Pacific news roundup

Jun 14, 2024 | 2024, Blog, News

Festival of Pacific Arts & Culture in Hawai‘i Hawai‘i is hosting the 13th Festival of Pacific Arts & Culture from June 6-16, 2024. Over 2,200 delegates from 27 Pacific nations will participate in cultural exchanges and celebrations, showcasing diverse traditions through various free events and activities​.

Australia’s New Pacific Engagement Visa Australia launched the Pacific Engagement Visa program on June 3, 2024, allowing 3,000 nationals from Pacific Island countries and Timor-Leste to migrate as permanent residents. The program aims to strengthen cultural, economic, and educational ties​​.

Economic Growth Slowdown The World Bank’s Pacific Economic Update reported a slowdown in economic growth for Pacific Island nations, predicting a decrease from 5.5 per cent in 2023 to 3.5 per cent in 2024. The report highlights the need for economic diversification and infrastructure investment​.

New Caledonia’s Quest for Autonomy Tensions in New Caledonia have escalated due to French plans to enfranchise French immigrants, potentially hindering indigenous Kanak people’s autonomy aspirations. The Pacific Islands Forum pledged support to navigate these challenges​​.

Fiji’s Mangrove Conservation Efforts Fiji is ramping up local conservation efforts following an IUCN report revealing that half of the world’s mangrove forests are at risk. These efforts aim to protect vital ecosystems crucial for coastal resilience​.

Business Resilience in Pacific Islands Business Link Pacific emphasised the importance of business resilience planning for Pacific Island enterprises. Strategic planning and technology adoption are key to navigating economic challenges and enhancing business sustainability​.

PNG’s NRL Bid Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape stressed the importance of a merit-based bid for a PNG team in the Australian National Rugby League (NRL), highlighting the potential benefits for national pride and economic development​.

Solomon Islands’ Right to Information Initiative The Solomon Islands launched its Right to Information (RTI) initiative, promoting transparency and accountability in governance. This milestone is seen as a significant step towards empowering citizens with access to information​.

Labour Migration Issues in Micronesia The 26th Micronesian Islands Forum addressed the significant migration of workers and residents seeking better opportunities abroad. Leaders discussed strategies to mitigate this trend and boost local economies​.

Fiji-New Zealand Anti-Drug Cooperation New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon praised Fiji’s anti-drug efforts during his visit. Enhanced cooperation between the two countries aims to strengthen regional security and combat narcotics trafficking effectively​.