High up in the mountainous interior of Papua New Guinea (PNG), the most populous Pacific Island state of 7.3 million people, rural lives are marked by strenuous work toiling land in rugged terrain with low access to basic services.
The year 2015 marked the 62nd
anniversary of the armistice agreement that ended the Korean War. The temporary ceasefire has never been replaced with a peace treaty and the demilitarised zone (DMZ) continues to divide the country.
In his memoirs, Glimpses of a Global Life
, Sir Shridath Ramphal, then-Foreign Minister of the Republic of Guyana, who played a leading role in the evolution of the Lomé
negotiations that lead to the birth of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, pointed to the significant lessons of that engagement of developed and developing countries some 40 years ago and had this to say:
People of faith, civil society groups, and communities affected by climate change marched together in Rome Sunday Jun. 28 to express gratitude to Pope Francis for the release of his Laudato Si
encyclical on the environment, and call for bolder climate action by world leaders.
The inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID) initiative of the U.N. Industrial Development Organisation to promote industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalisation and environmental sustainability is gaining momentum in the countries of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group.
The global spectre of state violence against political dissent, with paramilitary law enforcement units advancing against citizens they are employed to protect in cities such as Cairo, Bangkok and Kiev is daily news. But in some developing countries, the police are being used to put down indigenous opposition to the alliance of state and corporate power over resource extraction.
For many Pacific Islanders, customary land is the source of life, identity and social security. However, most island states are developing countries, and governments claim land reform is needed to improve infrastructure and economic development. Registration of customary land, the predominant tenure system, with more options for leasing to the state and developers is being promoted as the way forward.
The indigenous struggle for liberation in West Papua on the western half of the island of New Guinea in the south-west Pacific, with the loss of thousands of lives, is far from ending. But, despite political uncertainties, a united coalition of pro-independence leaders has reignited hope of freedom by galvanising the support of a Pacific Islands inter-governmental organisation.
As the U.S. struggles with a weeks-long government shutdown which has threatened the country’s economic recovery and forced President Barack Obama to cancel a series of high-stakes visits to Asia, China has instead taken the centre-stage, boosting ties with Asian neighbours and promising multi-billion trade and investment deals.
Women face greater odds in achieving equal political representation in the Pacific Islands than in any other region of the world, holding just 3 percent of seats in national parliaments, compared to 20 percent in Sub-Saharan Africa and 18.5 percent in South East Asia.
The 43rd Pacific Islands Forum was held in Rarotonga, Cook Islands, from 28 to 30 August 2012 involved leaders from the 16 member Pacific nations including Australia and New Zealand. This year's theme: “Large Ocean Island States – the Pacific Challenge” with major topics including climate change, trade and fishing.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton along with more than 500 officials from nearly 60 countries including China, and European Union attended as observers and participated in other meetings in the Cook Islands, some 3000 km northeast of New Zealand.
Leaders of 15 Pacific Island nations have pledged to remove barriers to women’s economic empowerment, end violence against women and pave the way for their increased political representation, at the conclusion of the 43rd
Pacific Islands Forum in Rarotonga in the Cook Islands, last week. The meeting was also attended by the Executive Director of UN Women, Michelle Bachelet.