I agree with you that the PACER Plus trade agreement is of questionable benefit for Tonga. But I do not share your concern for Tonga’s trade deficit. Over the last year, Tonga’s foreign reserves have increased about 19% to the equivalent of nearly 10 months’ imports. If the balance of trade were a problem for Tonga, its foreign reserves would be declining. - Leigh Harkness
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Results for Opinion
Friday 11 December 2020
Tuesday 8 December 2020
According to the conventional wisdom, the twenty-first century will be characterized by the global shift from American hegemony to Sino-American rivalry. But a bipolar international order is neither inevitable nor desirable, and in fact, would be deeply unstable. Its emergence would heighten the risk of violent conflict and three of the biggest challenges facing humanity would either be ignored or made worse. We should start imagining and working toward alternative arrangements. - By Daron Acemoglu.
Thursday 3 December 2020
At present, the COVID-19 is still raging around the world, with many countries facing the second wave of outbreak. And the world economic recovery is encountering major difficulties. Against this backdrop, the leaders of the major economies gathered together last month to convene the 12th BRICS Summit, the 27th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting, and the 15th G20 Leaders' Summit, to exchange views on important topics including COVID-19 response, economic recovery and optimizing global governance.
Wednesday 25 November 2020
Washington DC, USA
Though it has not come as a surprise, the attack on the credibility of the 2020 election by US President Donald Trump and his Republican Party cannot simply be brushed under the rug of history. Once the norms that underpin constitutional democracy have been tossed aside, there is little left to fight for. America’s failures to address past injustices – including the subjugation of indigenous peoples, slavery, racism, and the deprivations of the poor, immigrants, and the incarcerated – helps to explain why trust in democratic institutions has been so corroded in the first place. Having been made brittle, America’s institutions have long been vulnerable to attack. By Katharina Pistor
Friday 20 November 2020
London, United Kingdom
For much of its life, the United Nations has hidden behind the comfortable maxim that, “If we didn’t have it, we would have to invent it.” Now at the venerable age of 75, the organization still enjoys widespread approval in global opinion polls. But beneath the surface, the UN faces difficulties that cannot be ignored. The Security Council will remain ineffectual until it is reformed, which is a distant prospect. But there are ways around this paralysis. By Mark Malloch-Brown.
Monday 16 November 2020
Oxford, United Kingdom
The last time the world faced challenges as serious as those facing us now was in the period immediately following World War II. At that time there was an extraordinary burst of international institutional creativity, led by the United States. The late 1940s saw the creation of the IMF, the World Bank, the Marshall Plan, the United Nations, which the WHO joined in 1948, and the GATT, now the WTO. If countries in Asia want a multilateral system to survive, they need to promote, use and improve it. The G20 Summit in Riyadh on 20–21 November will provide an opportunity to push forward this agenda. By David Vines / East Asia Forum.
Sunday 8 November 2020
Joe Biden has won the US presidency, but he will have a hard time restoring ethical concerns in a country with so many voters who have become indifferent to the well-being of those outside their immediate communities. Donald Trump has been defeated, but the election showed that more Americans than ever have come to identify with his narcissism. By Peter Singer
Monday 26 October 2020
Throughout US President Donald Trump's first term, there has been constant hand wringing over a "constitutional crisis" that never arrived. The irony is that an administration led by Joe Biden would almost certainly confront such a crisis, owing to Trump's transformation of the Supreme Court into a right-wing redoubt. A constitutional crisis, properly understood as a turning point that might lead to collapse or transformation of the system, has not occurred. But such a crisis does now appear increasingly likely. By Eric Posner.
Friday 23 October 2020
With the exception of decent New Zealand and arguably Australia, the rich, European ethnicity countries of the US Alliance have been involved in intentional Gerocide (mass killing of the elderly) in which their deliberate Covid-19 pandemic policies have resulted in “Covid-19 deaths per million of population” 10-180 times greater than in New Zealand (5). Expression of a deliberate intention to cause avoidable death of large numbers of people, and specifically of elderly people, would be unacceptable in politically correct Western democracies. But, unspoken and publicly unacknowledged, Gerocide is what has been happening in North America and Western Europe during the Covid-19 pandemic. By Dr Gideon Polya.
Thursday 22 October 2020
The Tonga Law Society is deeply concerned at the amendment to the Constitution of Tonga passed unanimously by Parliament on 15 October 2020. In bypassing the consultation process, Parliament has denied the Tongan people the most fundamental right to be heard on a matter of elemental importance to every Tongan subject. - Sione Tu'itavake Fonua, President, Tonga Law Society
Tuesday 20 October 2020
For all the hand wringing over Donald Trump's authoritarian rhetoric, the 2020 US election is not really about the incumbent. It is about deep-seated suspicion regarding the national government's role, which makes populism a recurring feature of American political history. By Eric Posner.
Wednesday 16 September 2020
New Delhi, India
The World Bank should no longer publish its Doing Business index, owing to its flawed design and vulnerability to manipulation. The Bank also owes the developing world an apology for all the harm this misleading and problematic tool has already caused. By Jayati Ghosh.
Friday 28 August 2020
Growing evidence shows that COVID-19 survivors can suffer from long-term health effects, not least heart-related complications. All countries with high rates of obesity should be considering programs encouraging weight loss, healthier eating, and physical activity. The more we can reduce the heart-related and other complications of COVID-19, the more lives we will save. By Ifeanyi M. Nsofor.
Tuesday 7 July 2020
The world has been planning for the future in the mistaken belief that it will resemble the past. But as COVID-19 coincides with cyclones in South Asia and the Pacific and vast locust swarms in East Africa, the need to prepare for a world of unexpected shocks has become clearer than ever. Epidemics, floods, storms, droughts, and wildfires are all expected to become more frequent and severe, affecting hundreds of millions of people each year. By Jagan Chapagain and Andrew Steer
Wednesday 1 July 2020
Ko e taha e fehu‘i tefito hotau fonua he ‘aho ni ko e fatongia ‘o e Hou‘eiki mo e Nopele ki he Fa‘unga Pule ‘o e ‘aho ni. Pea ko e hoha‘a ‘oku ma‘alifekina pe kohai ‘oku nau fakafofonga‘i ‘i Fale Alea. Pea he ‘ikai teu toe lave ki he faikehekehe ‘o Nopele mo e Hou‘eiki Tauhi Fonua he ko e kupu si‘i mo e lahi ‘o e me‘a tatau.. ‘Inoke Fotu Hu‘akau.
Thursday 18 June 2020
The COVID-19 outbreak is the most widespread global pandemic to hit mankind in the last hundred years and represents a serious crisis and a significant global threat. Up till now, the global accumulated number of confirmed cases is more than 8 million. Many lives are being lost every day. We grieve for those who have been killed and those who have sacrificed their lives during the fight. We extend the greatest respect to those who are struggling to save lives around the clock, and offer true moral support to those who are infected and receiving treatment. By H.E. Mr. Cao Xiaolin, Chinese Ambassador to Tonga
Wednesday 17 June 2020
Kau fakatalanoa mu’a ki he uho ‘o e palopalema ‘oku tau fehangahangai moia ‘i he lolotonga, pea ‘oku ‘i ai ‘eku tui te tau hokohoko atu ki he kaha’u pea toe kovi ange.- 'Inoke Fotu Huakau.
Monday 27 April 2020
Mounu Island, Vava'u
Humpback Whales have been coming to Tonga since the distant past, they were almost wiped out during the hunting years. Numbers are climbing back. But for how long can we maintain the fragile balance of tourist and whale? Vava’u cannot sustain more boats out on the water. In these times with CoVid-19 and an unsure future for the tourism industry, it is very hard to have any hope or faith in commitment from government for a sustainable industry and conservation of the whales, when they are seen as an avenue for more revenue.- Kirsty Bowe
Tuesday 3 March 2020
The apocalyptic images of the locked-down Chinese city of Wuhan have reached us all. The world is holding its breath over the spread of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, and governments are taking or preparing drastic measures that will necessarily sacrifice individual rights and freedoms for the general good. ...But few mention, let alone confront, the underlying cause of the epidemic. - Peter Singer.
Friday 21 February 2020
As strategic and economic competition heats up in the region, Tonga is becoming increasingly important to old and new partners, and it's useful to look at perceptions of Tonga and the region, Canadian author and strategic thinker, Cleo Paskal, told The Royal Oceania Institute in Nuku'alofa this week.