Vanuatu daily news digest | 13 December 2014

There’s not a lot of hard news around when the ACP is hitting the headlines, and Christmas breaks proceed all around. There was not a lot yesterday either, and thus the delay in sending out a bulletin which now covers two days. And I have no idea how I claimed the last bulletin posted to be 11 February 2014.

However, Vanuatu has been chosen for the ACP presidency, Radio Vanuatu informs us, in the hundredth sitting of the ACP Council of Ministers this week. Vanuatu’s Ambassador Roy Mickey Joy will hold the presidential post in 2015 and Foreign Minister Kilman says it gives Vanuatu a privileged position for defending our exports of kava and copra.

Vanuatu was also reported as the first Melanesian country to sign the EDF National Indicative Programme with the European Union. Minister Kilman signed with European Development Minister Neven Mimica. Minister Mimica told Pacnews that given the importance of the rural economy in Vanuatu, this country’s choice of agriculture is entirely relevant to Vanuatu receiving the envelope for nearly USD 40 million, an increase of 35 percent in this programme. He also congratulated Vanuatu for its adherence to the EU’s policy on illegal, unauthorised and unreported fishing activities and our "constructive approach," without explaining further and more clearly how we have demonstrated a constructive approach.

Foreign Minister Kilman, VBTC News says, needs to resolve the matter of Fiji not having returned to membership of the Pacific Islands Forum. Fiji has said it will not resume membership whilst Australia and New Zealand continue as members. Kilman said everyone must work together.

Daily Post yesterday reported eleven new students to study for bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Australia under its Australian Awards Programme. They include both the arts dux of Malapoa in 2013 and and the science dux of the school for the same year.

Post reported Vila North school ground-breaking for a new VT 9.8 million building – a six classroom block.

Post today reports the continuing wrangle in the Police and VMF as regards the positions of power. This goes back to the alleged mutiny of 2012 and much further. Prime Minister Natuman, responsible for the force, points out in a letter to Acting Commissioner Maralau "My Government is working endlessly to make sure the Vanuatu Police Force is united and that the different groupings within the force patiently await a time and date to be set by the government to carry out the exercise of unifying the Vanuatu Police Force again."

Three ni-Vanuatu doctors have launched a private clinic. Child health, internal health and mental health will be dealt with by doctors Rosemary Kaltack, Griffith Harrison and Jimmy Obed, working from rooms in Nambatu. They bring some 35 years of experience to their clinic. (Daily Post)

BJ Skane brings the story behind the new ATR of Air Vanuatu being called the Betty Emma to the pages of Daily Post today. The story goes back to 1960, Paul Burton, Bob Paul, and the beginnings of New Hebrides Airways.