US Navy deploys in Vanuatu waters as part of regional maritime law enforcement push

Commanding officer of USS Rushmore Cmdr. John Ryan speaks to guests during a ship tour, while anchored in Port Vila harbour. The vessel is deployed in support of the Oceana Maritime Security Initiative (OMSI), a US program supporting maritime law enforcement operations in Oceania. Photo: US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kryzentia Weiermann

Commanding officer of USS Rushmore Cmdr. John Ryan speaks to guests during a ship tour, while anchored in Port Vila harbour this week. The vessel is deployed as part of the Oceana Maritime Security Initiative (OMSI), a US program supporting maritime law enforcement operations in Oceania. Photo: US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kryzentia Weiermann

The USS Rushmore, a United States amphibious dock landing ship, disembarked maritime law enforcement personnel last week and provided tours of the ship for invited Port Vila guests. The commanding officer said personnel are assisting regional maritime security enhancement “and keeping the sea lanes open for the benefit of all.”

The annual conference of Melanesian Indigenous Land Defence Alliance (MILDA) has rejected any Read the rest of this entry »

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Vanuatu and France to hold border talks

Bathymetric map showing the boundary of the New Hebrides tectonic plate and the Australian plate. Matthew and Hunter sit on the New Hebrides plate, while New Caledonia sits on the Australian plate.

Bathymetric map showing the boundary of the New Hebrides tectonic plate and the Australian plate. Matthew and Hunter sit on the New Hebrides plate, while New Caledonia sits on the Australian plate.

Hunter Island

Hunter Island

The big outstanding issue with France — Matthew and Hunter Islands — is soon to be the subject of discussion in border talks which will take place at the Forum Fisheries Agency in Honiara. PM Charlot Salwai revealed this after the PM had held discussions with the French Minister of Overseas Territories, Annick Girardin, in Apia at the Pacific Islands Forum Leader’s meeting earlier this month. The border talks will be held in October. Vanuatu requires that the Ocean Policy covering climate and other issues be consulted as regional issues. Despite this, France and Fiji have already signed a border treaty without Vanuatu. Such a treaty will also be necessary between Fiji and Vanuatu.

Matthew Island

Matthew Island

PM Salwai pointed out that France was aware of Vanuatu’s Independence from 1980, and he said that Vanuatu should have been consulted when Fiji and France signed their border agreement. “This is why Vanuatu continues to dispute France’s claims and the treaty with Fiji. There are geographical reasons, cultural and traditional reasons it has in line with Melanesian spirit, Melanesian culture. We have the word of the Kanaks and senators of New Caledonia who expressed support for our positions last year”, said the Prime Minister. He mentioned two times this year when his government had taken up the issue with Paris — in January — and at MSG meetings. PM Salwai hoped the issue could be broached in this year’s United Nations General Assembly beginning in a few days.

The Supreme Court has dismissed a claim by Read the rest of this entry »


Bumper harvest on Tanna signals the revival of Vanuatu-grown potato crop

This year's bumper potato harvest on Tanna is on its way to market in Port Vila. Photo: Hon Matai Seremiah/Facebook

This year’s bumper potato harvest on Tanna is on its way to market in Port Vila. Photo: Hon Matai Seremiah/Facebook

In a commercial move which echoes a practice of 3 decades ago, some 20 tons of Tanna potatoes are being shipped to Read the rest of this entry »


Vanuatu to host first-ever Pacific Week of Agriculture next month

The Pacific Week of Agriculture will take place between 16–20 October and is expected to bring 200 delegates to Port Vila. Ministers and senior officials from agriculture departments around the region will attend Read the rest of this entry »


Eruptions of volcanoes on Ambae and Ambrym raise alert level

Ambrym's volcanoes Benbow and Marum… alert raised to Level 3. File photo: Vanuatu Meteorology and Geohazards Department

Ambrym’s volcanoes Benbow and Marum… alert raised to Level 3. File photo: Vanuatu Meteorology and Geohazards Department

The alert level for the volcanoes on Ambae and Ambrym has been raised to Level 3 by Vanuatu’s Geohazards Department, indicating that they both experiencing minor eruptions.Visitors are urged to pay attention to the warning signs concerning volcanic dangers for Ambae’s Manaro Voui volcano and Ambrym’s Benbow and Marum volcanoes. Volcanoes on Gaua, Tanna, Lopevi and Vanualava have Read the rest of this entry »


EU provides Vt 1.5 billion to aid fight against gender inequality and violence

The fight against gender inequality and violence in our region gets a Vt 1.5 billion boost. File photo: Creative Commons/DFAT

The fight against gender inequality and violence in our region gets a Vt 1.5 billion boost. File photo: Creative Commons/DFAT

The European Union and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat have signed a financial agreement to fight gender inequality and gender violence in the Pacific. Over US$15 million (Vt 1.5 billion) has been Read the rest of this entry »


Vanuatu signs PACER Plus Agreement

Prime Minister Salwai signs the PACER Plus agreement this morning at the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders' Meeting in Apia, Samoa. Photo: Pacific Islands Forum

Prime Minister Salwai signs the PACER Plus agreement this morning at the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ Meeting in Apia, Samoa. Photo: Pacific Islands Forum

Prime Minister Hon Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas today signed the PACER Plus agreement in Apia, Samoa.

PM Salwai said that by signing the PACER Plus, Vanuatu is Read the rest of this entry »