Fiji will be welcomed to participate in the newly formed South Pacific Defence Ministers Meeting once Fiji holds a credible general election and returns to democratic rule, the Australian Defence Minister, Hon. Stephen Smith said in Tonga on May 2, after the regional ministers agreed to a higher level of military co-operation on regional security issues.
Defence Ministers from Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea arrived today to hold the first defence and security talks with France, Chile and Tonga, while the United States and United Kingdom join as observers.
Combating human trafficking in the Pacific islands was the focus of a three day regional workshop held from April 23-25 in Nadi, Fiji. The workshop was organised by the United States Embassy based in Suva who invited the participation of 27 legal officials, prosecutors, customs and immigration officers from Tonga, the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
The Australian Government has given the Tongan Government a generous $8.7 million pa’anga boost to support salaries and service delivery in the health and education sectors.
The Pacific Parliamentary and Political Leaders Forum ended yesterday in Wellington with calls for greater regional effort in dealing with common challenges faced by Pacific Island countries.
Australia is granting AUD$18 million to the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC). The grant is part of Australia’s commitment to its partnership with the Secretariat and the development of South Pacific Island Nations.
A special inter-governmental organisation made of Five Melanesian countries celebrated its Silver Jubilee last week at the University of the South Pacific Laucala Campus in Suva, Fiji, when the chief guest Sir Michael Somare urged urged greater trade and economic cooperation between the countries of the region.
The Pacific Islands need to protect their deep sea minerals, Tonga’s Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Samiu Vaipulu told a Pacific-ACP States Regional Workshop on Deep Sea Minerals Law and Contract Negotiations that opened at the Fa’onelua Convention Centre, in Nuku’alofa today on March 11.
Tonga’s display at the 2013 Pasifika Festival in Auckland, New Zealand, will feature a 40 man brass band and cultural groups from Tonga.
Dr Vili Fuavao will take up a new appointment as the Deputy Regional Representative for Asia and Pacific at the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok, on13 March 2013.