Pacific Islands Forum

Outgoing Forum chair wants Pacific speaking with one voice

Samoa takes over the chairmanship of the Forum at the 48th Forum summit in Apia early next month.

But Mr Christian will still be an integral part of the organisation, becoming one of the Forum Troika Leaders, made up of past, present and incoming Forum chairs.

At a recent meeting with the Forum secretary general, Dame Meg Taylor, Mr Christian spoke of the socio-economic and related development issues facing the region.

A critical matter for him is air transport, which has long been seen as a barrier to island nations' attempts to strengthen their economies.

Forging Forum foreign policy difficult - academic

To counter new risks facing the Pacific, the ministers discussed seeking a new collective approach to security in the region.

Anna Powles of the Massey Centre for Defence and Security Studies said common ground might be found on climate change, but this would be more difficult in matters like the Papua issue on which the Forum was divided.

Dr Powles also said new ways needed to be found to deal with transnational crime, but she said this also raised questions.

People’s Republic of China continues to support the Pacific Islands Forum

The money was handed over to Forum’s Secretary General, Dame Meg Taylor last week.

During the handover, the SG thanked China for their ongoing support through the fund and strong relationship between China and Pacific.

“I’d particularly like to thank you for the ongoing support to the Pacific Trade and Invest (PTI China) office in Beijing. The trade relationships we have with China are very important and the work of this office continues to help in their development,” she said.

Forum welcomes China's "Maritime Silk Road"

Proposed by Xi Jinping the development strategy focuses on connectivity and cooperation between China and countries primarily in Europe and Asia.

It has two components a land based "Silk Road Economic Belt" and the "Maritime Silk Road".

Forum expansion unlocks new questions

RNZ reports the Forum was set up in 1971 to counter the influence of the major colonial powers, but with French Polynesia and New Caledonia added at this year's summit, France has effectively become a member of the body.

This raises questions about whether other territories in the region, such as Tokelau, American Samoa or Guam should now be included.

The director of the Pasifika Centre at Massey University, Malakai Koloamatangi, said the move had opened a lot of avenues that had seemed closed in the past.

Forum urged to act decisively on West Papua

RNZ reports for years Papuans have claimed they have been denied basic rights, particularly self-determination, and are constantly subject to Indonesian state oppression.

Demographic change in the region has also left Papuans fast becoming a minority, dominated by Indonesian culture, and has added urgency to the latest call by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) for help from the Pacific Islands Forum.

New book says Australia and NZ need new approach to Forum

'The New Pacific Diplomacy', published by the Australian National University, has contributions from a range of academics, journalists, political leaders and other stakeholders.

An editor, Associate Professor Sandra Tarte says the Pacific Islands Forum will have to adapt, and Australia and New Zealand may have to tone down their influence.

PIF declaration will initiate global recognition of region’s vulnerabilities

It will be presented to the United Nations General Assembly in New York this month.

The UN meeting will be held on September 25-27 in New York to formally adopt an ambitious new sustainable development agenda.

This momentous agenda will serve as the launch pad for action by the international community and by national governments to promote shared prosperity and well-being for the next 15 years.

Tonga calls for regional airline

'Akilisi Pohiva attended his first Pacific Islands Forum meeting in Port Moresby last week.

Mr Pohiva says it was a good chance to observe regionalism at work.

However he says greater cooperation is also needed when it comes to the airways of the Pacific.

Pacific Forum communique finally released

The communique was issued more than 12 hours after the end of Thursday's leaders' retreat.

The issue of the fisheries was the big winner from the leader's summit, while an acceptance of varying viewpoints marks the statement on climate change.

Koro Vaka'uta reports: