Cuba’s late leader Fidel Castro remembered fondly in Vanuatu for his support at UN for independence for New Hebrides

Fidel Castro, President of Cuba addressing the General Assembly at UN Headquarters in New York in 1979. Photo: UN/Yutaka Nagata

Fidel Castro, President of Cuba addressing the General Assembly at UN Headquarters in New York in 1979. Photo: UN/Yutaka Nagata

Cuba and Vanuatu have been engaged seriously in more ways than just the training of ni-Vanuatu doctors to keep ni-Vanuatu healthy. The death of the Cuba’s premier statesman, Fidel Castro, and his assistance during the independence struggles of Vanuatu have been acknowledged by Vanuatu’s former PM Barak Sope as the news of the Cuban leader’s passing is heard around the world. Sope and Castro were indeed friends back in the 1970s, and Cuba’s support for Vanuatu at the UN Decolonisation Committee was greatly appreciated here. Anyone going to the Vila Central Hospital is these days still impressed at 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 »


Tourism gets big promotional push in Australia and NZ markets; Vanuatu to graduate from least-developed status by 2020

An promotional image from Vanuatu Tourism Office, aprt of the Australia & NZ marketing push

An promotional image from Vanuatu Tourism Office, part of the Australia & NZ marketing push

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Happy Earth Day! Vanuatu signs Paris Agreement on Climate Change

Earth Day

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PM Salwai says appointment of new MSG head must be fair, open and transparent

Fiji trying to force its choice on MSG member s by decree?

Fiji trying to force its choice for MSG Director-General by decree. Photo: MSG Secretariat

Radio Vanuatu and Daily Post have both reported the appointment of the new DG of the MSG, a matter which brings Vanuatu into opposition with the other Melanesian countries. RNZI’s reporting is probably the most objective. RNZI states:

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Urgent Government audits needed; debt to UN paid; Reunification for Change secures 22 seats

Statue outside Vanuatu's Parliament

Government finances must be reported on with the greatest urgency to the whole nation by the incoming government. Our newly elected representatives must only choose leaders from those amongst them who can explain the plight of the country which has seen airlines refusing to send their planes here because of the state of the international airport’s main runway. This crisis has emerged since the Caretaker Prime Minister assured us in pre-election campaigning on 15 January that Vanuatu is ending the financial year with the biggest fiscal surplus ever recorded in Vanuatu history. This occurred despite cyclone Pam and the much publicised Capital Immigration and Investment Plan – CIIP which Kilman said “failed miserably to meet its legal requirements contained under the signed agreement.”

Government has now committed VT 3 million to make good our debt to the United Nations which left us without the right to vote on matters of particular interest such as West Papua. VT 2 million was paid in May, Daily Post reports and the latest payment should cover arrears of USD30,399. The arithmetic begs further questions and a better answer to be given by Read the rest of this entry »