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          Solomon Islands considers Vanuatu request for nurses      Cache   Translate Page      
Solomon Islands Nursing Association is calling for better pay and work condition for its 2000 plus members, as the government considers a request by Vanuatu for more than 70 of its nurses.
          Before PNB scam broke, Nirav Modi tried for citizenship of Vanuatu — was rejected      Cache   Translate Page      
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          Vanuatu Sets Up The First Blockchain Stock Exchange in The Southern Hemisphere      Cache   Translate Page      
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          Australian Teams Learn Youth Olympics Pools & Schedules      Cache   Translate Page      
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) and the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games organising committee have revealed the Pools and Match Schedule for the Hockey events where Australia will compete. To view the full match schedule, click here. In the women’s competition, Pool A includes Argentina, Austria, India, South Africa, Uruguay and Vanuatu, while Pool B involves Australia, China, Mexico, Namibia, Poland and Zimbabwe. In the men’s event, Argentina, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland, Vanuatu and Zambia will compete in Pool A, while Pool B will see Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Canada, India and Kenya go head to head. The Pool stages will take place between Sunday 7 and Thursday 11 October. Classification and Quarter-Final matches will then be held on Friday 12 October, with further classification matches plus the Semi-Finals on Saturday 13 October. The 7/8th and 5/6th matches then take place on Sunday 14 October before the medal matches. The men’s bronze is at 13:00 followed by the women’s at 14:00. The finalists will then go head to head for the gold medals at 15:00 (men) and 16:30 (women) – all times local (ART). Many of these teams are participating in their first ever Youth Olympic Games. This includes Argentina, Austria, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Poland and Vanuatu in the men’s event and Australia, Austria, India, Mexico, Namibia, Poland, Vanuatu and Zimbabwe and in the women’s competition. With nations participating from every continent, this edition of the Youth Olympic Games is set to be hugely entertaining, with the future of the game showcasing their raw talent on the global stage. Taking place in the Youth Olympic Park in the southern area of the city, the Hockey5s events are set to take centre stage with hosts Argentina expected to attract large numbers of local fans, renowned for their passionate support of the sport. The last edition of this event in Nanjing, China in 2014 saw this year’s participants Australia win gold and Canada silver in the men’s event, with China winning gold and Argentina taking bronze in the women’s event. For more information about the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games hockey events, visit the official website. #YOG2018 Selected Australian Teams: Men’s Hockey Lain Carr (18), Matcham, NSW James Collins (18), Perth, WA Miles Davis (17), Sydney NSW Brad Marais (18), Melbourne VIC Craig Marais (16), Melbourne, VIC Alistair Murray (18), Tincurrin, WA Jed Snowden (16), Melbourne, VIC Christian Starkie (17), Perth, WA Ben White (18), Blackburn, VIC Women’s Hockey Caitlin Cooper (17), Perth, WA Naomi Duncan (16), Sydney, NSW Amy Lawton (16), Emerald, VIC Morgan Mathison (18), Gold Coast, QLD Indianna Robertson (18), Bentleigh, VIC Courtney Schonell (17), Narellan Vale, NSW Jolie Sertorio (16), Peppermint Grove, WA Maddison Smith (18), Albion Park, NSW Grace Young (15), Yowie Bay, NSW
          Vanuatu NGO urges prosecution over conservation breach      Cache   Translate Page      
Vanuatu authorities are being urged to prosecute parties involved in illegal logging on a conservation area.
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Mauritius: Bitter Feud Over UK's Last Remaining African Colony
A group of six Chagossians based in the Seychelles when visiting the archipelago after the British government allowed them to visit the islands for a week in May 2015.

The future of an Indian Ocean archipelago which is the last remaining African colony of the old British Empire came into sharp focus at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) last week.

Legalbrief reports that the Chagos Islands were home to a Bourbonnais Creole-speaking people for more than 150 years until the UK evicted them between 1967 and 1973 to allow the US to build a military base on Diego Garcia. As a result, the 2 000 residents were sent to Mauritius and the Seychelles.

A report on the Quartz Africa site notes that while Mauritius obtained its independence in 1968, the islands remained under British control and an immigration order preventing Chagossians from returning was issued in 1971. Australia, Israel and the US are backing the UK stance while Mauritius has the support of 17 countries (Argentina, Belize, Botswana, Brazil, Cyprus, Germany, Guatemala, India, Kenya, Marshall Islands, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Serbia, South Africa, Thailand, Vanuatu and Zambia).

The UK used its platform at The Hague to apologise for the 'shameful way' residents of the disputed territory were evicted. However, it insisted that Mauritius was wrong to bring the dispute over ownership of the islands by saying the matter was 'purely a bilateral issue'.A report on the Al Jazeera site notes that UK Solicitor-General Robert Buckland asked the judges to 'decline the request for an advisory opinion'.

Mauritius' lawyers said the Chagos Islands were 'integral' to its territory and it was handed to the UK 'under duress'. 'More than 50 years after independence... the process of decolonisation of Mauritius remains incomplete,' former Mauritian President Anerood Jugnauth told The Hague-based court.

The Guardian reports that Mauritius' Defence Minister Sir Anerood Jugnauth told the court that his country was coerced into giving up a large swathe of its territory before independence. That separation was in breach of UN resolution 1514, passed in 1960, which specifically banned the break-up of colonies before independence, the Mauritian Government argued before the UN-backed court, which specialises in territorial and border disputes between states.

'I am the only one still alive among those who participated in the Mauritius constitutional conference at Lancaster House (in London) in 1965, where talks on the ultimate status of Mauritius were held. Those talks resulted in the unlawful detachment of an integral part of our territory on the eve of our independence,' he said.

Jugnauth added that the 'secret meetings' were not made known to the other Mauritian representatives 'although we were later told of the immense pressure that was imposed on the small group'. The Telegraph reports that the hearing is seen as a critical test of Britain's diplomatic clout in the Brexit era, after it failed to rally enough to support to prevent the UN General Assembly adopting the resolution that led to this week's hearing.

Legalbrief reports that Ndivhuwo Mabaya, spokesperson for South Africa's Department of International Cooperation said it is the duty of every member state of the UN to leave no stone unturned to assist the General Assembly 'to remove the last vestiges of colonialism and for all peoples to achieve self-determination and freedom'.

In an interesting twist, the Chagos community in the Seychelles has expressed concerns over the Mauritian Government's demands. Pierre Prosper, chairperson of the Chagos Association in Seychelles, reportedly told the S eychelles News Agency that the government's interest is commercial and has nothing to do with the welfare of the Chagos community.

          A SEA CHANGE IN THE SECURITY OF THE SOUTH PACIFIC / GEOPOLITICAL FUTURES      Cache   Translate Page      

A Sea Change in the Security of the South Pacific

Small countries have been caught in the current of great power politics.

By Jacob L. Shapiro


Concluding today is the 49th Pacific Islands Forum, an annual three-day summit that has gone broadly unnoticed by much of the world. The few headlines that managed to creep their way into continental news agencies concerned a minor spat between the host, Nauru, and China, whose delegation eventually walked out of a meeting Sept. 4. Most overlooked the fact that forum members agreed in principle to jointly augment the national security of Pacific island nations.

The agreement, called the Boe Declaration, has been in the works for a few months. Australia and New Zealand, the two strongest forum nations, hinted in July that a new regional security architecture would be announced at the recent summit. Outspoken advocates of the declaration, Australia and New Zealand want to strengthen the forum to counter China’s growing economic influence in this part of the world. Until recently, the biggest threats to the forum were run-of-the-mill internal problems such as civil unrest and natural disasters. But Canberra and Wellington want these island nations to prepare for worse.

The new declaration itself, like others before it, is almost uniformly unremarkable. It repeats previous declarations and offers platitudes about cooperation and information sharing. It identifies no country as a threat – if anything, parts of it are as much a criticism of U.S. efforts to undermine international institutions as they are a defense against Chinese intrusión.


 

Unlike others before it, however, the new declaration includes in a small section near the end wherein the forum members “recognize that national security impacts on regional security” and pledge to develop national security capacities accordingly. That is a sea change. The previous security framework, known as the Biketawa Declaration, is far more specific on the mechanism by which forum nations can intervene in the affairs of neighbors – Australia and New Zealand have used it in recent years to deploy forces to the Solomon Islands, Nauru and Tonga – but it is chiefly concerned with internal problems that require outside assistance. The Boe Declaration explicitly deals with the need for forum nations to develop capacities to resist external threats. The post-summit communique also notes that a detailed plan for implementation of the Boe Declaration will be completed by November.

As with all multilateral institutions, the challenge for the forum is that its members all have different national interests. The forum comprises 18 countries, and while most of them share a similar geographic identity as small island states in the South Pacific, they don’t necessarily share the same goals. Nauru, for example, still recognizes Taiwan, and barely trades with China. (It accounts for just about 1 percent of Nauru’s total imports and exports). That’s a far cry from a country such as Vanuatu, which owes half of its $440 million in foreign debt to China, which is also the island’s top source of imports and a top five export destination. Samoa and Fiji criticized Nauru for rocking the boat with China even as they were agreeing to boost national security capacities.

Even so, the Boe Declaration was adopted unanimously and so is a first step toward a more unified Pacific Islands Forum, with Australia and New Zealand playing a leading role in its cohesion. For all the talk of China’s ambitions, Australia and New Zealand are still in charge, dominating forum countries by almost every metric. The Boe Declaration reflects this balance of power even as it acknowledges what has now become clear – that these small nations are caught in the current of great power politics.

          The science behind power of words      Cache   Translate Page      
Solomon Islands consist of six major islands and over 900 smaller islands in Oceania lying to the east of Papua New Guinea and northwest of Vanuatu. There is a famous myth that when natives of Solomon Islands want to cut down an enormous tree that seems d


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