Historic agreement gives Vanuatu access to US Coast Guard vessels for maritime law enforcement

Minister for Internal Affairs Alfred Maoh and US Ambassador ot Vanuatu Catherine Ebert-Gray at the signing of the Law Enforcement Accord and Ship Rider Agreement between the two countries. Photo: US Embassy Port Moresby

Minister for Internal Affairs Alfred Maoh and US Ambassador to Vanuatu Catherine Ebert-Gray sign the Law Enforcement Accord and Ship Rider Agreement last Monday. Photo: US Embassy Port Moresby

Vanuatu and the United States have sealed a new maritime law enforcement agreement. The Law Enforcement Accord and Ship Rider Agreement between the two countries, signed on Monday, will allow Vanuatu’s law enforcement officers to use United States Coast Guard ships as platforms for boarding suspicious ships anywhere in Vanuatu’s EEZ. This is to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activity. Other Pacific countries to have signed similar agreements with the USA are Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Palau, FSM and the Cook Islands. Ambassador Catherine Ebert-Gray said that the United States wants to build maritime security in partnership with Pacific island countries. The agreement has helped Kiribati achieve US$4 million in fines in a single year. (Radio Vanuatu)

The first ever off-loading of frozen tuna fish from the Vanuatu EEZ will be witnessed tomorrow morning at the Read the rest of this entry »

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Personnel from visiting United States Navy ship USNS Pililaau help repair kindergarten

Marines from the United States Navy's logistic vessel USNS Pililaau receive salu salu from the children of the Anglican community station at Tagabe today. Photo: @koamoana16

Marines from the United States Navy’s logistic vessel USNS Pililaau receive salu salu from the children of the Anglican community station at Tagabe today. Photo: @koamoana16

United States Marines from the huge visiting naval logistics vessel USNS Pililaau as undertaking repairs on a kindergarten within the Anglican community station at Tagabe, Port Vila. There were salu salu for each of the US service personnel and a welcome program of song and dance.

Tourism Owners Association (TOA) support the VCCI’s suggestion of a moderate increase in VAT rather than Read the rest of this entry »


Vanuatu womens’ advocate receives official recognition from US Ambassador

Dorosday Kenneth with US Ambassador

Dorosday Kenneth with US Ambassador to Vanuatu Ebert-Gray, Minister Regenvanu (L) and husband Watson Lui. Photo: Adlyn Rambay

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Vanuatu’s farcical diplomacy on Abhkazia: a refresher [Global Intelligence Files]

From Wikileak’s Global Intelligence Files, an archive of emails hacked from US “global intelligence” company Stratfor by hacker collective Anonymous, comes this article from Russian english-language newspaper the Moscow Times. It provides a useful summary of Vanuatu’s diplomatic blundering over the recognition of Abhkazia in 2011, which made Vanuatu an international joke, thanks to the chequebook diplomacy and underhanded dealings of Juris Gulbis (yet another bloody Saken!), ‘Mme. 15%’ Thi Tham Goiset and Foreign Minister Alfred Carlot.
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Moscow Times
June 8, 2011

A New State’s Guide to Gaining International Recognition

By Nikolaus von Twickel

It’s not easy gaining recognition as an independent country.

Abkhazia, a sliver of Black Sea land recognized as sovereign by no one but Russia
and three other countries, created a stir last week when it announced that it had
convinced a fifth UN member country, the Pacific nation of Vanuatu, to recognize
its independence from Georgia.

But then the UN ambassador of Vanuatu home to more than 80 volcanic islands, 113
indigenous languages and tribal bungee jumping denied the claim and insisted
that his government was dealing with Georgia instead.

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International observers to monitor October 30 election

Vanuatu’s Electoral Office says an international observer team will visit selected polling stations on election day, Tuesday October 30 and will monitor the running of the election at those stations.

Transparency International Vanuatu had offered such assistance in the interests of ensuring a properly fair and democratic vote several weeks ago, but did not receive a reply from Government.

The Acting Principal Electoral Officer, Lionel Kaluat, now says the plan Read the rest of this entry »


Breaking news: US military team recovers remains of WW2 airmen in Santo

US military teams have been in Santo for the past 45 days conducting a search and archaeological recovery of the remains of four American airmen lost when their aircraft went down during World War II in the mountains of Santo and on Mavea. Local villagers located the crash sites and have been assisting with the searches. Two teams deployed from Hawai’i to excavate several aircraft crash sites in search of Americans who remain unaccounted for from World War II. The Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command conducts global search, recovery, and laboratory operations to identify missing Americans from past conflicts in support the Department of Defense’s personnel accounting efforts and to honour their war dead. Photo credit on all images: DoD Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Adelita C. Mead. Read more here.

Recovery team members take advantage of recent heavy rainfall to wet screen excavated soil looking for remains and material evidence that will help identify missing WW2 military personnel, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu Sept. 3, 2012

Recovery team members take advantage of recent heavy rainfall to wet screen excavated soil looking for remains and material evidence that will help identify missing WWII military personnel, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu Sept. 3, 2012.

A helicopter sling loads lumber and bamboo onto the recovery operations site, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu, Aug. 23, 2012

A helicopter sling loads lumber and bamboo onto the recovery operations site, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu, Aug. 23, 2012.

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Government wants 10,000 land subdivisions set up throughout Vanuatu

Government wants over 10,000 subdivisions throughout the country. DG of the Ministry of Lands Joe Ligo is passionate about subdivisions everywhere. He wants subdivisions on town green spaces, on Tanna, Ambae, Malakula, he said in a press conference this week. He says he will sell every green space in town. “Many people come to the Lands Ministry,” said Ligo, who can only be speaking of foreigners, “and they say there are so many places without anything suitable happening on them. It is much better these places have houses built upon them.” He adds, as heard on Radio Vanuatu this morning: “It is a right that every citizen has property.”

Joe, every ni-Vanuatu already has property under the Vanuatu Constitution. Their land. But if the reckless selling of land leases that you are proposing is allowed to go ahead, ni-Vanuatu won’t have their land for much longer.

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