Articles on Pacific Islands

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An historian reading the government White Paper on developing northern Australia will realise we’re actually heading all the way back to the 1890s. andrew matthews/Flickr

Northern development plan shows Australia’s fraught vision of our tropics

The federal government's recent White Paper on developing northern Australia has disturbing echoes of the 1890s, a time when unbridled capitalism and indentured labour developed the North.
Australian has moved swiftly to fly relief aid and personnel to Vanuatu but has been less responsive to Pacific Islanders’ pleas to act on climate change. AAP/Dave Hunt

Vanuatu disaster exposes limits of Australian internationalism

While Australia’s leaders express concern for the people of Vanuatu, the welfare of poor states is a commitment from which Australia is walking away.
Monitoring fishing vessels could be a growth industry in the tiny Pacific island nations that govern the world’s largest tuna fishery. AAP Image/Xavier La Canna

The Pacific islands ‘tuna cartel’ is boosting jobs by watching fish

A tiny handful of Pacific island nations control more than 50% of the world's tuna fishery, and their efforts to monitor international fishing vessels are set to become a major source of jobs.
Just over a decade ago this boy posed in front of a mound of weapons handed in during a gun amnesty in the Solomon Islands. Today he lives in a nation that is gun-free by law. AAP/Military Public Affairs/W02 Gary Ramage

The Pacific region lives up to its name with disarming success

One sprawling region stands apart for having largely avoided, and at times even reversed, the steady global proliferation of illegal firearms and death by gunshot.
A Fijian election officer shows a ballot to scrutineers at the 2006 election. Last month’s election resulted in a stronger vote for female MPs. AP Image/Peter Williams

Fiji’s women speak up in growing numbers inside parliament

In a region that has long had the worst representation of women in politics in the world, Fiji’s recent election delivered some good news: one in seven Fijian MPs are women, while the parliament now has…
Robinvale footballers have been recruited into an active campaign to heal community divisions, which includes playing an annual Harmony Match. Facebook/Robinvale Football Netball Club

A world away from the MCG, every round is multicultural round

Standing in the social rooms of Robinvale Football Netball Club on presentation night is perhaps like standing in any sports club in regional Australia when their vote count is on. There are the usual…
Frank Bainimarama has pulled off the unlikely feat of making the transition from military coup leader in 2006 (above) to Fiji’s democratically elected prime minister in Wednesday’s election. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Fiji coup leader gets the democratic approval he wanted

This was the way it was meant to be, at least in the eyes of Fiji’s self-appointed prime minister and self-styled rear-admiral, Frank Bainimarama. The 2014 election, the country’s first since his 2006…
The tiny Pacific nation of the Marshall Islands could avoid being swamped entirely, although it will still suffer profoundly from sea-level rise. Christopher Johnson/Wikimedia Commons

Dynamic atolls give hope that Pacific Islands can defy sea rise

It is widely predicted that low-lying coral reef islands will drown as a result of sea-level rise, leaving their populations as environmental refugees. But new evidence now suggests that these small islands…
Protest: Indian women demonstrate against sexual violence. Rawesh Lalwani

Hard evidence: how prevalent is rape in Asia?

Hard Evidence is a series of articles that looks at some of the trickiest public policy questions we face. Academic experts delve into available research evidence to provide informed analysis you won’t…
More than 2 million people live in Pacific cities, many of them in squats and informal settlements. eGuide Travel

Aid to PNG and the Pacific should focus on fixing cities

The Pacific Islands Forum, the peak regional body of Pacific Island states, met in Majuro, Marshall Islands, last week. A major outcome of the meeting was the Forum Communiqué. This is the blueprint for…
Julia Gillard’s visit to Papua New Guinea - including meeting PM Peter O'Neill - yielded little in advancing Australian or regional causes. AAP/Eoin Blackwell

Novel for its lack of novelty: Gillard in Papua New Guinea

Prime minister Julia Gillard returned from her first official visit to Australia’s nearest neighbour and former colony Papua New Guinea (PNG) on Saturday with little to show for it. Reports of the visit…

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