Pacific region

Britain: Corbyn backs West Papuan freedom in historic meeting

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn publicly criticised human rights abuses in Indonesian-occupied West Papua and backed Papuan demands for self-determination, in a May 3 meeting at Britain’s House of Commons.

The meeting was a “historic step on the road to freedom for West Papua”, International Parliamentarians for West Papua (IPWP) said. At the meeting, a new declaration was signed calling for an internationally supervised vote on the independence of West Papua.

Pacific region: Deep sea mining hyped by vested interests, but serious concerns remain

A cost-benefit analysis released by the Secretariat of Pacific Communities (SPC) and the European Union on potential deep sea mining (DSM) projects in three Pacific countries found that the projects can be viable. But other research suggests there remain serious concerns about the new, untested DSM industry.

Qld MP breaks from Labor, says it has lost 'labour values'

Rob Pyne (MP) is now the independent Member for Cairns in the Queensland Parliament, following his shock resignation from the Australian Labor Party on March 7.

Pyne was a student leader at James Cook University, then served on the Cairns Regional Council between 2008 and 2015 before becoming Australia's first quadriplegic member of parliament in last year's Queensland state election.

Fiji's severe cyclone -- climate change claims more victims

Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston, the Category 5 storm that slammed into Fiji on February 20, was the strongest storm ever to make landfall in the Southern Hemisphere and the second strongest ever in the world, with wind speeds approaching 300 kilometres an hour. At least 44 people were killed, and thousands left homeless, deprived of livelihood and at risk of water- and mosquito-borne diseases.

TPP threatens indigenous land rights, UN official says

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, which involves 12 Pacific rim nations, seriously threatens indigenous land rights, as well as the natural resources they preserve, said United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpuz.

In an interview with the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs, Tauli-Corpuz said a major issue with the trade deal is “the clause of non-discrimination between a local and an international investor ... [it] grants more rights to transnational firms, often at the expense of indigenous rights”.

New Zealand: Angry protests as TPP power grab signed


Anti-TPP protesters in Auckland.

Amid angry protests in the streets, Pacific rim countries signed the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal on February 4 in New Zealand's capital Auckland.

Trans-Pacific Partnership a serious threat to environment

The secret text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership was released on November 5 and was swiftly condemned by green groups around the world, which said the trade agreement fails to provide adequate protections for the environment.

The TPP was agreed to on September 5 by the US, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, Chile, Brunei, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Vietnam and Japan. These countries represent about 40% of global GDP.

TPP slammed: 'A wish list for giant corporations'

The United States and 11 other Pacific Rim nations, including Australia, reached an agreement on October 5 on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the largest regional trade accord in history.

The agreement has been negotiated in secret for eight years and will encompass 40% of the global economy. The secret 30-chapter text has still not been made public, although sections of draft text were leaked by WikiLeaks during the negotiations.

West Papua: Indonesian police beat high school students for leafleting


Demonstration in solidarity with West Papua. Honiara, Solomon Islands.

Indonesian police beat two West Papuan students in Yahukimo, Papua Province, on September 16 for handing out leaflets about the Pacific Islands Forum.

No joke: Pacific outrage at climate inaction

The tasteless joking between immigration minister Peter Dutton and Prime Minister Tony Abbott about the threat of rising sea levels to Pacific Islands — caught on a microphone after the Pacific Island Forum (PIF) meeting — sums up the Australian government's attitude to the victims of its climate inaction.

The 46th PIF leaders' meeting in Port Moresby ended without reaching agreement on a united position to take to the Paris climate summit later this year. Pacific Island leaders could not convince Australia and New Zealand to agree on more ambitious targets.

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