Friday, June 17, 2011

Radio New Zealand International Pacific News, 17 June 2011

Vanuatu interim PM lays perjury complaint against MPs

Vanuatu’s caretaker prime minister Edward Natapei has lodged a complaint of perjury with police over allegations of lying about the election of the former prime minister, Sato Kilman.

Vanuatu’s Chief Justice appointed Mr Natapei as interim prime minister, after declaring last December’s election of Sato Kilman to be null and void.

The complaint involves Mr Kilman, the former finance minister Moana Carcasses Kalosil, the former justice minister Ralph Regenvanu, the former minister of public utlities Harry Iauko and the former education minister, Marcelino Pepite.

Mr Natapei says his complaint also includes a lawyer, Georges Boar, who helped the ministers write their sworn statements.

He says he’s asked the police commissioner to assemble a team to investigate the matter.
“We will be providing witnesses and providing copies of the statements that were sworn in by the former prime minister and his team in the lead up to the case that was heard by the chief justice yesterday.”
Vanuatu’s caretaker prime minister, Edward Natapei.

Shock at death of Cooks’ next high commissioner to NZ

The Cook Islands’ next High Commissioner to New Zealand, Dorice Reid, has died.

The Finance Minister Mark Brown says he understands Te Tika Mataiapo Dorice Reid collapsed at a function in Auckland last night.

He says Ms Reid, a prominent Cook Islander with a long involvement in public and social activities, was fit and well and her death is a huge shock to everyone.

Nauru signs UN refugee convention

Nauru’s President Marcus Stephen has today signed the United Nations convention on refugees.

The signing of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol follows a visit to the island by the Australian Opposition leader Tony Abbott for talks on re-opening a mothballed detention centre for asylum seekers.

Mr Stephen has said that if a request came to re-open the camp his government would consider it, if not, the nation will move on.

Mr Abbott wants to reopen the centre there as an alternative to Canberra’s controversial and yet-to-be-finalised Malaysian refugee swap deal.

Australia’s also been in talks with Papua New Guinea to explore processing asylum seekers there.

Nauru’s also recently signed the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women or CEDAW.

Pacific islands population to hit ten million this month

Research by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community is predicting the total population of the Pacific Islands will reach 10 million by the end of the month.

The SPC says the population of 22 countries and territories in the region will continue to rise, and is expected to reach 15 million by 2035.

The data shows the fastest growing of these are Guam, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, which are experiencing high birth rates.

In contrast, the populations of Niue and Tokelau have been declining due to continuous emigration to New Zealand.

The research also shows that Polynesia and Micronesia have large populations of young people.

But both sub-regions have lower numbers in the 30-40 age group, indicating that more people have migrated or are working overseas.

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