Hilda Heine has been elected the first woman president in the Pacific. Here she speaks during a Micronesian forum hosted by the Pacific Institute of Public Policy.

Hilda Heine is elected Pacific’s first woman President

Hilda Heine is the new president of the Marshall Islands, the first woman to be elected President of an independent Pacific nation. Heine has much to do in confronting many tough issues facing her nation: developing the economy, stemming the outward flow of migrants to elsewhere in the US and building climate change resilience at …

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Fiji rebel arrests

Fiji rebels want a Christian state           There have been insurrection rumblings in Fiji in recent weeks as reports surface of police and the army raiding military training camps for “rebels” in the northeastern Fijian confederacy of Ra.   Dozens of men being trained by a former SAS officer have been …

girl stands outside her destroyed home in Takara village, Vanuatu after cyclone Pam hit.

Cyclone Pam devastates Vanuatu

Super cyclone Pam has caused widespread destruction in Kiribati, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. The category 5 cyclone is considered one of the worst storms on record ever, packing winds of 330 km per hour. Vanuatu was worst hit with 11 confirmed dead and an estimated 100,000 people homeless. There is now a significant international response unfolding …

Benny Wenda rides a pig during a West Papua unity march in Vanuatu, 2014

West Papuans unite

In a historic gathering of West Papuan leaders in Vanuatu last week, different factions of the independence movement united to form a new body called the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP). In kastom ceremonies that incuded pig-kiling and gifts of calico, kava and woven mats, West Papuan leaders embraced each other in reconciliation …

waka fleet arrives in sydney

Waka fleet arrives in Sydney

A fleet of traditional waka sailing canoes has arrived in Sydney carrying Pacific leaders from several island nations to raise awareness of environmental and climate change issues. They are attending the 6th World Parks Congress, hosted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). 5,000 delegates from around the world are attending this once-in-a-decade …

Frank Bainimarama's Fiji First has won Fiji's first democratic election since 2006

Fiji swears in new parliament

Fiji’s President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau has sworn in its new parliament, following the first democratic election held since Commodore Bainimarama took power in a 2006 coup. Bainimarama’s Fiji First party won the election with close to 60% of the vote, ushering in a new era in Fiji politics. It holds 32 seats in the 50 …

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Fijian peacekeepers held by Syrian rebels

A group of 45 Fijian peacekeepers working under UN mandate in the Golan heights have been taken hostage by the Al Nusra brigade, a Syrian rebel group linked Al Qaeda. It follows a gun battle between UN Philippine troops and Al Nusra guerillas nearby, with the Pinoy troops able to withdraw safely. But nothing has …

Leaders gather for the annual Pacific Islands Forum meeting in Vanuatu 2010.

Pacific Island Forum opens

The annual gathering of leaders for the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) is meeting this year in Palau and has just opened. Ocean management and climate change will be high on the agenda. This year will see neither Australian or New Zealand Prime Ministers attending in further signs the organisation has lost some of its pull. …

A concrete border marking peg signifies the border between PNG and Indonesia, near Wutong on the north coast. PNG 2003

PNG border tension

Tension remains high along the PNG / Indonesia border following an attack by pro-independence OPM guerrillas from West Papua on an Indonesian border post. The Indonesian military regularly make border incursions into PNG territory, frightening border villages and West Papuan refugees. Both the PNG Defence Force and more Indonesian troops have been mobilised to the …

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Vanuatu PM Survives Motion

Vanuatu PM survives motion Vanuatu’s Prime Minister Moana Carcassas Kalosil has survived a parliamentary vote-of-no-confidence motion brought against his government by the Opposition. Following the motions’ defeat, PM Kalosil flew to the UN in Geneva where he delivered a passionate plea to the UN Human Rights Council and its members to investigate Indonesian atrocities in …