NPF’s credit bank approved
Quoting the Solomon Star newspaper – 15 November 2019
“MEMBERS of the Solomon Islands National Provident Fund (SINPF) will soon have access to loan and other credit scheme.
“This follows the granting of an interim license to Solomon Finance Limited (SFL) to operate banking service in the country.
“SFL is a subsidiary of SINPF, a statement from SINPF said.
“The interim license with conditions is valid for 12 months. It was granted on 1st November 2019 for the wholly owned SINPF subsidiary Solomon Finance Limited (SFL),” the SINPF statement said.
“The idea to establish a standalone institution is to provide loans for members. This came about after NPF Board closed member loan schemes in 2000 where members used to have access for urban homes, rural homes and furniture,” he said.”
Copyright @ 2019, Solomon Star News.
Palau's 'choose pelagic' programme protecting reef fish
Quoting Radio New Zealand – 14 November 2019
“The Palau government says its new National Marine Sanctuary Act enables islanders and tourists to eat pelagic fish while reducing demand for coral reef fish
“The minister for natural resources, environment and tourism, Fleming Sengebau, made the comment while attending the Pacific Ocean Finance Conference in Fiji this week.
“Mr Sengebau said targeting pelagic fish protected other species from over fishing.
"We get about over 100,000 tourists a year versus 20,000 population. Certainly that's causing a great risk to our resources," he said.
"And so that's why we're providing this alternative 'choose pelagic' programme to make sure the tourists are coming in but are not eating the coral reef fish."
Copyright @ 2019, Radio New Zealand
14 November 2019
“Lest we Forget.” Remembrance, respect and reconciliation.
Last Sunday I attended the Remembrance Service organized by the British Embassy in Bangkok to commemorate all those who lost their lives in conflict during World War 1 and World War II.
The service was dedicated to remembrance, respect and reconciliation.
I read today that part of the battlefields of Guadalcanal one of the most significant World War II sites in the Pacific might have been restricted by the erection of a security fence near Alligator Creek, a site which includes a monument to the war dead of one of the country’s that saw the loss of 38,000 of its troops in the Solomon’s campaign.
Remembrance, respect and reconciliation seems to be much needed to resolve this reported issue and I hope all those concerned with the reported erection of the security fence will act accordingly and soon.
14 November 2019
Australian Security College opened to support security across the Pacific region.
As was mooted some months ago, Australia’s first-ever Specialist College to support security across the Pacific region has been launched at The Australian National University (ANU).
“The Minister for International Development and the Pacific, the Hon Alex Hawke MP, officially opened the new Australia Pacific Security College (APSC), which will be led by ANU Associate Professor Meg Keen.
“The APSC was created in August 2019 to support the implementation of the Pacific Island Forum Boe Declaration for Regional Security, and advance the expanded security agenda that focuses on climate, environmental, human and traditional security.
“Funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the APSC is an educational institution to service all Pacific Islands Forum countries, and will help strengthen regional security through collaborative learning and enhanced people-to-people relationships. Its courses are being designed with extensive regional consultations.
“The APSC brings together experts, policymakers and security practitioners from around the region to work through security challenges and identify opportunities to address national and regional security priorities.
“The APSC leadership will work with Pacific governments to navigate the increasing complexity of regional security and tailor our program to their needs,” APSC Director Associate Professor Keen said.
“Our end objective is to be an asset that Pacific countries can call on to develop their strengths and pursue their security interests.
“ANU is a university committed to securing the future of Australia and our region. We know that the only way to prove our value is through our actions.
“The APSC will focus on regional cooperation in tackling the Pacific’s broad-based security challenges, including climate change, human security, environmental management, and traditional security issues.”
“Associate Professor Keen said the APSC had already “hit-the-ground listening”.
“We have travelled to meet with leaders in Pacific Island countries including Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Samoa and Solomon Islands,” she said.
“Through these visits we are getting to understand the security priorities of the region, as well as where the gaps lie for professional education and training.”
ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt said the College would draw heavily on the University’s 50 years of deep Pacific expertise and networks in the region.
“ANU continues to be one of the world’s leading centres for the study of Asia and the Pacific,” Professor Schmidt said.
“This College is another powerful example of how our researchers and teachers drive Australia’s work with the Pacific on some of the region’s biggest and most pressing challenges.”
Source ANU Press release and Solomon Times on Line.
Cook Islands to ratify PACER Plus
Quoting Radio New Zealand – 14 November 2019
“Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna has signalled his government will shortly ratify a major regional trade agreement.
“The PACER Plus trade deal is led by New Zealand and Australia and has nine Pacific Island signatories, but only Samoa has ratified it.
“Last October, the Cook Islands put its ratification on hold over fears it would miss out on economic assistance when it graduated to developed-country status.
“But in a speech on Monday at the Australian National University, Mr Puna said ratification was imminent.
"We see PACER Plus as a framework for the cultivation and further deepening of economic and investment relations between the Cook Islands, Australia, New Zealand and other Pacific Island countries in the years ahead."
Copyright @ 2019, Radio New Zealand.