Mixed bag issues update

by Dom on May 3, 2011

The good:

  • It may seem like a bad joke for Nauru to be involved in a forestry program, but there are few places on earth that need such efforts, and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community has started restoration on Nauru and Solomon Islands.
  • Internet coverage and telecommunications services spreading fast through the Pacific Islands. Niue even has free Wi-Fi access the island!
  • Australian opposition calls Fiji sanctions ridiculous. It’s about time; ignoring a problem doesn’t make it go away….

The unsure:

  • While we support Young Vivian’s desire to secure a future for Niue that does not rely on foreigners and aid, his criticism of the potential windfall from tourist development on the island is short-sighted…. Without the development, there will be no jobs for the foreigners to take, and without some development, the improvements Vivian seeks will not be possible either.
  • UNDP says Fiji not doing enough on Poverty…. How do you tackle poverty with your neighbours ignoring you and trading partners putting tariffs on you? Lets be serious here, is Fiji that much worse off than it was before the last coup? Things in Fiji may not be perfect, but not doing enough? Get serious Helen Clarke, you led the limitations currently placed on Fiji!
  • Seabed mining is gaining attention throughout the region. We’ll watch this space.

The bad:

  • Barrick Gold’s recent embarrassment with regard to the protesters who were gagged at the Barrick Gold AGM. Could a company the size of Barrick not have a decent rebuttal to such criticism?
  • Would a little bit of stability in the political systems of some Pacific Island states be too much to ask? Democracy is one thing, but maybe the Westminster system is not that suited to developing states….. Self serving politicians may need some constraint on them that extracting largess from the state and their countrymen.
  • Cholera is still a problem in PNG, having claimed over 600 lives in past two years. Australia bans travel between Torres Strait Islands and southern PNG; the question is weather Canberra will reopen the route in the current climate of immigration fear…

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