salwai is accompanied by his acting Director General (DG), Gregoire Niptik, Parliamentary Secretary Tom Kor and the DG of Climate Change, Jesse Benjamin.

They were received at their arrival India’s High Commissioner to Vanuatu, Vishvas Sapkal who is based in Suva, Fiji.

PM Salwai had a meeting with Mr Sapkal and members of business community in New Delhi at Le Meridien Hotel yesterday morning.

Mr Salwai and his delegation will join the other leaders of ISA at the conference on Sunday.

ISA is an alliance of more than 121 countries, most of them being sunshine countries, which lie either completely or partly between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. The primary objective of the alliance is to work for efficient exploitation of solar energy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

The alliance is a treaty-based inter- governmental organization. Countries that do not fall within the Tropics can join the ISA and enjoy all benefits as other members, with the exception of voting rights.

The framework agreement of the International Solar Alliance opened for signatures in Marrakech, Morocco in November 2016, and Vanuatu among the first 121 countries did signed and joined the ISA.

The Alliance, which is headquartered in Gurugram, India, aims to deploy over 1,000 Gigawatt of solar energy and mobilise more than USD 1,000 billion into solar power by 2030, facilitating and accelerating the large-scale deployment of solar energy in developing countries in order to meet soaring energy demand and help fight climate change.

The framework agreement has been ratified by 19 countries including India, France, Australia, Bangladesh, Comoros, Fiji, France, Ghana, Guinea, Mauritius, Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan and Tuvalu.

Vanuatu is geographically located among sun-rich countries lying fully along the Tropic of Capricorn and Tropic of Cancer which are relevant in seeking to ramp up the use of solar energy, thereby helping to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions while providing clean and cheap energy.

The ISA will allow Vanuatu to have better access to funding and technical assistance for the deployment of solar energy in Vanuatu.

This will further enhance its national and international efforts and commitments to address climate change adaptation and mitigation.

As a party to the ISA, Vanuatu is required to pay annual dues to the ISA.

It is expected to ratify the agreement this year.

Ratification of the Framework of Agreement on the ISA will allow Vanuatu to benefit from technical and financial resources that will be established or mobilized through the ISA.

Article 26 of the Constitution requires that treaties negotiated by the Government shall be presented to Parliament for ratification when they:

a. Concern international organisations, peace or trade

b. Commit the expenditure of public funds

c. Affect the status of people

d. Require amendment of the laws of the Republic of Vanuatu; or

e. Provide for the transfer, exchange or annexing of territory

 Source: http://dailypost.vu/

Breaking the glass ceiling: Women in politics
Advancing women in politics: Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ralph Regenvanu with 1st Political Advisor Mrs. Anthea Arukole (r) and and 2nd Political Advisor Mrs. Jeanette Yiu-Hing Faerua (l)
Advancing women in politics: Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ralph Regenvanu with 1st Political Advisor Mrs. Anthea Arukole (r) and and 2nd Political Advisor Mrs. Jeanette Yiu-Hing Faerua (l)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and External Trade is proud to have two women appointed to the positions of 1st Political Advisor and 2nd Political Advisor – Mrs. Anthea Arukole and Mrs. Jeanette Yiu-Hing Faerua respectively.

These two women are the only women to occupy the positions of 1st Political Adviser and 2nd Political Adviser in the current government, and it is probably the first time in Vanuatu’s history that women have occupied both 1st and 2nd PA positions in a single Government ministry.

There have been many efforts and initiatives to advance women in political participation and decision making in Vanuatu and when the new Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ralph Regenvanu, took office in December last year and appointed women into the two key positions in the cabinet, it gave comfort to the gender advocates that there are male champions who are committed to advancing women.

This is very positive for Vanuatu.

Both women have been key figures in the Graon mo Jastis Pati (GJP) since its conception. Anthea is an active member of the National Executive of GJP and is not new to the 1st Political Advisor position.

She was previously the 1st PA at the Ministry of Internal Affairs prior to moving to Foreign Affairs. Before taking up the 1st PA role in the Ministry of Internal Affairs in February 2017, GJP Minister Alfred Maoh had another woman as his 1st PA, Mrs Emily Tumukon.

“Having been part of the National Executive of a political party for has helped to grounded me for my role as a political advisor and i am no stranger to leadership and management roles,” Anthea says.

“While being first political advisor is challenging, i have a lot of support within the party as well as from senior officials of Government whom I encounter. It helps also that the current Acting DG of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is also a woman, Mrs Roline Tekon”.

Minister Ralph says he is very satisfied with the performance of his two key political advisers to date.

Solomonn Islands DPM says Fiji should apologise
Deputy Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare says Fijian PM Frank Bainimarama should apologise to MSG member countries.
Deputy Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare says Fijian PM Frank Bainimarama should apologise to MSG member countries.

Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Manasseh Sogavare says Fiji Prime Minister (PM) should apologise to the member countries of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) for admitting Indonesia as an associate member.

Speaking on the floor of parliament yesterday, DPM says Fiji PM Frank Bainimarama should apologise to the MSG member countries for admitting Indonesia as an associate member which was totally un-procedural.

“There was no consensus in the admission of Indonesia by member countries.”

He said Fiji PM solely made the decision to admit Indonesia into MSG and forced the member countries to endorse it.

But DPM revealed that when it comes to the application for membership by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) into MSG, Fiji PM talks about the strict criteria to be followed to become a member.

“Which continue to be a difficulty for ULMWP to become a full member of MSG,” said the DPM.

Sogavare said the application by ULMWP is consistent with that of the Socialist National Liberation Front (FLINKS) of New Caledonia when they apply for membership.

DPM was speaking during the question and answer session in Parliament when Member of Parliament (MP) for Aoke/Langalanga Matthew Wale asked PM Rick Hou to answer the questions related to his apology MSG member countries for the sour relationship over the past years.

He said, MSG is a purely political body to free Melanesia from colonisation but this is not the case today as their interests have been shifted from its fundamental purpose that establish the organisation.

Mr Sogavare said, if MSG stands on the very purpose and the founding principles upheld by the MSG leaders who started the organisation there should not be any difficulty in admitting ULMWP full membership.

He said ULMWP is a political entity representing the indigenous people of West Papua who a Melanesians, so there is no problem to admit them full membership in MSG.

Arguing that MSG has been shift from its original purpose to protects the rights and freedom of Melanesia from colonialism.

“Close association of Fiji with Indonesia is sabotaging the work of MSG and their membership in MSG is not political but economic interest.”

He concluded that Fiji and Papua New Guinea strongly allied with Indonesia therefore their relationship continues to sabotage the work of MSG to uphold its purpose.

By AATAI JOHN LAUNGI, Solomon Star News

Chiefs Meet Head of State
CHIEFS MEET HEAD OF STATE
CHIEFS MEET HEAD OF STATE

Head of State President, Obed Moses Tallis symbolised his walk in custom to enter the Nakamal of the Malvatumuari National Council of Chiefs last Friday, by laying down a chiefly custom mat and a mini tamtam both wrapped in namele leaves in front of the President of the Malvatumauri, Chief Mol Torvaka Lima Tirsupe, at the entrance to the Nakamal to assure his host he and his entourage arrived in peace.

The Head of State’s visit began with an introduction to the general interior, a visit to the Sacred Council Chamber and an introduction to the Customary Land Management Office, before he accepted a list of Malvatumauri concerns in Chief Tirsupe’s Office.

This was followed by a rare exchange of views between the Head of State, his entourage and the Malvatumauri Executive.

Chief Tirsupe asked President Tallis for a review of the Constitution, chiefs’ concern of custom law versus formal law, concern surrounding 14 former MPs who were jailed, need for official budget for Chief’s Day and gratuity for chiefs.

“For the Government to give them (chiefs) Vt250,000 at the end of five years is a mockery of their responsibility and leadership,” Chief Tirsupe said.

President Tallis on 14 former MPs: “A case is currently before the court so we will need to await the completion of the case before any attempt to look into the need to clean the State Office through custom”.

On the call for review of Constitution: “When i was still in my other post (as pastor), i heard of a review committee working on the Constitution but to this day my Office is still waiting for the result of the said review, your concerns are mine also”.

On custom law: “I think this is true. We have slightly different custom laws on differnt islands. I wonder if those custom laws which are similar could be compiled to become our National Custom Laws”.

On concern over 14 former MPs: “While you have expressed your view on your side, my Office is considering the other side of it, to analyse what it has to do when the current case before the court is completed”.

On custom law versus modern law: “I understand your concerns because custom law has a vital role to play in our society. If we are not careful, western culture could take over our traditional way of life and we would not know how to turn”.

On chief’s gratuity: “It makes sense and perhaps we could approach Government with the concern. We’ve just returned from Ambrym last week and it was through chiefs that people gathered to welcome us”.

Malvatumauri Executive Member, Chief Isaac Worwor said the case still remains with Malvatumauri to carry out a reconciliation ceremony when the court case is over.

“Regarding Chief’s Day when we proclaim that the country operates from three pillars then Government should allocate funds for fair celebrations in all island councils of chiefs”, Chief Worwor suggested.

He said Chief’s Day is the equivalent to the Nation’s Anniversary. “To compare the gratuities of MPs after four years is that MPs get paid Vt5 million for four years while chiefs get Vt250,000 for five years so there is a clear unfairness in the amounts involved”, Chief Worwor said.

Executive Member, Chief Jimmy Meameadola raised an additional item for all newly sworn in foreign diplomats to also pay a courtesy call on the President of the Malvatumauri after presenting their Credentials to the Head of State.

State Office Senior Official, Peter Bong said it would be an administrative matter for the Malvatumauri to consult with the Department of Foreign Affairs on the proposal, as it would not require any amendment of the law.

He also cautioned against any direction regarding the 14 former MPs now until the current cause is over.

Bethuel Solomon of the State Office welcomed the rare opportunity allowed by Malvatumauri for the two sides to sit and discuss national matters of concern in an amicable environment in the Office of the President of the Malvatumauri.

“Such a meaningful exchange of views and opinions on concerns of national interests should be encouraged by both sides,” he concluded.

The Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs has been operating successfully since 1980 with five members of staff; the President, Chief Executive Officer, Secretary, driver and cleaner.

Meanwhile it controls (through the Customary Lands Management Office) all lands in the country and upholds peace and unity for all.

Source: http://dailypost.vu/