Forum SG Puna joins incoming Forum Chair for high level Japan visit

Brown, as the incoming Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum, will be joined by the Republic of the Marshall Islands Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kitlang Kabua at their high level meeting with the Japan leader.

“Plans by Japan to begin discharging over a million tonnes of treated Fukushima nuclear wastewater into the Pacific in 2023 are a core reason for the Forum visit. Talks may also include the Japan-Pacific Forum nations dialogue partner relationship and ongoing priorities set by Forum Leaders, particularly related to Oceans and the Blue Pacific 2050 Strategy”, said SG Puna.

Pacific Trade looks to strengthen E-commerce as a driver for economic development post COVID-19

The workshop, part of the Pacific E-commerce Initiative, is enabling trade officials across the region to unpack findings of a Pacific E-commerce assessment, and a sub-regional assessment for the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG). These discussions will feed into a Pacific E-Commerce Strategy aiming to lift engagement in digital trade.

Pacific students not being evacuated from China - Forum

This is despite the number of people killed by the coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, increasing.

Students spoken to by RNZ Pacific said their universities had either postponed or cancelled the school year and advised foreign students to return home if they can.

Some institutions were also advising students who went home for the holidays not to return until advised to do so.

Audit needed of Marshall Islands nuclear 'coffin' - Pacific Islands Forum

Campaigners have warned for years of the danger posed by the 18-inch think concrete dome, perched on a small island in Enewetak Atoll and used to store nuclear waste leftover from atomic testing conducted in the 1950s and 1960s.

"What is lacking is independent verification," Dame Meg Taylor said on Tuesday. "Which frightens people."

UN chief assures strong support to the Pacific's response to climate change

Speaking to Pacific Islands Forum Leaders in Suva, Fiji Guterres acknowledged the Pacific island communities active response to the current hardships and future dangers posed by climate change.

Pacific Forum head meets UN's Guterres

The two discussed priorities for the Pacific including the threat of climate change to regional security, financing for development and the Pacific's progress on the Sustainable Development Goals.

Dame Meg said she was encouraged by Mr Guterres' determined efforts to address the impacts of climate change, and his commitment to the Blue Pacific initiative.

The Forum-endorsed initiative seeks to harness the collective potential of the region's shared stewardship of the Pacific Ocean.

Pacific Islands Forum offers members tax advice

Five Pacific countries remain on a recently down-sized EU blacklist of nine tax haven nations.

The forum secretariat's deputy secretary general Cristelle Pratt said a meeting with the European Commission next month may provide an opportunity to discuss the issues directly.

"It may well be an issue that could be discussed, and it would be something of course that we would work with our members on if they requested support and assistance in that regard," Ms Pratt said.

The EU said the blacklist was part of a greater plan to promote good tax governance globally.

Stronger Forum Secretariat mooted by Samoa leader

The annual Forum leaders summit is to be held in Apia next month at which point Samoa Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, will assume the chairmanship.

He said the Forum is not as effective as it could be.

RNZI reports the Samoa leader, who also chaired the Forum back in 2003, said the leaders have long wanted the organisation to be more focussed.

"We tend to deal with too many things," Tuilaepa said.

"The problem that we continually face is that we have the Secretariat that needs to strengthen as well.

PIF Secretariat, Samoa Electoral Commission observe Papua polling

The team observed the election of the Lord Mayor of the Municipality of Jayapura and the Regent of the Jayapura Regency this week.

Part of the Pacific delegation is in Manokwari, the capital of West Papua, on a similar mission.

A Pacific Islands Forum team is monitoring the Indonesian regional elections.

The Forum Secretary General Dame Meg Taylor earlier this week said the Pacific region and Indonesia share a belief in the principles of good governance and fair and free elections.

China-Pacific Islands Forum Cooperative Fund Receives USD$1.05 M Donation from Chinese Government

During the ceremony Ambassador ZHANG Ping reiterated the importance of the relationship saying “This donation from the Chinese Government to the China-PIF Cooperative Fund for the year 2016 is another demonstration of China’s sincerity and willingness in seeking common development prosperity with Pacific Islands Countries.”