PM praises involvement of citizenry at launch of new national sustainable development plan ‘Vanuatu 2030’

PM Charlot Salwai and attendees of last night's official launch of Vanuatu's new national sustainable development plan, 'Vanuatu 2030' at the National Convention Centre. Photo: Vanuatu Government

PM Charlot Salwai and attendees of last night’s official launch of Vanuatu’s new national sustainable development plan, ‘Vanuatu 2030’ at the National Convention Centre. Photo: Vanuatu Government

Prime Minister Charlot Salwai says the Government’s new sustainable development plan Vanuatu 2030 is an important document that will guide the government for the years to come. This is the plan for sustainable economic development of the Republic which replaces the Government’s Priority Action Agenda. The PM was especially pleased with the contributions received from every sector of the community as groups and individuals were keen to make known what they feel are the important development issues. Prime Minister Charlot Salwai was also pleased with the work of the team which had sought out all possible views during 6 months of communicating with people in the islands. The PM launched Vanuatu 2030 yesterday evening. (Radio Vanuatu)

Download the english language version of Vanuatu 2030 National Sustainable Development Plan 2016 to 2030 (PDF, 1.4MB) here, ou télécharger la version française de Vanuatu 2030 plan de développement national durable 2016 à 2030 (PDF, 1,4Mo) ici.

PM Salwai, in his discussions with the Solomons PM Sogavare here earlier this week, has pointed out to the MSG Chairman how Read the rest of this entry »


Constitutions vital to health of Melanesian democracies, conference learns

Scan of the original Preamble to the Vanuatu Constitution

Scan of the original Preamble to the Vanuatu Constitution

Nine countries were represented at the Pacific Constitutions Research Network which began a searching conference in Port Via this morning. It is the inaugural conference and workshop, bringing legal minds together. Vanuatu has had a great many changes to its Constitution, as we know. But PNG has had even more: many more, as Dr Eric Kwa of the PNG Law Reform Commission told constitutional legislators this morning after the conference was opened by our Ombudsman and former Head of State, Kalkot Mataskelekele. However, Dr Kwa was pleased to point out that the PNG Constitution had held that country together despite the many languages and cultures, political persuasions and various corrupt practices. PNG has had so much need of protection of its core values and the Constitution has provided this. Constitutions are extremely important in Melanesian countries, as we are for ever seeing in Read the rest of this entry »

Standing up to be counted: Women of Vanuatu demanding their place in the political life of the nation

Too often disenfranchised by culture… women voters during Vanuatu's 2016 General Election. Photo: Commonwealth Secretariat

Disenfranchised by culture… women voters during Vanuatu’s 2016 General Election. Photo: Commonwealth Secretariat

“Respect”, as Father Walter Lini famously said, “is honourable”. But despite the enormous social, economic and cultural contributions they make every day, Vanuatu’s women are rarely given the respect they deserve; they continue to be shut out of political life. And yet, as the scandals of the last 12 months have shown, Vanuatu urgently needs better, more representative political leadership. Vanuatu’s full potential can only be realized when it has a gender-balanced leadership that includes, respects and values the enriching perspectives that women bring to political life. Today, on International Womens’ Day, we bring you the powerful story of a Vanuatu woman leader’s journey as she stands up for the right to take part in politics.

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Vanuatu calls for UN probe of alleged rights abuses in Indonesia’s Papua province

Moana Kalosil Carcasses, Prime Minister of the Republic of Vanuatu. UN Photo/Ryan Brown

Moana Kalosil Carcasses, Prime Minister of the Republic of Vanuatu. UN Photo/Ryan Brown

PM Moana Kalosil Carcasses addressed the UN General Assembly in New York today. Here’s an excerpt from his speech, taken from the UN News Centre:

28 September 2013 – Vanuatu today called on the United Nations to appoint a Special Representative to investigate alleged human rights abuses in the Papuan provinces of Indonesia and their political status, with its Prime minister declaring that the West Papuans have been consistently denied any sort of recognition by the world body.

“We are now deliberating on the issue of Syria, but when it comes to the issue of the rights of the people of West Papua, our voices are muted even in this podium” Prime Minister Moana Carcasses Kalosil told the General Assembly’s annual General Debate, referring to the civil war that has killed some 120,000 Syrians, driver some 6.6 million from their homes and seen the use of chemical weapons.

“How can we then ignore hundreds of thousands of West Papuans who have been brutally beaten and murdered? The people of West Papua are looking to the UN as a beacon for hope… Let us, my colleague leaders, with the same moral conviction yield our support to the plight of West Papuans. It is time for the United Nation to move beyond its periphery and address and rectify some historical error.”

In May UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay voiced concern over a crackdown on mass demonstrations in the Papuan provinces and called on the Indonesian Government to allow peaceful protests and hold accountable those responsible for the violence. “There has not been sufficient transparency in addressing serious human rights violations in Papua,” she said.

During the crackdown, Indonesian police reportedly shot and killed two protesters on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the former Dutch New Guinea, occupying the western half of New Guinea Island, becoming part of Indonesia. At least 20 protesters were arrested, many for raising pro-independence flags.

“It is clear from many historical records that the Melanesian people of West Papua were the scapegoat of Cold war politics and were sacrificed to gratify the appetite for the natural resources which this country possess,” Mr. Kalosil said. “Today they are still the victims of ignorance of the UN.”

Mister Pip: new feature film set during Bougainville civil war

Something we don’t see too often… a feature film set in Melanesia, with Melanesian actors (plus Hugh Laurie).

A new film based the novel Mister Pip by New Zealand writer Lloyd Jones has just been released. The film is a coming-of-age story about a teenage girl from Bougainville, Matilda, set during Bougainville’s brutal civil war in the 1990s.

Jones’s novel won the 2007 Commonwealth Writer’s Prize, so it will be interesting to see how this film translates the book onto screen. Perhaps the NZ High Commision could oblige by organising some screenings here in Vanuatu?

Rize of the Morning Star shine at Fest’Napuan

Now that the dust has settled on another year’s Fest’Napuan, let’s take a look at this year’s stand-out performers — Rize of the Morning Star. Here’s our favourite images of them by Graham Crumb—more on his website — it’s full of beautiful images of Vanuatu, so go and take a look.

Papua Merdeka!

Lea Rumwaropen of Rize of the Morning Star at Fest'Napuan 2012, Port Vila, Vanuatu. Photo by Graham Crumb/

 during Rize of the Morning Star's performance at Fest'Napuan 2012, Port Vila, Vanuatu. Photo by Graham Crumb/

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