Monday, November 28, 2016

1) Island focus: Police prepare for one-price fuel in Papua

2) Pacific NGOs separate from ‘Asia Pacific’ tag

3) Fidel Castro And The Vanuatu Connection

1) Island focus: Police prepare for one-price fuel in Papua
Jayapura | Tue, November 29 2016 | 08:51 am

The Papuan Police have assigned 50 of their personnel to a special task force to monitor the distribution and pricing of fuel following the launch of the one-price fuel policy in October by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.

“The taskforce will monitor the fuel distribution in Papua to make sure that the price is as decided by the President and a supply is available in each gas station,” Papua Police chief Insp. Gen. Paulus Waterpauw said last week.

The 50-strong team would also collect data on problems found on the ground, he said. In their operation, the team would act in synergy with the military, local administrations and state oil and gas company Pertamina.

With the single-price policy, the price of fuel in Papua and West Papua, which previously cost up to tens of thousands of rupiah per liter, is being held at the same price as applied in the rest of the country.

The implementation of the policy is being backed by Bank Indonesia through the distribution of around Rp 15 billion (US$1.1 million) in coins and small bank notes to 19 regencies in Papua during November and December.

2) Pacific NGOs separate from ‘Asia Pacific’ tag
00:00 am GMT+12, 29/11/2016, Kenya
By Pita Ligaiula in Nairobi, Kenya
The Pacific Civil Society group has successfully removed itself from the ‘Asia Pacific tag’ to become a separate group on its own.
Speaking to PACNEWS in Nairobi, Pacific Islands of Non-Governmental Organisation (PIANGO) Executive director, Emele Duituturaga said traditionally the Pacific has always been considered to be part of the Asia Pacific region.  
“And this is something that civil society of the Pacific has always raised as a policy issue, that the issues of the Pacific are very different from Asia.
“Couple of years ago, the Pacific made representation at the world level, about the need to separate the Pacific from Asia and it wasn’t until last year that it happened. So today at this global assembly for the very first time, the Pacific delegation had a separate’ Pacific identity’- separate from Asia, so that is something civil society has won.
“To this day even at the UN, the Pacific still considered to be part of Asia but in the civil society world we have successfully separated the Pacific as a separate region from Asia,” Duituturaga told PACNEWS.
Duituturaga said with Fiji expecting to host the International Civil Society week in 2017, the move will certainly boost the Pacific profile at the world stage.  
“We are fully anticipating and we are waiting for the official confirmation from Civicus that the Pacific again for the first time will be hosting the International Civil Society week which has been taking place annually around the world.
“For us as the Pacific it is part of trying to establish itself yet again. The Pacific is considered to be too far, too expensive and also our issues are really not considered at the global stage.  
“So by bringing this international meeting that happens only once a year to the Pacific and specifically to Fiji it will certainly boost the Pacific profile. It will certainly help the rest of the world have a better understanding of the issues of the small island states, it will certainly give recognition to the Pacific.  
“A lot of NGO and civil society in the Pacific don’t get much profile from donors and also from larger countries, so it will be a unique and once in a lifetime opportunity for CSOs in the Pacific to actually hold an international civil society gathering,” Duituturaga told PACNEWS.


A bit of history

3) Fidel Castro And The Vanuatu Connection

Former Prime Minister and First Vanuatu Roving Ambassador, Barak Sope, yesterday expressed his personal tribute to the late Fidel Castro of Cuba who died late last week.
Speaking from his home on Ifira in a telephone interview with the Daily Post, Barak Sope, who was one of the young political activists for the Vanuatu independence during the New Hebrides era, related how Cuba was the first country in the world to support the then New Hebrides for a political freedom from the two colonial powers, Britain and France.
“In 1977 Father Walter Lini (late) and I were present during a UN Committee of 24th on Decolonization in New York.
“This was the first time that the Vanuatu cry for political independence was heard by the UN Committee of the 24th on Decolonization.
“It was through the Cuban President Fidel Castro, at the time that Cuba became the first country in the world to sponsor the then New Hebrides application to the UN 24th Committee on Decolonization in 1977.
“So, Father Walter Lini (late) who was the President of the Vanua’aku Party and I made a trip to New York to be present during the UN Committee of 24th on Decolonization to listen to the debate for our freedom,” Barak Sope recalled.
“It was timely too because Cuba did not only sponsor Vanuatu’s application to the UN Committee of 24th on Decolonization, but it so happened that at the time, Cuba chaired the UN Committee of 24th on Decolonization, and so we knew, with hope that our political freedom was eminent, with Cuba Ambassador appointed by President Fidel Castro to Chair the UN Committee of 24th on Decolonization,” Sope recalled.
He said it was through the two roles that Cuba played at the time that the UN Committee of 24th on Decolonization shepherded Vanuatu’s application through.
Sope said other countries that supported the then New Hebrides in its initial stages for political freedom through the UN were Algeria and Tanzania.
“After Independence in 1980, I was appointed by Vanuatu’s first Prime Minister Father Walter Lini (late) as Vanuatu’s first Roving Ambassador and Secretary for Foreign Affairs, because the Foreign Affairs at the time were under the Prime Minister’s portfolio.
“In August 1981 Prime Minister Father Walter Lini appointed me as a Special Envoy to travel to Havana, Cuba, to deliver Vanuatu’s Special Message of “thank you and appreciation” to Cuban President Fidel Castro, and at the same time formalized diplomatic relations with Cuba that saw Vanuatu flag raised in Havana.
“I could not travel through the US at the time, so I had to make a long trip via UK and Canada and then to Havana, Cuba where I was accorded a high level welcome and personally me President Fidel Castro, in his Presidential Palace.
“I extended to him on behalf of the Government and the people of Vanuatu, deep appreciation for the support that President Fidel Castro and his country that paved the way from Havana to the corridors of the United Nations and finally to the Committee of the 24th on Decolonization that released our colonized country and people from Britain and France to become the Independent state and the new Republic of Vanuatu,” Sope said.
“Port Vila tied diplomatic relations with Havana in August 1981 before becoming a full member of the United Nations (UN) in September of 1981-the same year, but we recognized Cuba first because without Cuba and President Fidel Castro, it may have taken longer or never for this country to become an Independent State from Britain and France,” Barak Sope recalled.
“In 1977 Father Walter Lini and I attended the UN Decolonization Committee in informal clothing but in 1981 we attended the UN General Assembly for the first time after Independence where Father Walter Lini the first Vanuatu Prime Minister addressed the UN General Assembly for the first time as an Independent State and as the UN welcomed Vanuatu as its full member.
“Today, I am sad to say that Vanuatu has lost its first political pillar of our political freedom, the late President Fidel Castro. Personally, and of course the country has lost a man that stood up for the right of the political freedom of our nation and people in international forum and the United Nations. We truly miss him,” Sope noted of the passing away of Cuba’s former President, Fidel Castro.
The former Cuban President Fidel Castro handed his responsibilities in 2006 to Raul Castor.
He died at the age of 90 on November 25, 2016.
The relations with Cuba was enhanced further when the country provided scholarships for ni-Vanuatu to attend medical school there to become doctors.

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