PM Salwai backs Pacific Islands Forum membership of France’s Pacific coloniesPosted: September 14, 2016
Prime Minister Charlot Salwai has taken a statesmanlike position in the matter of the two colonial possessions of French Polynesia and New Caledonia. He acknowledges Vanuatu’s stand as regards colonial status but is also mindful of what New Caledonia continues to achieve in its movements towards constitutional advancement. However, he also draws attention to the benefits these countries might obtain were they to be given full membership of the Pacific Islands Forum. Where regionalism is concerned, and regional integration, he told a press conference on return from the Forum heads of government meeting in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia this week that Forum decisions are taken with the whole of the Pacific community in mind. He mentioned Vanuatu’s good relations with French Polynesia and New Caledonia as regards education and trade. Furthermore, Vanuatu has been assisting leaders in the two territories over civil aviation matters. Further, about trade, New Caledonia has enabled Vanuatu to export to its nearest neighbour without an import tax having to be being applied there on material from Vanuatu. He also felt that the francophone neighbours might be ready to agree to PACER Plus. PM Salwai’s position on such issues undoubtedly has his government’s support and will likely win the respect of parties in opposition. Radio Vanuatu News today has dealt with our present leader’s wisdom in handling an historical troublespot. (Radio Vanuatu)
Daily Post yesterday offered a carefully studied release from the Forum leadership body at the conclusion of its meeting in Pohnpei. The link formed by the ocean was a base point for many of the discussions. Pacific heads of government recognised their custodianship of some of the world’s richest biodiversity and significant marine resources.
The Leader of the Opposition has questioned the removal of the fisheries hatchery business away from Paray Bay in the government’s development plan for the area. This followed an environmental report saying the degree of pollution in the bay is too great for the hatchery activities. The small area involved prevents further activity of this kind. (Radio Vanuatu).