Forum SG Puna joins incoming Forum Chair for high level Japan visit

Brown, as the incoming Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum, will be joined by the Republic of the Marshall Islands Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kitlang Kabua at their high level meeting with the Japan leader.

“Plans by Japan to begin discharging over a million tonnes of treated Fukushima nuclear wastewater into the Pacific in 2023 are a core reason for the Forum visit. Talks may also include the Japan-Pacific Forum nations dialogue partner relationship and ongoing priorities set by Forum Leaders, particularly related to Oceans and the Blue Pacific 2050 Strategy”, said SG Puna.

Pacific Trade looks to strengthen E-commerce as a driver for economic development post COVID-19

The workshop, part of the Pacific E-commerce Initiative, is enabling trade officials across the region to unpack findings of a Pacific E-commerce assessment, and a sub-regional assessment for the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG). These discussions will feed into a Pacific E-Commerce Strategy aiming to lift engagement in digital trade.

Pacific students not being evacuated from China - Forum

This is despite the number of people killed by the coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, increasing.

Students spoken to by RNZ Pacific said their universities had either postponed or cancelled the school year and advised foreign students to return home if they can.

Some institutions were also advising students who went home for the holidays not to return until advised to do so.

Forum brings Pacific Island Nations closer together on climate change

Speaking after his attendance at last week’s Pacific Islands Forum in Tuvalu where climate change was high on the agenda, President Waqa said Nauru was highly vulnerable to the impacts of global warming.

“Climate change is a very important topic for all the Pacific Islands, especially Nauru where we need to future-proof the coast,” President Waqa said.

Audit needed of Marshall Islands nuclear 'coffin' - Pacific Islands Forum

Campaigners have warned for years of the danger posed by the 18-inch think concrete dome, perched on a small island in Enewetak Atoll and used to store nuclear waste leftover from atomic testing conducted in the 1950s and 1960s.

"What is lacking is independent verification," Dame Meg Taylor said on Tuesday. "Which frightens people."

UN chief assures strong support to the Pacific's response to climate change

Speaking to Pacific Islands Forum Leaders in Suva, Fiji Guterres acknowledged the Pacific island communities active response to the current hardships and future dangers posed by climate change.

Nauru President announces historic Climate talks between Forum Leaders and UN Secretary General

Secretary General Guterres is travelling to the region to meet Pacific leaders in order to drive momentum in the lead-up to the United Nations Climate Action Summit in September.

“For the Pacific climate change is not a debate or a policy question – it is our reality,” said President Waqa.

“It is right that the UN Secretary General is coming to our region to prepare for his Summit. I know he appreciates the seriousness of the issue and understands the countries and people of the Blue Pacific are facing an existential threat not tomorrow, but today,” said President Waqa.

Pacific Forum head meets UN's Guterres

The two discussed priorities for the Pacific including the threat of climate change to regional security, financing for development and the Pacific's progress on the Sustainable Development Goals.

Dame Meg said she was encouraged by Mr Guterres' determined efforts to address the impacts of climate change, and his commitment to the Blue Pacific initiative.

The Forum-endorsed initiative seeks to harness the collective potential of the region's shared stewardship of the Pacific Ocean.

Forum Secretariat head encourages Nauru to reconsider media ban

The Australia Broadcasting Corporation has been banned from covering the upcoming Pacific Forum Leaders summit in Nauru this September. 

Head of the Pacific Forum Secretariat Dame Meg Taylor says she's been contacted by other Forum nations over the ban, but other than encourage a rethink of the ban, she can't tell Nauru what to do.

"We would urge Nauru to reconsider but in the end, this is a decision for a sovereign state," she says.

Forum Education Ministers endorse Pacific Regional Education Framework at Nauru meeting

President Waqa also highlighted 2018 being a special year to host the Education Ministers meeting as it coincides with the 50th celebration of Nauru’s independence, and adds to the build up to the 49th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting which Nauru will host in early September.

He made the comments at the Pacific Islands Forum Education Ministers meeting in Yaren.