Pacific Community takes stance against “cancer” of violence

These are the strong sentiments expressed yesterday by the Pacific Community Director-General, Dr Colin Tukuitonga, to staff and guests as the organisation paused to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and White Ribbon Day at its headquarters in Noumea.

“Violence against women is a human rights violation. It’s like a cancer in our society, eating away at progress in many areas of development including eradicating poverty, improving education outcomes and maternal health,” Dr Tukuitonga said.

Tools offered for boosting Pacific women MP numbers


The security issue is among a host of barriers contributing to the Pacific region's lowly rate of women's political representation.

MPs, parliamentary Speakers and senior government officials from 13 Pacific countries have gathered in Port Moresby to gain tools on how to boost the 5.6% rate which is the world's lowest.

The UN's Roy Trivedy says delegates have heard many different experiences including how Samoa's requirement for a minimum five women MPs in Parliament has been working.

UN says El Niño getting worse in Pacific

In its latest situation update, the Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs says governments are trying to take measure to mitigate the risks of water shortages, food insecurity and disease.

It says the governments of Fiji and Vanuatu are delivering food and water to affected communities, while in Papua New Guinea, three million people are suffering from shortages in the Highlands.

Pacific urged to invest more in Agriculture

The team leader of SPC's Pacific agriculture policy project, Vili Caniogo, says more than 80 percent of the region's population live in rural areas but this is not reflected in government policies.

Pacific's 'third gender' tell stories through dance

Performing arts company Fine Fatale is examining how the Pacific's 'third gender' is faring in today's cultural climate.

Their latest work, 'Le Freak', performed during Auckland's Urbanesia Festival, draws inspiration from the noble savages of the Pacific, and asks how they can move beyond being the freaks of the world.

The lead choreographer, Amanaki Prescott-Faletau, says fa'afafine and fakaleiti are traditionally called on to entertain - and they're using this to get their own messages across.

Geospatial Council maps a regional strategy

First established in 2014, the Pacific Geospatial and Surveying Council (PGSC) is composed of representatives from Lands and Survey Departments, Hydrography Units, and geospatial management sections throughout the region. The meeting is supported and facilitated by the Government of Australia and the Pacific Community’s (SPC) PGSC Partnership Desk.

“Accurate geospatial information provides a critical foundation for sustainable economic development,” said Interim PGSC Chair and Director of Tuvalu Lands & Survey Department, Faatasi Malologa.

Pacific urged to invest in youth development

The Director-General of the Pacific Community, Dr Colin Tukuitonga, has warned that failing to invest sufficiently in youth will come at substantial economic, social and political costs to the region.

Call for Pacific stories at COP21

People in the Pacific are being called on to share stories on social media of how they've been impacted by climate change, in a bid to strengthen the Pacific voice leading up to the COP21 conference in Paris.

The Pacific Islands contribute to less than 0.03 percent to the world's total greenhouse gases yet are amongst the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme says the outcomes of COP21 are crucial to the Pacific region.

Australia announces Pacific drought relief package

Australia's foreign minister has announced financial assistance to Pacific countries struggling with drought brought on by this year's severe El Niño.

Julie Bishop yesterday toured areas of Papua New Guinea's Highlands with foreign minister Rimbink Pato.

The PNG government estimates a million people in the Highlands are in a state of distress as a result of months of severe drought and frosts, which has killed crops and dried up water supplies.

UN’s Envoy on Youth alarmed at unemployment rate in the Pacific

The United Nation Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth is alarmed at the rate of unemployment in the Pacific region.

Ahamad Alhendawi told the High Level Dialogue on Youth at the Pacific Community (SPC) Conference in Alofi, Niue that 23 percent of young people in this region are unemployed.

“National youth unemployment rates in some countries of the region stand at 50 or 60%.