Pacific links: IMF visits PNG, French Polynesias nuke claim, Honiara protests and more

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Monument in Papeete dedicated to the victims of the French Nuclear tests (Photo: Harry and Rowena Kennedy/Flickr)

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20 September 2017 16:38

20 September 2017

16:38 AEDT

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By Euan Moyle, an intern in the Lowy Institute's Melanesia Program.

  • Australia will open a new detention centre in Papua New Guinea once the Manus Island detention centre closes in October to house around 200 men whose asylum claims have been rejected. About 100 have already agreed to voluntarily return to their home countries.
     
  • Meanwhile, Prime Minister Turnbull has confirmed 50 refugees from Manus Island and Nauru will settle in the United States in the first stage of its agreement to take up to 1250 refugees from the two detention centres.
     
  • The Conseil d’État, France’s highest administrative court, has been advised to reject French Polynesia’s compensation claim for victims of nuclear testing after hopes were renewed during the recent Presidential elections. The court will decide on the case within a month.
     
  • The IMF has issued a press release summarising its recent Article IV visit to PNG, where short-term economic challenges remain severe. The PNG government is taking action, with Deputy Prime Minister Charles Abel announcing an 80% cut to the controversial DSIP and PSIP constituency funds.
     
  • ABC shortwave radio services in the Pacific may be revived after a package of media reforms was passed in the Senate, with a full review of Asia Pacific broadcasting being conducted as part of the new legislation.
     
  • John Greenshields reflects on his experience of how vital shortwave radio services are to isolated communities in PNG.
     
  • Protests in Honiara have forced the Solomon Islands government to reintroduce an anti-corruption bill that was withdrawn during the last sitting of Parliament, citing the need to strengthen the legislation. Opposition groups have suggested it lacked support from government MPs.
     
  • Terence Wood has analysed PNG’s elections in a three-part series on the Devpolicy blog, discussing the numerous problems with the electoral process, how they can be improved, and how Australian assistance can be boosted in time for the 2022 elections.
     
  • PNG marked its Independence Day on Saturday, with events being held around the country. One of the most significant is the dawn Flag Raising Ceremony, held on Port Moresby’s Independence Hill, where the Australian flag was lowered and replaced by the new flag of PNG in 1975.
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