PM Marape Announces Cabinet Caretakers

By Annette Kora – EMTV News, Port Moresby

Following the recent swearing in of Papua New Guinea’s 8th Prime Minister, James Marape yesterday at government house; earlier this evening saw a seven-man caretaker cabinet taking their oaths of office before Governor-General, Sir Bob Dadae.

These nine Members of Parliament who will be working alongside Prime Minister James Marape includes:

  • Solan Mirisim who will be caretaker Minister to Foreign Affairs, Defence, Commerce & Industry, Fisheries and Forest;
  • Richard Maru as caretaker for Finance, Petroleum & Energy, Inter-government Relations and Community Development;
  • Sam Basil as caretaker for National Planning, Health, Housing, Communication, and Information and Higher Education;
  • Johnson Tuke as caretaker for Mining, Transport, Culture & Tourism, Correctional Service and Environment Conservation & Climate Change;
  • Steven Davis is caretaker for Justice & Attorney General, Labour & Industrial Relations, Agriculture & Livestock and Lands & Physical Planning;
  • Michael Nali as caretaker for Works, Bougainville Affairs and Immigration & Border Security;
  • Charles Abel as caretaker for Treasury, Education, and Police.

The Prime Minister himself will oversee Public Service and Public Enterprise & State investments.

Prime Minister Marape says hopefully towards the end of next week, a full cabinet line-up should be announced.

The caretaker cabinet will oversee the country’s affairs until the next sitting which will be towards the end of next month where portfolios will be given to caretaker ministers soon.

Source : EMTV

Marape is PM

FORMER Finance Minister James Marape was elected Papua New Guinea’s 8th prime minister in Parliament yesterday – thumping his contender, former premier Sir Mekere Morauta, by 101 votes to eight.

After prayers at 10.30am, Speaker Job Pomat called the 109 MPs present to nominate their choice for the premiership that was vacated by Peter O’Neill on Wednesday.

Three MPs were nominated – Tari-Pori’s Marape, Ialibu-Pangia’s O’Neill and Moresby North-West’s Sir Mekere.

Pomat closed nominations and O’Neill stood to inform the House: “… I thought the Opposition did not have a candidate … I will withdraw my nomination.”
The voting was by head count and it took about 45 minutes for Pomat to declare Marape as the duly elected prime minister. He then adjourned the session to enable Marape to be sworn-in in the Government House by Governor-General Sir Bob Dadae.
The swearing-in took about 30 minutes and Marape rushed back to Parliament to deliver his 20-minute maiden premier speech.

Pomat then opened the debate to the floor and MPs were invited to deliver their congratulatory speeches that were peppered with proposals and government policies that needed Marape’s swift attention.

Pomat then adjourned Parliament session to June 25.

As Marape walked out of the House, MPs took the opportunity to shake hands and to hug the new premier.

The Government team, including Marape’s group, arrived in six buses at around 9.50am and entered the chamber from the ground floor of the Prime Minister’s entry.

The Opposition arrived at 9.30am.

Peter O’Neill took his chair at 9.39 am while Marape sat next to Deputy Prime Minister Charles Abel.

At 10.38, Speaker Job Pomat entered and asked Mul Baiyer MP Koi Traipe to lead them in a prayer.

At 10.45am, the Speaker asked for nominations.
Madang MP Bryan Kramer abstained from voting.

Source: The National PNG

O’Neill did more for PNG then other Prime Ministers would do, say PNG Trade Union

PNG Trade Union Congress president John Paska has applauded former prime minister Peter O’Neill for his leadership.

“Whether you were a fan or not there’s no denying his list of achievements. These included free education, improved health services, roll out of major infrastructure projects and housing for public servants,”

Mr Paska said in a statement yesterday.

“At the foreign policy level, he staged the successful APEC, South Pacific Games and Under 21 Women’s World Cup soccer and showcased the nation to the world.

“He broke away from enormous pressure to keep minimum wages down and brought on improvements to the national minimum wages for workers of PNG. This decision improved demand by a massive K700 million which remains on shore as workers spend all of it in the local economy.

“A matter that stuck out like a sore thumb was the UBS loan.

This is most unfortunate as the upside of this was completely overlooked as opponents focused more on allegations of impropriety without assessing the positive outcomes brought on by the two LNG projects which he presided over.

“The acquisition of Ok Tedi by landowners and the State was done at the behest of Prime Minister O’Neill.

Landowner equity is the largest in PNG at OK Tedi and Bougainville,” Mr Paska said.

“The list is long but the point is made. In the space of time, Mr O’Neill accomplished more than what many prime ministers would do in a life time.

“It required bold (and) no-nonsense leadership which he provided.

“Prime Minister O’Neill would appropriately go down as perhaps the most daring, visionary and progressive Prime Minister PNG has had.”

Mr Paska said that workers salute him for his understanding of the issues that confront them and for being there for them.

Source: https://www.onepng.com/

Residents, Business Houses and Diplomatic Corps Assured PNG Capital Covered CCTV

MEDIA RELEASE
FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2019

PORT MORESBY: City dwellers, diplomatic corps and business houses have been assured the city is already covered by closed-circuit television (CCTV) which can improve safety and security to higher standards and reduce crimes by 80 percent.

National Capital District Governor, Powes Parkop confidently gave the assurance after being briefed about the capacity of the Royal PNG Constabulary-owned CCTV Control Centre at the Oakley Haus in Hohola, one of the legacies of APEC Leaders’ Summit.

“Our city is already covered by CCTV. It is almost 100 percent. It can go very local and specific. It can get images of individuals. This setup cost us K42 million,” he told reporters after the briefing with the police on Friday, May 24, 2019.

He said the long range cameras can track down activities at roundabouts and even markets, citing petty crime hotspots like Badili, 2-Mile, Koki, Gordons and others.

Governor Parkop said the Commission’s areas of concern are betelnut vending and spittle, and graffiti amongst others, whilst the Central and Metropolitan Command’s are bigger crimes.

He is warning parents to take responsibility over their children who are engaged in vandalising private and public properties with spray paints as they will be caught using the CCTV capabilities.

Parkop also extended the warning to street and betelnut vendors and chewers, saying once the magisterial stream and police prosecution unit are dedicated to the Commission, they will be prosecuted.

He urged them to change their behaviour to be on the safe side.

He thanked the APEC Secretariat for handing over the facility to the police so that NCDC reservists can work in collaboration with them to clamp down criminals and illegal vendors.

Parkop continued that it worked well for many cities around the world and that he is reaffirmed that everything done in the city will be under the watch of CCTV.

Despite the challenges, he further stated that the facility is being worked on to full capacity.

He also thanked the Metropolitan Superintendent, Perou N’Dranou and the Police Commissioner Gary Baki for working with the Commission now after four years of futile attempts.

Mr N’Dranou said now that they have the system in place, they need to work together.

“Our communication operation from Boroko was here one week. The general public can call us now on 3249900 to report crimes or any other offences committed in the city. I am grateful our governor and the Commission are working with us to address security and safety in the city.”

APPROVED FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

……………………………………………………..
HON. POWES PARKOP, LLB, LLM, MP
Governor for NCD

Picture caption: (Left to Right) Executives of Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce and Industry Peter Goodwin and Rio Fiocco, Metropolitan Superintendent Perou N’Dranou, Governor Parkop and City Manager Bernard Kipit inside the CCTV control centre at Hohola.

There is Nothing ‘Neo’ about the Colonialization of West Papua

Source: https://intercontinentalcry.org/

Last month, a small group of West Papuan prisoners attempted to escape Indonesia’s Abepura prison before being caught and brutally tortured. In the end, two men, Maikel Ilinmaton and Selyus Logo, were killed and eight others were hospitalized in critical condition. This level of brutality has been a common occurrence in West Papua for decades, which the Indonesia government makes sure the world doesn’t see.

West Papua has been under non-stop military occupation by Indonesia since 1969. On August 2, 1969, 1,026 Indigenous West Papuans were held at gunpoint and forced to vote for Indonesian rule. Ironically, the process of colonization was facilitated by the United Nations and called an ‘Act of Free Choice’. This travesty is now known by West Papuans as the ‘Act of No Choice’ – which is both an accurate description of what occurred and a rallying cry for the independence movement demanding actual free choice in determining who their sovereign power will be.

The U.N. claims there are only 17 Non-Self-Governing-Territories in the world– a diplomatic way to refer to colonized peoples. The U.N. classification excludes West Papua, pretending that the problem of colonialism was settled back in 1969 when West Papuans voted to join the Indonesian state – as if people would freely vote against their own self-determination. This ongoing erasure of Indigenous peoples and their fights for sovereignty is not unique to West Papua – instead it is symptomatic of the ongoing global colonial agenda to silence and eliminate Indigenous peoples.

Colonialism and neocolonialism can be difficult to identify to the untrained eye. While both structures are practices of economic, political, and social domination over another people, they differ in practice. Colonialism is an explicitly violent process of extermination, assimilation, and physical occupation of the lands of another people. Neocolonialism is a master of disguise that hides behind the cloak ‘economic development’, aide provided to countries in distress, foreign land acquisition by transnational corporations, and other fabrics that can’t be easily identified.

But in the case of West Papua, blatant colonialism is easy enough to spot. The Indigenous peoples of West Papua were not consulted in who would be their sovereign power. They have been massacred for decades by the Indonesian army, who used the most brutal means to justify its ends: to control the colonized. West Papuans have been forced from their ancestral lands to create space for agribusiness to move in and reshape the island to serve as the ‘Food Basket’ of Indonesia.

THE FIGHT FOR WEST PAPUAN INDEPENDENCE

The Indigenous peoples of West Papua – which includes the Armung, the Asmat, the Bauzi, the Dani, the Ekari, the Fayu, the Kombai, the Koteka, the Korowai, the Lani, the Marind, the Mek, the Moni, the Sawi, the Wolamni, and the Yali among other nations– have been fighting for self-determination and independence from Indonesia for the last 50 years. Resistance occurs both through non-violence tactics and armed resistance.

Non-violent tactics, currently led by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) have included the raising of the Morning Star Flag, petitions for another independence referendum, the boycott of elections, and protests against multinational corporations developing extractive industries and destructive infrastructurethroughout West Papua.

An August 2, 2012 rally led by the KNPB in Wamena. Photo: Martin Pelcher

The Free Papua Movement (OPM) and the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) are the two well-known guerilla military operations fighting back against the violence wrought by the Indonesian Army. The Indonesian state claims all attacks by the freedom fighters are unprovoked acts of terrorism against innocent civilians causing needless violence and death that would not be taking place otherwise.

What Indonesia so conveniently fails to mention is the genocide they have wreaked on the Indigenous peoples of West Papua for the last 50 years that has claimed upwards of 500,000 lives while raping, torturing, imprisoning, and disappearing countless more. Over time, it has become clear that resistance is not a choice for the people of West Papua – it is their only chance for survival.

West Papuan independence is fought by all peoples in the name of self-determination and the safety that will provide – but will West Papuan governance actually mean safety for all?

SELF DETERMINATION OF WEST PAPUAN WOMEN

report from 2012 authored by the Documentation Working Group on Violence and Human Rights Violations Against Papuan Women (2009-2010) heard stories from 128 victims of state violence (murder, disappearance, detention, torture, rape, slavery, etc) and 98 victims of domestic violence (economic neglect, non-sexual violence, rape of child, forced marriage, marital rape, contraction of HIV/AIDS, etc).

The reality for women fighting for independence in West Papua is they must fight two simultaneous battles: an external battle against the Indonesian state and an internal battle against patriarchy within the independence movement and their own communities.

In the 1980s, women like Johana Regina Rumadas, Elsye Ayamseba, Dorcas Hanasbey, and Greet Jolmend founded the Working Group on Women (KKW) which worked to empower women and help them to achieve greater access and success within the economic and social spheres of society.

In 1997, riding the wave of social and electoral reform in West Papua at the time, women became more outspoken on the issue of violence against women. Women activists worked with organizations like the Women’s Health Network in Eastern Indonesia (JKPIT) to connect violence against women with the broader narrative of human rights violations in West Papua and Indonesian attacks on the land as one story of colonial extractivism in all facets of West Papuan lives.

Source: Komnas Perempuan, 2009.

The 2000s found West Papuan women fighting for involvement and representation in the Great Council of Indigenous People of Papua. They also founded the Mamta Alliance of Papuan Women (Mamta APP) which held the Annual Conference of Papuan Women – an event focused on raising awareness on issues like violence against women and gender justice. Outside of the political sphere, women worked to create communities that supported survivors of violence via counseling, prayer, and the development of solidarity.

And yet, despite its façade of public support of decolonization and women’s rights, the UN has done nothing for West Papua. The UN blocked Benny Wenda, and exiled Papuan leader, from presenting a petition signed by 1.8 million West Papuans (70% of the population) that demanded an uncoerced referendum on independence back in 2017. In January of 2019 the nation of Vanuatu helped Wenda deliver the petition to Michelle Bachelet, UN Commissioner for Human Rights, who continued to follow the company line: West Papua is part of Indonesia, it is not a colony, and thus the issue was closed in 1969 and that decision stands today.

Of course, this has not stopped the fight for independence. Most recently, multiple court cases have been filed by West Papuans against the Indonesian state. The National Committee for West Papua (KNBP) is suing the Indonesian police for $100,000 in damages to their headquarters following a raid on December 31, 2018. A second group is fighting for a judicial review of the ‘Act of No Choice’ in an attempt to create a legal precedent to delegitimize the Indonesian claim to West Papua.

COLONIAL COMPLICITY AT THE UN

All of these different methods of resistance have contributed to a rising international awareness of the West Papuan fight for independence. In a world full of neocolonial structures that are difficult to oppose because of their inherently hidden agenda, West Papua is the red herring of the UN colonial agenda.

The U.N. talks a good game with its promotion of women and girl’s rights internationally, but as long as the United Nations denies that West Papua is a colonized state, they are actively supporting colonial systems of power that brutally repress and subjugate women on a global scale. While Indonesia is able to get away with blatant genocide and military occupation, the U.N. is complicit in every murder, assault, rape, disappearance, torture, and violation of any and every West Papuan.

The first step towards ending neo/colonialism is to end the most blatantly violent and dangerous manifestations of it. You can join the fight for West Papuan independence at Free West Papua. You too can raise the Morning Star Flag, and stay up to date on the fight for independence by following @FreeWestPapua and #FreeWestPapua.

Each of us has a choice on whether or not to be complicit in the global project of colonialism.

Choose resistance.

Choose West Papua.HELP US SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT!Indigenous Peoples are putting their bodies on the line and it’s our responsibility to make sure you know why. That takes time, expertise and resources – and we’re up against a constant tide of distorted news and misinformation. By supporting IC, you’re empowering the kind of journalism we all need, at the moment we need it most.

Waffling on West Papua

Vanuatu Daily PostDuring his visit to Port Vila last weekend, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres was confronted with questions about West Papua. The matter was on the agenda during a bilateral meeting held between Mr Guterres and key Government officials, including Prime Minister Charlot Salwai and Foreign Affairs Minister Ralph Regenvanu.

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Foreign Minister Ralph Regenvanu (background) and UN Secretary General Anotnio Guterres during a visit to Port Vila’s seafront. Mr Regenvanu confirmed that he had raised the issue of West Papua during a bilateral meeting, but little seems to have come from it.

In a joint press conference, Mr Salwai was unequivocal about Vanuatu’s continued commitment to support and help drive the decolonisation process globally, and especially in West Papua.

The UN head did little more than acknowledge the PM’s words in his own prepared remarks.

Mr Guterres also responded to questions on the topic from the media. The following exchange occurred during an interview with Agence France Presse. He had little more to offer there.

The most serious deforestation, the most serious ecological trouble, as well as the most serious human rights abuses in the whole Pacific are happening in West Papua, the interviewer said. Shouldn’t the UN be doing more to try and stop the human right abuses, and the ecological disaster that is unfolding there?

Mr Guterres did little to raise expectations of a resolution to this crisis any time soon.

“There is a framework in the institutions, namely the human rights council… there are special procedures, there was a panel, That recently made a report on those issues, a report that was then presented internationally. Indonesia also responded. So the UN is doing its job, with a major concern that there and everywhere, human rights are respected.”

The problem is, he was told, that Indonesia is blocking Pacific island delegations, and they also appear to be blocking the UN Human Rights Commission from visiting West Papua. At the moment, all international media is banned. Again, shouldn’t the UN be doing more to open up West Papua?

The Secretary General appeared to grant that there were indeed concerns about access to the area.

“The Human Rights High Commissioner has reaffirmed availability to visit the territory, and that remains our concern, and our objective.”

So, if Indonesia says no, he was asked, there’s nothing anyone can do, even the UN?

“As I said, we had the institutions working, we have a panel of experts, but there are also from our side strong commitments there and everywhere.”

Little evidence of those commitments was on display in Port Vila.

Sekjen PBB kunjungi Vanuatu

Port Vila, Jubi  Vanuatu dan negara-negara Pasifik lainnya dapat mengajar dunia, kata Sekretaris Jenderal PBB, António Guterres pada hari Sabtu. “Pelajarannya itu sangat sederhana. Kita harus menyelamatkan Pasifik, dan menyelamatkan dunia,” kata Sekjen PBB António Guterres, “dan untuk dapat melakukan hal ini kita memerlukan kemauan politik yang kuat.”

KIRI-2-1024x683
Sekretaris Jenderal PBB António Guterres dengan Perdana Menteri Vanuatu, Charlot Salwai. – DVU/Dan McGarry

Sekjen PBB itu tiba di Vanuatu, Sabtu lalu (18/5/2019), di tengah cuaca yang buruk. Sebuah badai, di luar musim siklon, sedang berada di sebelah utara Fiji, menyebabkan cuaca berawan dan angin kencang di Vanuatu, dengan gerimis mengguyur di landasan pesawat saat, Guterres turun dari pesawat hercules Angkatan Udara Australia, Royal Australian Air Force.

Dia disambut oleh perwakilan dewan kepala-kepala suku Vaturisu, dan diberi kehormatan tinggi dengan melangkah di bawah daun Namele, ketika dia memasuki ruang tunggu VIP bandara.

Setelah kunjungan kehormatan singkat kepada kepala negara, dimana mereka disajikan air kelapa segar, Guterres menuju ke kantor perdana menteri. Di sana ia menghadiri pertemuan bilateral untuk membahas isu-isu prioritas seperti perubahan iklim, dan dukungan Vanuatu untuk dekolonialisasi di seluruh belahan dunia yang tidak pernah berhenti.

Guterres menyinggung isu Papua Barat serta beberapa masalah lainnya, dan berbicara dengan berapi-api tentang semakin pentingnya darurat perubahan iklim.

“Pasifik,” jelasnya, “memiliki otoritas moral untuk meminta semua negara agar mematuhi apa yang sekarang dianggap penting oleh komunitas internasional — dan komunitas ilmiah: bahwa suhu planet ini tidak akan naik lebih dari 1,5 derajat celcius pada akhir abad ini, dan demi tujuan itu, kita harus mencapai netralitas karbon (carbon neutrality) pada 2050.

Dia bersikeras “bahwa capaian-capaian ini dapat diraih. Mereka hanya bergantung pada kemauan politik.”

Tidak lama setelah itu, dalam sebuah wawancara dengan kantor berita AFP, dia berkata, “Saya berada di Tuvalu kemarin, dan untuk melihat ancaman eksistensial yang dihadapi Tuvalu, hal itu benar-benar menghancurkan hati saya.” (Daily Post Vanuatu/Dan McGarry)

Editor: Kristianto Galuwo

Long Woes for Fresh Water to End for Motu-Koitabu Villages

PORT MORESBY: A new water desalination plant at Motu-Koitabu’s Vabukori village will benefit nearly 3000 people-who with their containers walk meters and sacrifice sleep during the night-to fetch fresh water.

The prolonged water woes in the village will now become a thing of the past following the opening of the sea water desalination plant today (Thursday, May 23, 2019).

Elated Kei Ravu, 64, Ranu Maso, 57 and Hane Aiga, 40, could not hold back their emotions on how grateful they were for the project.

The trio said they woke up at 12 midday till 6 am either to fetch water at the main tap or fill their reserve tanks with water pumps.

Governor Parkop cutting the ribbon for the seawater desalination plant at Vabukori village as witnessed by ward councillor Rahe Maraiki (in Pacific shirt)

They added that during this time, the water pressure is high when it is not in use.

The project opening at the Mahuru Gaudi Memorial Church was officiated by the National Capital District Governor, Powes Parkop. It was witnessed by ward councillor Rahe Maraiki, the villagers and governor’s staff.

Councillor Maraiki commended the governor for the much needed service, saying he was looking forward to working with the Commission to implement the Governor’s Modernisation of Motu Koita village initiative.

The project is part of Governor Parkop’s pilot fresh water project, which is aimed at converting sea water into fresh drinking water, under the initiative.

The project was made possible through an agreement between the Commission and the Pacific International (PNG) Limited with the technical support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

Speaking at the occasion, Governor Parkop said this is one of the two projects, adding the other is at Pari which will be launched next week.

The projects completed in one year will impact over 8000 villages in villages and were funded by the Commission.

He continued that the project was part of his vision to balance the equation so that the villages can also be developed on par with the rest of the city.

He reiterated that the Motu Koita villages face many socio-economic challenges, but he admitted that it was not easy to solve them all overnight.

Urban Planning Holds Key for Proper Land Use and City Development

By WANPIS AKO, FB

The National Capital District is fast running out of state lease land as the demand for its availability by various interest groups for development is very high.

Rural-urban migrants, who cannot afford to secure land tenure, squat on idle, undeveloped state lease land or customary land with unapproved and improper structures.

Most of their developments do not conform to the city’s urban planning; thus, defeating the principles of proper urban land-use which promotes desirable social and environmental outcomes for the city.

One fine example is the structural developments taking place at Taurama Valley and Tuna Bay.

Speaking at the Inaugural Lands Summit this month in Port Moresby, National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop highlighted how challenging it is for the municipal authority to provide electricity, telephone lines, proper access roads and drainages, sewerage and water supply in these areas.

Governor Parkop emphasised the importance of urban planning to address this issue and the rise in rural migration.

He used the occasion to flag the need for the National Government to take a lead role in establishing policies, administrative and legislative frameworks to address the issues.

“A proactive government intervention in policy, law, finance, management and implementation is needed for Port Moresby’s increasing population to achieve affordable housing and curb unplanned settlements,” he said.

Governor Parkop told the summit that the commission and his office were working on the Master Plan to curb the increasing urbanisation-related issues.

Urban planning holds the key to provide a conducive environment for the various interest groups to pursue their interests harmoniously and in an orderly manner.

It sees the city through the bird’s-eye view. It is a vehicle through which the city is driven.

Urbanisation, he said, is a global phenomenon, adding United Nations reports suggest the world has been urbanised by 60 percent.

Governor Parkop wants to see a one-stop shop for lands and physical planning board who can administer and manage land use to achieve the outcomes that he envisages for the city.

He admitted that urbanisation is leaving many people being deprived of basic utility services and that he has been working tirelessly to at least address it slowly but surely.

In partnership with the UN-Habitat, he started rolling out the Settlement to Suburb Upgrade project since last year to help improve the overall living conditions of the people and the city’s landscape.

The spill-over effects of this project will address most of the city’s socio-economic woes.

Almost half of the city is living in informal settlements without or with less electricity, proper sanitation, treated water supply or security over land tenure.

As such, malaria, tuberculosis and water-borne diseases are on the rise in the settlements because they don’t meet health, development or safety standards.

Through the project, Governor Parkop reaffirms his commitment to upgrading the settlements into suburbs and undertake affordable housing initiatives to benefit low income households living and working in the city.

“Four out of five citizens in our city live in hazardous environments. This has to change for the good of our city and our people.”

He has committed to create a “one-stop-shop” for private sector companies which are ready to build affordable housing, and to work with the finance institutions and the communities to tailor affordable mortgage products for low income people.

He already started the process by establishing dialogues with the customary landowners, real estate companies and donor agencies for collaboration to share resources and his vision.

While the process is complicated by land titles and the lack of government intervention in terms of finance, laws and policy, the commission has already surveyed some 18 thousand households to better understand their needs, and convened a high level task force to advance the affordable housing initiative and demonstrate results by the end of 2019.

“I have a goal to transform Port Moresby into a 21st Century city. “I know we can get there if everyone leans on. So much of the city is joining me in walking and becoming healthy: now we need to work together to rid our city of the pollution and crime that is holding us back.”

The project and the master plan will not only solve many of the urbanisation issues in the city but also expand the availability of state lease land for the city’s growth.

ENDS/-

UN Chief’s Call to ‘Save the Pacific to Save the World’

.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said it was vital “to save the Pacific to save the world” as he wrapped up his brief South Pacific tour in Vanuatu on Saturday.

Guterres has spent the past week in the region pushing for urgent action ahead of a U.N. summit in September billed as a last chance to prevent irreversible climate change.

According to the U.N., Vanuatu is the world’s most at-risk country from natural hazards, but Guterres said it was also “leading the way” with is resilience.

At a joint press conference with Vanuatu’s Prime Minister Charlot Salwai, Guterres praised the way the country had bounced back from the catastrophic Cyclone Pam which lashed the archipelago in 2015.

It claimed at least 15 lives, flattened villages and impacted nearly half the 300,000 population.

“It is clear that the Pacific is on the frontline of climate change even though they don’t contribute to climate change,” Guterres told AFP, referring to low-lying Pacific islands which are threatened by rising sea levels.

“So the Pacific has the moral authority to offer a lesson for the rest of the world. We absolutely need to save the Pacific to save the world.”

What’s Next

The U.N. target is to limit rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial revolution levels and Guterres urged governments “to understand that we need transformative measures, in industry, in agriculture and in relation to the oceans.”

“I believe it is time to recognise that we need to shift taxation away from people to carbon and pollution instead,” he said.

“We need to stop subsidies for fossil fuels. It doesn’t make any sense that taxpayers’ money is contributing to increased storms, the spread of drought, glaciers melting, corals bleaching and putting these islands in danger.”


More on the Subject

On Saturday, The Guardian has become the first outlet to change the language it uses to cover climate change.

“Instead of ‘climate change’ the preferred terms are ‘climate emergency, crisis or breakdown’ and ‘global heating’ is favoured over ‘global warming,’ although the original terms are not banned,” Damian Carrington, the Guardian’s environment editor wrote.

https://theglobepost.com/2019/04/10/food-climate-change-solution/