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 »


Vanuatu calls for UN probe of alleged rights abuses in Indonesia’s Papua province

Moana Kalosil Carcasses, Prime Minister of the Republic of Vanuatu. UN Photo/Ryan Brown

Moana Kalosil Carcasses, Prime Minister of the Republic of Vanuatu. UN Photo/Ryan Brown



PM Moana Kalosil Carcasses addressed the UN General Assembly in New York today. Here’s an excerpt from his speech, taken from the UN News Centre:

28 September 2013 – Vanuatu today called on the United Nations to appoint a Special Representative to investigate alleged human rights abuses in the Papuan provinces of Indonesia and their political status, with its Prime minister declaring that the West Papuans have been consistently denied any sort of recognition by the world body.

“We are now deliberating on the issue of Syria, but when it comes to the issue of the rights of the people of West Papua, our voices are muted even in this podium” Prime Minister Moana Carcasses Kalosil told the General Assembly’s annual General Debate, referring to the civil war that has killed some 120,000 Syrians, driver some 6.6 million from their homes and seen the use of chemical weapons.

“How can we then ignore hundreds of thousands of West Papuans who have been brutally beaten and murdered? The people of West Papua are looking to the UN as a beacon for hope… Let us, my colleague leaders, with the same moral conviction yield our support to the plight of West Papuans. It is time for the United Nation to move beyond its periphery and address and rectify some historical error.”

In May UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay voiced concern over a crackdown on mass demonstrations in the Papuan provinces and called on the Indonesian Government to allow peaceful protests and hold accountable those responsible for the violence. “There has not been sufficient transparency in addressing serious human rights violations in Papua,” she said.

During the crackdown, Indonesian police reportedly shot and killed two protesters on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the former Dutch New Guinea, occupying the western half of New Guinea Island, becoming part of Indonesia. At least 20 protesters were arrested, many for raising pro-independence flags.

“It is clear from many historical records that the Melanesian people of West Papua were the scapegoat of Cold war politics and were sacrificed to gratify the appetite for the natural resources which this country possess,” Mr. Kalosil said. “Today they are still the victims of ignorance of the UN.”


Govt mismanages suspension of Police Commissioner

The Police Commissioner saga reaches new heights of mismanagement. Having done nothing about the suspension of Joshua Bong as Police Commissioner, and acting without a Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), the Council of Ministers (who should have nothing to do with it) decided on Sunday, as Bong’s contract was ending, that Bong ought to be returned to the position of Police Commissioner. They reappointed him for five years, “after a three year review.” Does that mean a total of eight years?

No mention has been made of the reason for which Bong was suspended. This is said to be due to a conflict of interest to Bong between Bong’s position and his running a private security business. He has “successfully sought legal redress”, reports Daily Post today. Do we assume from this he proved mutiny against those bringing his private security force to the attention of the PSC? Or just mismanagement on the part of everyone? The judgements of the two weekend court sittings have not yet been published. The PSC has declared itself happy with the re-appointment of Bong. Vanuatu seems to be without an effective administration at present.

Prime Minister of Vanuatu Sato Kilman addresses the United Nations General Assembly, New York, September 28, 2012.

Prime Minister Sato Kilman addresses the general debate of the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly, New York, September 28, 2012. Photo credit: UN Photo/J Carrier.

Prime Minister Sato Kilman has been mentioning the Matthew and Hunter issue at the United Nations. Kilman has been telling the General Assembly: Read the rest of this entry »


Lands Minister Steven Kalsakau’s land dealings “crooked”, says Regenvanu

Former Justice Minister Ralph Regenvanu is the first leader to denounce the Caretaker Lands Minister Steven Kalsakau’s recent lease dealings. Regenvanu says recent Ministerial sales of public land in Port Vila and Luganville and the alienation of undisputed customary land in North Efate is “crooked”. Kalsakau is not a fit leader, says Regenvanu. “Kalsakau has not taken national interest into account, or that of the public or land owners as he is required to do by the Constitution”. Regenvanu is of the opinion that Kalsakau’s efforts to take the North Efate land out of the hands of its custom owners will be quickly fail because the custom owners can place a caution on the lease titles, effectively preventing the transaction from proceeding.

Regenvanu also rejects the claims of the Outgoing Director General of the Ministry of Lands, Joe Ligo, that the North Efate chiefs were Read the rest of this entry »