Forum legal block to be lifted, Vanuatu seasonal workers apologetic but defiant, and French warplanes heading to Noumea

Bid to remove laws barring membership of Marshals Forum

The Marshall Islands’ parliament is set to resolve legal hurdles preventing the country from fully participating in this month’s Pacific Islands Forum summit in Fiji.

Marshallese president David Kabua did not attend the summit because his own government backed off efforts to undo a legislatively-binding measure that would have ended the country’s membership of the regional organization before 2022.

RNZ Pacific representative, Giff Johnson, said Kabua would have been there if the law had not prevented it.

“Therefore there is now talk by the top leadership of going to the upcoming session of their Parliament to resolve the legislative issue that is a barrier to the membership of the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Islands Forum.”

The seasonal workers say they blame Aussie bosses for their actions

Attempts are being made to clear the names of Vanuatu seasonal workers who absconded from Australia.

I-Kiribati RSE worker at Matakana.
Photograph: Supplied by/Charlotte Bedford

The Daily Post The workers say their employers have not fulfilled the terms of the contract.

This includes being charged higher rents and less paid for work done.

The workers apologized for tarnishing Vanuatu’s good name but said Australian employers were responsible for their absconding.

Vanuatu is the largest supplier of seasonal workers to both New Zealand and Australia.

French warplanes are heading for Noumea

France will send three Rafale fighter jets to New Caledonia to take part in air force exercises in northern Australia next month.

The aircraft and their support aircraft will be stationed at the French military base at La Tontauta, north of Noumea.

They will take part in Exercise Pitch Black, run by the Australian Air Force from its bases in Darwin and Tyndall.

The French involvement is seen as another sign of warming relations between Canberra and Paris, following a standoff over Australia’s decision to cancel a multibillion-dollar submarine order last year.

Approximately 100 aircraft are expected to participate in the three-week war games.

The Novels Caledonines French Air Force aircraft will also participate in military exercises in northern New Caledonia and the Loyalty Islands.

Relatives of former Vanuatu head of state want compensation

The immediate family of the former Vanuatu head of state – the late Baldwin Lonsdale – has renewed the government’s appeal for compensation.

They believe that Lonsdale was entitled to this payment in commemoration of his service to the country.

The call comes ahead of the election of a new president on Thursday.

Lonsdale’s son Clifton said the family had not been paid since his father’s death.

Judges receive anti-money laundering information

Judges from Papua New Guinea recently participated in a week-long anti-money laundering workshop in Port Moresby.

The workshop was organized by the Pacific Center for Judicial Excellence and co-sponsored by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

Participants included Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika of Papua New Guinea, Deputy Chief Justice Ambeng Kandakasi, Deputy Chief Justice Rex Faucona of Solomon Islands and judges of the Supreme and National Courts of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.

Inaugurating the workshop, the Chief Justice said judicial training adds value to judges in their day-to-day work and that PNG is evaluated against global anti-money laundering standards.

Sir Gibbs Salika said PNG’s standing as a country when assessed against international standards and best practices was vital to continued foreign investment and economic growth and development.

Move to help PNG businesses

Efforts are underway to promote capital market development and improve financing for Papua New Guinea businesses.

The PNG Securities Commission and the Asian Development Bank have signed a Memorandum of Understanding.

The MoU outlines the technical, operational and strategic collaboration between the Bank’s Pacific Private Sector Development Institute and the PNG Security Commission.

It aims to strengthen the Commission’s role as a capital market regulator through capacity-building measures and develop a robust capital market policy, with the aim of creating a vibrant PNG capital market.

PNG Reserve Bank Acting Governor Benny Popoitai said this was important not only for the PNG financial sector but also for the overall growth of the economy.

An 81-year-old woman has died of a Covid-related illness in American Samoa.

The woman was in the hospital since June 30 and died on July 12, said Abraham Leato, chief in charge of LBJ Hospital.

Dr Leato said the woman also had other health problems.

The latest death brings American Samoa’s total number of Covid-related deaths to 33.