Parliament closes with goodwill messages as ten bills are withdrawn from debate

Vanuatu Parliament House, Port Vila. Photo: PhillipC/Flickr

The censure motion withdrawn yesterday, the leader of Government business today withdrew a further ten bills and the parliamentary sitting closed with messages of goodwill and cheer. The implications of the failure to debate the remaining bills will become clear in due course.

The big news of today is the Vt 2.5 billion (US$23 million) grant for Climate Information Services for Vanuatu provided by the UN’s Green Climate Fund. It is one of Read the rest of this entry »


Extraordinary session of Parliament adjourns to give MPs sufficient time to study bills for debate

Vanuatu Parliament House, Port Vila. Photo: PhillipC/Flickr

Parliament was adjourned 24 hours yesterday to give enough time to all MPs to study the Bills for debate as it was argued there had been insufficient time for this. It seems the extra time was insufficient for Opposition MPs – none turned up for the sitting this morning. No other explanation reached the House as 24 Government MPs waited for the 2nd extraordinary sitting to begin. Nor was any further explanation given in VBTC lunchtime news. Without a quorum, Parliament was obliged to further postpone the sitting, until 2 o’clock tomorrow afternoon. (Radio Vanuatu)

The new MP for Malo/Aore, Uri Warawara of the Graon mo Jastis Party, was sworn in yesterday.

Government believes the  Read the rest of this entry »


Vanuatu offers seasonal workers to help fill agricultural labour gap in Tasmania

A Ni-Vanuatu seasonal worker at work packing apples in Australia's southern island state, Tasmania. Photo: DFAT

A Ni-Vanuatu seasonal worker at work packing apples in Australia’s southern island state, Tasmania. Photo: DFAT

Tasmania is interested in seasonal workers from Vanuatu and the southern Australian island state seems poised to take advantage of this. A delegation has called on Vanuatu’s High Commissioner in Australia, Kalfao Kaloris, to try to make this happen. However, the issue of a proposed lower ‘backpacker tax’ rate designed to encourage seasonal workers to come to Australia is yet to be resolved in Australia’s Parliament. (VBTC)

The former GM of the VNPF has had a claim for Vt 36 million refused by the Chief Justice in the Supreme Court after already receiving a payment of Vt 6 million on termination. She claimed her termination payment breached the terms of her contract. The Chief Justice did not agree and so her claim was Read the rest of this entry »


Vanuatu advocates for traditional climate knowledge at COP22 UN climate change meeting in Morocco

Logo of COP UN climate change meeting Marrakech, Morocco

Vanuatu has raised the issue of traditional knowledge, and has advocated greater access to funding for it, at the COP22 UN Climate Change meeting in Marrakech, Morocco. The Vanuatu Government’s Sam Mike Waiwai made a presentation on the topic at a two-day conference which focused on indigenous knowledge and climate change. UNESCO and the French National Centre for Scientific Research and other international bodies ran the event. The Minister for Climate Change Ham Lini joined the conference yesterday and will present a statement in a week’s time. As a story published here on Vanuatu Daily Digest last week noted, Vanuatu has made a significant contribution to global governance of climate change, introducing the concept of ‘loss and damage’ which is now central to global efforts to combat climate change.

Ni-Vanuatu workers at Cable Beach Club Resort in Australia have received Read the rest of this entry »


From little things, big things grow: Vanuatu’s place at the centre of the Paris climate agreement

Vanuatu from space. Photo: NASA

Vanuatu from space. Photo: NASA

Today, the world is celebrating as the Paris climate agreement comes into legal force — and a proposal Vanuatu made in 1991 is now at the centre of the agreement.

The Paris Agreement is a UN treaty that commits the world’s countries to keeping carbon emissions “well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C”. Like most multi-party agreements, it isn’t perfect, but the Paris Agreement is humanity’s most concerted attempt at preventing a global climate catastrophe to date.

As a Pacific island nation, Vanuatu has been hit hard by the impacts of climate change, experiencing sea level rise, cycles of drought and flooding, coral bleaching and mass fish deaths and more destructive cyclones, to name but a few.

The Paris Agreement is especially important for countries like Vanuatu. But Vanuatu also has another reason to celebrate today: with the legal activation of the Paris Agreement, loss and damage—a measure first proposed by Vanuatu in 1991, and now a key article of the Paris Agreement—becomes central to how the global community responds to climate change. Read the rest of this entry »


Prime Minister Salwai raises decolonisation of Pacific, climate change in address to UN General Assembly

HE Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas, Prime Minister of Vanuatu, addressing the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly in New York, 23 September 2016. Photo: UN

HE Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas, Prime Minister of Vanuatu, addressing the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly in New York, 23 September 2016. Photo: UN

Climate change was real and its consequences are being felt worldwide, Prime Minister Salwai said in his address to the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly yesterday in New York. Vanuatu has deposited its instrument of ratification of the Paris Agreement with the Secretary-General two days ago, he said, calling on Read the rest of this entry »


An amazing coincidence: earthquake strikes during discussion of disputed maritime boundary

Bathymetry map of Vanuatu and surrounding area. Map: NASA

Bathymetry map of Vanuatu and surrounding area. The line to the west of Vanuatu is where the Australian and Pacific tectonic plates meet. Map: NASA

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