Vanuatu daily news Digest | 26 February 2015

Yesterday’s Digest was delayed owing to extremely interesting discussions proposed by PACMAS, the Australian Aid funded Pacific Media Assistance Scheme, discussions which it is hoped will lead to Media Self-Regulation in Vanuatu. The question of self-regulation was originally raised by the Media Association of Vanuatu (MAV) following on from its introduction of a Code of Ethics in 2006. The principal consultant in the matter, Paul Chadwick, felt that the absence of a credible industry self-regulation system might well introduce statutory regulation. A model proposed for self-regulation was happily received by Vanuatu’s media leaders, especially journalists and publishers. It is a work in progress.

Radio Vanuatu has reported the workshop on political and constitutional reform which has brought together political leaders says that presidents and secretaries general of all parties are involved. MPs are also attending. Daily Post explains that the workshop is being led by the Head of the Caribbean and Pacific Political Division in the Commonwealth Secretariat, Albert Mariner. He is assisted by Professor Don Paterson of USP and Dr Alphonse Gelu as the Registrar of political parties in PNG and Brian Lenga, formerly of the Commonwealth Pacific Governance facility. Reducing political instability is a principal objective of the discussions and may lead to a referendum which the Government would intend to hold at the time of the next general elections in 2016.

‘Daily Post carries news of two successful maritime claims against government. One is for an amount of VT 6.9 million in relation to the detention of a captain who brought the Solomon Islands’ vessels, Christie Leigh and Kaona, to this country, and the other for VT 4.9 million is related to the rescue of a French vessel, the Clinique Pasteur.

Representatives of PACER, the agreement between Australia and New Zealand and island countries seeking easier labour mobility within the region, have been discussing qualifications in New Zealand. The labour qualifications discussions will continue in Vanuatu in the week of 23 March.

Concerning the state of the lava flow activity on Ambrym, West Ambrym Area Secretary tells Daily Post "the volcanic eruption has weakened but the volcano is still giving out gases and ash fall."