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The acting Prime Minister, Ham Lini officially launched ICT Day on May 17th 2017 at the National Convention Center.
"Honourable Ministers, Heads of Foreign Missions to Vanuatu, Government Officials, Distinguished Guests, ICT Days Partners and Sponsors, Ladies and Gentlemen; Welcome to Pacific ICT Days 2017! I would like to take this opportunity to also acknowledge our online viewers especially those from Lenakel, Tanna and Luganville, Santo for similar celebrations and are joining us this morning. I also acknowledge Mr. Houlin Zhao, Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union for recognizing this event and sending in your video address to Vanuatu. As Prime Minister and Minister responsible for ICTs and telecommunications, I extend a warm Vanuatu welcome the participants to the Pacific Internet Governance Forum, the National Emergency Telecoms Planning Workshop and the Internet Society (ISOC) Online Privacy Workshop, and partners for choosing to host your event alongside our annual Pacific ICT Days, and we hope to host more similar ICT events here in Vanuatu in the future. Today, Vanuatu joins other ITU members to celebrate the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2017. GOUVERNEMENT DE LA REPUBLIQUE DU VANUATU BUREAU DU PREMIER MINISTRE SPP 053 Port Vila, Vanuatu Tel: (678) 22413 Fax: 26301 GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF VANUATU OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER P M B 053 Port Vila, Vanuatu Tel: (678) 22413 Fax: 26301 Page 2 ICT’s are now essentially part of our lives. Children, youth, women, men, chiefs, church leaders, everyone has access and use ICTs! The government is doing its part to develop policies and establishing regulatory frameworks that ensure Vanuatu will continue to embark on technologies as a driving force to achieve our national vision. The National ICT Policy expresses a firm commitment of the Government to maximise the contribution, efficiency and effectiveness of information and communication technologies and empowering and benefiting every citizen and resident of Vanuatu. ICTs have a strong potential to transform education of our children, expand and improve government services, make us more resilient in the face of natural disasters, preserve and promote our culture, as well as provide new business opportunities, and generally enhance our livelihoods. The Universal Access Policy expresses the Government’s commitment to ensure ICTs and telecommunications services reach areas that are unserved or underserved. The policy mandates operators to connect 98% of Vanuatu’s population by 1 January 2018, and I thank all the operators for supporting this government policy and it is only 7 months away. The Cybersecurity Policy outlines the Government’s commitment to ensure citizens of Vanuatu, tourists, businesses and government enjoy the full benefits of a safe, secure and resilient cyber space enabling them to get access to knowledge and share information while understanding and addressing the risks, to reduce the benefits to criminals. Recently, the Government of Vanuatu also implemented the Right to Information Unit to implement the National Right to Information Policy that was approved in 2013. This Policy means that any person has the right to request and obtain access to information held by the government but also personal information that may be held by public and some private bodies. The RTI Policy was an initiative of Page 3 the Government working hand in hand with civil society and the media, with assistance from the United Nations Development Program. It shows a commitment by all to work together for a better future for our nation. I acknowledge the government, both past and present, for their political will and support; the private sector for supporting government policies and regulations; and the people for recognizing the importance of technology and using it. I call on our citizens, institutions and businesses to embrace our theme for this year “Big data for big impact.” Big Data for development is about turning imperfect, complex, often unstructured data into actionable information in development context. The insight brought on by advanced analysis can strongly compliment the evidence-based nature of decision-making that can be leveraged at the national, regional and international level to drive success towards attaining all 17 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030. We want to establish ourselves as leaders in ICTs, using as our models for long term development other countries like Singapore, South Korea, and Estonia. All these small countries became world leaders in just a generation, mainly through innovation in ICTs, e-commerce and e-government. We can do it, too, and we know we are on the right road. I would like to acknowledge the support of the Australian Government to the ICT and Telecommunications sector in Vanuatu through the Governance for Growth Program since 2007. This includes the support to liberalize the telecommunication market back in 2008; provide seed funding for the Universal Access Fund; the World Bank trust fund; the Daltron Government network migration project; the support for various long term technical assistance through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management; and finally the enormous support to OGCIO through the Prime Minister’s Office totalling over 1.6 Billion Vatu all in grant Page 4 funding. This partnership with the Australian Government is fruitful especially the establishment of the Office of Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) and the totally independent Telecommunication and Radio communications Regulator’s Office (TRR), who are role model agencies within Vanuatu, the Pacific region and even globally. And finally, to all our partners and sponsors of the Pacific ICT Days 2017, (namely the Australian Government – DFAT, TRR, USP, TVL, Huawei, Vanuatu Tourism Office, Digicel, Wantok, Opticom, Cambuim Networks, Computer World, CNS, VNPF, Sharper Image, Kacific, Ahitec and Pacific Group Limited), I thank you all for your support to this event. I take this time extend a big ‘tankio tumas’ to our international speakers for taking your time out to be here with us over the next 2 days, and we look forward to learn and share with you at the panel discussions of each meeting. I wish you well in your deliberations and networking over these two days and I encourage you to support us again in the 2018 event. And for participants outside Vanuatu, I hope you will spend some time after this event to enjoy a bit more of Vanuatu. Having said these, I now declare the Pacific ICT Days 2017 and the Pacific Internet Governance 2017 celebrations here in Port Vila, Vanuatu open. Tankio tumas".
By Hon Johnny Koanapo Rasou, Member of Parliament for Tanna Constituency
A lot has been said about China’s diplomacy in the Pacific region. And in focusing on China’s presence, in particular its activities in the Pacific, there appears to be more criticisms about the manner in which China is conducting itself in the Pacific, than the positive role that China is playing in the development of many Pacific nations. Some weeks ago a Professor from an Indian University appears to be quite critical about China’s growing influence in the Pacific placing it in light of China’s commercial diplomatic activities including contracts and economic development activities. It is possible that this argument is relatively biased against China’s efforts to help the struggling Pacific Island Countries compared to India’s own diplomatic efforts in the region. India’s diplomatic efforts is big on Fiji and it is understandably clear. India’s foreign policy towards the Pacific Island nations has all the good intentions, but they are still trying to find a good formulae that will build a greater understanding between that incredible land and the Pacific nations. China’s help, however, is more widespread in the Pacific and it plays a complementary role in the region providing development options to the Pacific Island Countries who would otherwise be overly dependent on Australia and New Zealand, our two traditional partners. This piece of short article will not to draw any comparison between what china is doing against what other development partners are doing, because I think they all should be given space to achieve what is good for humanity in this part of the world. However, we need to analyse the rationale behind China’s diplomatic efforts in the region and place it against the backdrop of its own foreign policy objectives. Today China has become the second largest economy in the world. It has overtaken Japan. They know they are becoming economically powerful and are again trying to build their military to demonstrate their growing capability to contribute to international peace and maintain global order. China like many colonised countries, is still a developing country and is one that has gone through numerous aggression in its history, and its political experiences has to a larger extend influenced the type of Foreign policy they now have. And that is to pursue an independent Foreign Policy of peace and a national foreign policy that is defensive in nature. And such path of peace will lead to greater mutual and inclusive development around the world. China has never declared war on any developing country. Instead it is being called upon to play some mediatory role in our region amidst the growing tension between the North Koreans and the United States. But China holds dear five important principles of Peaceful Coexistence which I will not elaborate here. The above are critical elements of China’s Foreign Policy. However, it is very easy for people to pick on China’s activities in the Pacific region and create suspicion and fear that what China is doing in the Pacific is aimed at trapping the Pacific Islands into a relationship which will in the future become more of a liability to the Governments and states, rather than deliver the development outcomes they need. This is mostly a western framed argument. When analysing all these arguments, one needs to strike a balance between the need for China as a global player to pursue its interest and the recipient states to also pursue their own interests. China sees the economic opportunity in its relations to expand its commercial, political and security interests, and the Vanuatu Government also sees the economic opportunity in its relations with China to seek opportunities for grants and special concessional loans to build its roads, wharves and airports. China is helping Vanuatu in few major projects (Vanuatu National Convention Centre, Tanna-Malekula Road rehabilitation, Luganville wharf, Prime Minister’s Office Complex, MSG Secretariat building, Korman Stadium etc...to mention just a few) There is nothing wrong about this. It is a give and take in international relations. The fundamental rationale behind China’s diplomatic relations in the Pacific is based on an important rationale- Peace, Development, Cooperation and Mutual Benefit. Much of its guiding principles on Foreign Policy is based on its Confucius culture of universal peace and sharing (doing unto others what you would have them do to you). In poverty one should hold himself to a high standard, when prosperous one should contribute to the wellbeing of all. China is becoming more economically powerful and it is understandable that it could use its position as a leverage to offer options for development assistance to the developing nations. China’s activities is also based on its believe in the 21st Century as an era of globalisation and interdependence where strategic network is forged with all the regions of the world to achieve universal peace and global prosperity. And because of its growing significance as an international player, it will increasingly be called upon to contribute to finding the solutions to the rising global challenges, such as terrorism, climate change, provision of development finance etc… Under President Xi Jin Ping, China’s supreme Leader, China has embarked upon a “Belt and Road” initiative. This is a policy that is aimed at increasing cooperation and connectivity through trade and people to people bond. It is a policy of open cooperation that is aimed at facilitating financial and economic integration. This policy is largely aimed at portraying the Chinese values and principles in international cooperation. We find that China has now pledged $124 billion for this initiative. We in Vanuatu must also be able to navigate in this policy and see what legislations and policy we need to have in place to take advantage of the opportunities that China has to offer and where we need to avoid and give opportunities for our own people to prosper. China’s assistance is becoming more and more evident to our people who are now learning more about China’s capability to positively contribute to our development aspirations. And the manner in which the Chinese Government is delivering their aid to Vanuatu is different from the styles we are used to from New Zealand or Australia. But we must accept that all our development partners have different state structures. China is a communist state but it has created an enabling environment for its own citizens to flourish and therefore they themselves can go out and invest in other countries. China’s experiences have shown that a well-designed communist structure could be equally conducive to development and not only democracy as it used to be known. As a long time public servant in foreign affairs, managing our foreign relations, we had endeavoured to keep our relations with china amicable and sensible. We respect one china policy. We appreciate the growing responsibility that china must take up in a complex world. China was one of the very few countries that spoke in support of our nation to be decolonised and today we are an independent nation. This is a powerful support since China being a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, it made a lot of difference. If China is going to continue to grow, we the nations of the Pacific must celebrate that as an opportunity and not as a threat to our region. I urge the Chinese Government to renew their focus in our development and while building infrastructure is so critical to enabling access and enabling a more vibrant economy, they should also redirect their policy focus to the productive sector. I am encouraged that this could be a new path that the Chinese government will take in the near future. Once we begin to have the Chinese Government pursuing their foreign policy objective of mutual and inclusive agenda, it will make a huge difference in the lives of the 75-80% of our population who live in the rural area. And we hope we can continue to build on the relations we have with them.
At the request of the government of the Republic of Vanuatu, the Chines government agrees to provide the government of Vanuatu with 2 SUV and 25-19 seats buses including 15% spare parts and spare parts for vehicles aided by china before and to send 4 technicians including 1 interpreter to Vanuatu for 20 days providing technical service. All expenses of 11, 000,000.00 RMB Yuan arising from the above shall be paid from the grant assistance stipulated in the economic and cooperation agreements between the government of China and Vanuatu signed on November 2016. The Chinese side shall be responsible for the shipment of the goods to Port Vila and bear all expenses of international, trip, catering, accommodations and subsidies for the technicians. Vanuatu side shall be responsible for and bear the expenses of customs, clearance, taking delivery of the goods, local transportation and storage of the goods, upon arrival of the above mentioned goods in Port Vila. On the arrival of the above mentioned goods at Port Vila, both sides shall jointly examine the quality, quantity, specification of the goods and then subscribe the handover certificate.
The singing ceremony of the Chinese assistance took place on Saturday, 13th May, at the PM Office in Port Vila between Prime Minister Charlot Salwai and the chinese ambassador, Liu Quan. Mr Salwai told Mr Liu Quan that this assistance is once again very significant in the relation that Vanuatu has with China. He said buses will be helpful during South Pacific Mini Games in Port Vila on December to transport athletes. Mr Salwai said Vanuatu government maintained his commitment for the games to take place as planed on December this year.
He told Mr Liu Quan to convey government and people of Vanuatu their stand in One China Policy and to thank the government and people of China for their continuous support to the development of Vanuatu.
PORT VILA, 12th May, 2017 – The Vanuatu Government today signed the contract for Bauerfield rehabilitation works with China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) and its joint venture partner, Northwest Civil Airport Construction Group. Minister for Infrastructure and Public Utilities Jotham Napat signed on behalf of the Vanuatu Government, while CCECC and Northwest Civil Airport Construction Group were represented by Business Manager Liang Qing. Minister Napat expressed the Government’s full confidence in the contractors in successfully delivering all aspects of the rehabilitation works, under the World Bank-funded Vanuatu Aviation Investment Project (VAIP). The signing today marks the beginning of what is a critically important project for the people of Vanuatu. “Bauerfield is the gateway to Vanuatu,” said Minister Napat. “This is a project of critical importance to our nation, and especially our tourism industry, which contributes over 40 percent of our national GDP and over 30% of total employment. The Vanuatu Tourism Office and broader tourism industry will be excited to see this project under way as it is one of the keys to unlocking Vanuatu’s tourism potential. It will also help secure the sustainability of our tourism industry into the future. “The Vanuatu Government stands ready to work with the contractors to complete this project within the 340 day timeframe so that Bauerfield can operate reliably and safely at least for the next two decades.” Contractors are working with stakeholders including Air Vanuatu and Airports Vanuatu Limited (AVL) to identify ‘operational windows’ that will be used to carry out the works without interrupting normal airline services, ensuring that Bauerfield will continue to operate normally during the period of the project works. China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) and Northwest Civil Airport Construction Group have announced recruitment of key personnel, and the mobilization of equipment and machinery. “We are committed to meeting the 340 day deadline which is why we will be deploying key personnel and machineries from China to Vanuatu after the signing today,” said Mr Liang. The contractors are expecting the first shipment of runway materials to arrive in early July, 2017, while machineries and equipment will be shipped from China to Vanuatu soon. The contractors are already talking with local companies in Port Vila to hire dump trucks, platform trailers, excavator and loaders to commence clearance of the storage site and preparing for the erection of the site camp. Meanwhile, negotiations are currently in progress for Lot 2 works, which include runway works at Whitegrass and Pekoa International airports. NOTE TO EDITORS: VAIP Lot 1 works include: • Modifications to cater for Code E aircraft operations • Reconstruction of the main runway and taxiway • Reconstruction of existing aprons • Widening and extension works • Construction of new stub taxiways and holding bays • Geometric improvements to airport infrastructures (layout and turning nodes for smoother rides) VAIP Lot 2 includes: • Design and resurfacing of the main runway at Pekoa • Improvements to taxiway and shoulders at Pekoa airport • Design and surfacing of the main runway at Whitegrass • Improvements to taxiway and shoulders at Whitegrass Ends/… For all media enquiries, please contact: 33240 or mobile: 7753927
The signing ceremony was marked by the speech of the minister of public utilities, Jotham Napat:
Today marks another major development milestone for Vanuatu and its people.Today marks the end of the procurement process whereby after a very lengthy, arduous and under the World Bank’s strict procurement guidelines and independent process the Government of Vanuatu has finally managed to conclude its desire to implement the upgrades for Bauerfield International Airport runway. Today’s signing ceremony is significant because it could potentially trigger economic development to levels that are going to be unprecedented in Vanuatu because Bauerfield being the gateway, facilitates 80 percent of tourists and visitors and contributes 40 percent of the GDP, is going to have the capacity to accommodate long haul flights and enable Vanuatu to target a significantly greater tourist market.In 2016, approximately 95,000 visitors have arrived into Vanuatu showing an increase of over 10 % from 2015, Post Pam and Post Runway rehabilitation and the International Visitors Survey (IVS) confirms a total of USD 145 million was poured into the economy and created 37 % employment.
All this is bound to increase because of this project. Today the Government of Vanuatu is executing the Lot 1 Contract Award for Vanuatu Aviation Investment Project for Bauerfield International Airport Runway Rehabilitation with the successful contractor joint venture international consortium of the CHINA CIVIL ENGINEERING CONSTRUCTION COMPANY and NORTHWEST CIVIL AVIATION AIRPORT CONSTRUCTION COMPANY.The value of the contract is USD 47,660,000 (Forty Seven Million Six Hundred and Sixty Thousand Vatu covering works on Runway, Apron and related infrastructures.
The duration of the project will be 340 daysThe contractors are to work with Airports Vanuatu Limited and Air Vanuatu to identify operational windows for construction works, to avoid disruption of normal airline services and ensuring Bauerfield International Airport continues to operate normally in the duration of the project.
The government would like to stress this project is of paramount importance and its completion is its utmost priority.
The Award contract for Lot 2 for Rehabilitation Runway and Terminal Improvements for Santo Pekoa International Airport and Tanna Whitegrass Airport is being finalized and will be concluded for my signing within the next week or two.
VAIP is funded by soft loan under the auspices of Pacific Aviation Investment Program of the World Bank.
It constitutes five separate components.Lot 1 and Lot 2 come under Component A which covers Aviation Infrastructure Investments valued at USD 55 Million.Component B is the Aviation Sector reform and Training valued at USD 1.1 Million Dollars,Component C covers Strengthening Airport Operations and Management Capacity at USD 900,000.
Component D covers Transport Infrastructure Repairs Post TC Pam USD 5.3 Million, and
Component E covers Project Implementation Support of USD 2 Million.
All five components are currently underway as we speak.
VAIP ensures there is a strict contract management mechanism in place and the contract is going be supervised by another international engineering supervision company whose contract is currently being finalized and to be executed shortly.The supervising contract is to be managed by the Vanuatu Project Management Unit in conjunction with World Bank’s Technical Fiduciary Services Unit which provides technical support to the PAIP.The Government of Vanuatu would like to acknowledge the World Bank, VPMU and AVl for their efforts and as well commending CCECC and North West for accepting the challenge and the award of contract.
Ladies and Gentlemen Thank you for your attention and God Bless you all.
HCECC Here is the speech of the represe and Northwest Civil Airport Construction Group Joint Venture and Vanuatu government signed the contract agreement to rehabilitate the runway of Bauerfield International Airport , this morning, Friday 12th May.
Here is the speeche of the representative of the two companies, Liang King:
"MayGood morning. It’s my great honor to be here today at the contract signing ceremony for the Rehabilitation of Runway, Aprons and Related Infrastructure for Bauerfield Airport. On behalf of the Contractor, I would like to express my sincere congratulation to the Government and people of Vanuatu for the commencement of this project an extend warm greetings and best regards to the distinguished guests present today.
First of all, I wish to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to the Government and people of Vanuatu who have shown great trust and confidence by awarding this significant and historical project to CCECC and Northwest Civil Airport Construction Group Joint Venture. I would also like to extent my heartfelt appreciation to the World Bank for financing this project.
CCECC has an international reputation in the Engineering and Construction sector, undertaking major projects all across the world, from Africa to Asia, and to the South Pacific. The company offers high-quality design and construction services. And has successfully constructed wharfs, schools, airport terminals, gymnasium and constructed many roads and railways all over the world.
The Rehabilitation of Runway, Aprons and Related Infrastructure for Bauerfield Airport Project is not the first project we have embarked on in Vanuatu and is not the last as the Company believes it can sustain a mutually-beneficial presence in this Country. We believe that this project will help boost the local economy of the country, growing the tourism sector and providing employment opportunities.
Furthermore, I wish to inform you, distinguished guests that CCECC and NCAACG will bring in a professional technical and management team including skilled workers to ensure that our Project will be of the highest standard. We are committed to meeting the deadline for this project which is why we will be deploying key personnel and machinery from China to Vanuatu after the signing today. We also have a firm construction program that has been drawn up reflecting actual construction conditions to ensure the project is delivered on schedule and within budget.
During the progress of the project, CCECC and NCAACG has the promise to abide by the Laws of the Republic of Vanuatu and respect local cultures and traditions. Most importantly, we will fulfill our relative social responsibilities.
Excellencies, I firmly believe, under the leadership and supervision of the Government and people of Vanuatu, Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Utilities, Vanuatu Project Management Unit and the board and management of Airports Vanuatu Limited, we can implement this significant project for the benefit of the citizens of this wonderful nation".
Oath and handing of official appointment of new Vanuatu Police Commissioner took place this morning at State Office. The new commissioner is Albert Nalpini from the island of Tanna. The ceremony was followed by the handing over of the key by the acting police commissioner, Robson Iavro. It has been years that Vanuatu Police Force has been on acting basis.
Vanuatu commemorated EU Day on 9th May 2017. Here is the official of Mr Leonidas Tezapsidis:
"I would first like to thank the Ambassador of France and his good wife, my friends Gilles and Afida, for hosting this event at the Residence. It could not happen at a busier time of their national calendar, given last Sunday’s presidential election. Tropical cyclone Donna has not made things easier! I am particularly happy to be with you this evening. Celebrating Europe’s Day in Port Vila is proof that, even without permanent presence, the EU is close to Vanuatu and listens to the pulse of its citizens. A promise of continuous support and attention that I gave you, Mr President, when I presented to you my credentials in October 2014. Today we remember and celebrate the “birth” of the European Union. 67 years ago, on 9th May 1950, Foreign Minister of France, Robert Schuman, made a revolutionary declaration. He proposed to place the coal and steel production of France and Germany under a common Authority, the “European Coal and Steel Community”. He also invited other European countries to join in. Schuman’s declaration should be seen in its historical context. In 1950, European nations were struggling to overcome the devastation of World War II, which had ended only 5 years earlier. Pooling and jointly managing materials used in war, was meant to end age-old divisions and make wars between former enemies “unthinkable and materially impossible”. Schuman’s idea became reality two years later. In March 1957, sixty years ago, two additional treaties were signed in Rome setting up the “European Economic Community” and the “European Atomic Energy Community”. These supranational institutions would become part of today's "European Union". EU’s motto has been "United in diversity". Our diversity has been our richness; our unity, our greatest strength. However, building unity from diversity is not easy. It is far more difficult in a Union of 28 Member States than the initial one of 6. It requires constant cooperation, patient negotiations and compromise for the common interest. The virtues of compromise and solidarity have advanced European integration over the decades. "Solidarity" has been the secret of our success. It was combined with tolerance and respect for our differences: cultural, linguistic, racial, religious. 2 But this solidarity and unity have been severely tested lately. One may even ask whether the EU still has good reasons to celebrate, given the problems and threats that we are currently facing: wars and trouble spots in Europe’s immediate neighbourhood; acts of terrorism; a refugee crisis; internal economic inequalities; rising anti-EU sentiments; and BREXIT negotiations, following the outcome of last June’s referendum in the UK. My answer is yes, we do have reasons to celebrate! Sixty years after the signature of the Rome Treaties, the Union is the world’s largest project of peace, rewarded with a Nobel Peace Prize in 2012; and of prosperity, with 500 million EU citizens producing the world’s highest GDP. The EU is also the world’s first trading partner and the first donor of humanitarian and development aid. Our project has brought about protection for workers, and opportunities for business; freedom for citizens to speak, to move, to vote, to choose their own destiny; and for Member States, even to leave the Union! Our project has been based on a common commitment to fundamental rights, democracy and the rule of law: principles that we are prepared to protect and defend when they are threatened or violated. Today we celebrate EU’s achievements, but we cannot rest on our laurels. Peace and prosperity can no longer be taken for granted, especially in today’s globalizing world and continuous technological change that impacts heavily on incomes and employment. EU institutions, policies and methods clearly need reforms. Changes are necessary. They are possible and are happening. For instance, in the security and defence fields, there has been more progress in the last 12 months than in the last sixty years. The existential threats that Europe is now facing come primarily from within our own borders. The dangers and risks are great, but hopefully politicians will come to understand that we are at risk when we build walls, instead of tearing them down; and that we need leadership, not populism; the kind of leadership and vision that Europe's fathers, like Robert Schuman, had demonstrated. The results of the recent presidential and legislative elections in Austria, the Netherlands and France are encouraging. Internal crises have in fact demonstrated EU’s resilience. While the UK’s decision to leave the Union is clearly a tragedy, BREXIT has brought a renewed commitment of the remaining 27 to stick together. Together is the only way we can face the challenges of our times. The choice of a stronger EU in the world belongs to us. The choice of a more just, more secure and more equal Europe. This is what Europe’s Day is all about: not the future of the EU’s institutions, but the future of every single European citizen. In the current global environment, our friends around the world look at the EU as a reliable superpower for peace and human development; as essential partner in the fight against climate change. We also understand that peace and prosperity in the EU can only be lasting if they can be shared equitably within the Union and with partners around the world: in Africa, the Middle East, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific. 3 Our relations with developing partners are no longer focused on development cooperation alone. They cover a broad spectrum of issues that we discuss in the framework of our regular political dialogue: from political developments, to economic and trade policy, as we did successfully with Vanuatu in Brussels last January. Our aim is to achieve better mutual understanding, leading to improved political and economic governance, as well as social standards. The Prime Minister has underlined the importance that his Government attaches to inclusive and sustainable growth. Priorities include education, health, water and sanitation, infrastructure and, last but not least, rural and agricultural development. Private sector is a key engine for economic growth, hence the importance of an environment conducive to private local and foreign investment. The EU can only subscribe and offer its support to efforts aimed at improving livelihoods, creating jobs and helping diversify Vanuatu's economy, notably in the agricultural sector. We are also keen to pursue our close partnership on climate change and disaster risk management, both at bilateral and multilateral level, given the country’s extreme vulnerability to climate change and natural hazards. We also provide general and sectoral budget support, bringing substantial financial resources to the treasury for the implementation of public policies. This requires continued efforts to improve public finance management; and a policy dialogue that demonstrates the Government's commitment to improve transparency and accountability in the use of its budget. Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, The European project has shown that we can achieve reconciliation, peace and prosperity by overcoming divisions, uniting former enemies, pulling down national frontiers and striving for a common European, rather than narrow national interest. We can share a lot with Vanuatu, a young multi-ethnic democracy with unique diversity, including the lessons of successes and failures of European integration. Dear friends, Let us raise a glass together to Peace, Prosperity, Friendship and Solidarity between the peoples of Europe and Vanuatu".
STATEMENT BY HON JOHNNY R KOANAPO HEAD OF VANUATU DELEGATION TO THE 105th ACP MINISTERIAL SESSION BRUSSELS, BELGIUM.
Mr. President, Excellencies,
I thank you for giving me the floor.
Mr. President, I wish to commend the Chairman of the Committee of Ambassadors for submitting his report to the Council for consideration and decision.
But permit me Mr. President to bring to our attention also an issue which had been brought by the Vanuatu delegation at the Committee of Ambassadors meeting and following procedural considerations, the issue itself notably, is not included in this report. And it is the issue of the pressing plight of West Papua.
The celebration was marked by the speech of the minister of fisheries, Matai Seremaiah.
"This day 2nd May is a unique day internationally recognized as the United Nations World Tuna Day. Hon Ministers, member of Parliaments, Director Generals, Directors, the students especially students of Malapoa and teachers, ladies and gentlemen, I welcome you all to this first Celebration of World Tuna Day and I thank you for joining me and my team, the Vanuatu people, FFA members and the UN members around the world to celebrate this day.
Vanautu’s ocean connect her people to each other and to the world. The ocean bridges the past, in wich our ancestors traversed the seas to arrive in this country, to the future, where the rich marine resources define the future of our children. We stay connected with each other, between our islands and provinces, trough travel over our waters.
Through this history, our connection with the ocean has defined our Kastom: our culture and beliefs are strongly tied to our marine environment, our marine resources and the natural beauty of our sea and the diversity of life contained within it. Our livelihood, too, rely upon sustainable development of our maritime riches. The local pressures and the global threats to the ecosystem services that the Ni-Vanuatu derive from our ocean are placing the human benefit of these services at risk.
Following the recent move on Tuesday 12th April 2017 by three groups of the members of the parliament, the opposition lead by UMP member of parliament of Port Vila, Ishmael Kalsakau could ended up with 5 MPs. Reliable source within the opposition said that there are three more MPs who will joint soon the coalition government of Prime Minister Charlot Salwai. The source said the 3 MPs will joint their mother parties which are already in the government. At the the moment in the opposition, there are Mr Kalsakau, MP Sato Kilman from the MPP, MP Don Ken from People Service Party, MP Joshua Kalsakau from VLP, MP Jack Norris from the UMP, MP Osea Nevu from Yauko Group, MP Samsen Samson from Nagriamel and an Independent MP from Luganville constituency, Mark Ati. The MPs of the opposition who joined the government on Tuesday this week are William Albert, Fred Taso and Ephraim Kalsakau from U-Bloc, MP Seule from Green, 2 MPs from National Party, Christophe Emmelee and Jack Wona. The 6 MPs make reconciliation with mats to Mr Salwai to joint his government. They switched from the opposition to the government on the afternoon but in the morning, the minister of public utilities, Jotham Napat presented 3 MPs from the Yauko to the Prime Minister Salwai. MP Jay Ngwele, said that they have very difficult to keep staying in the opposition and now they have decide to join the government. He said that they have realized that the current government have done a lot of developments to benefit the people in the islands.
Prime Minister Charlot Salwai met with Director General for International Cooperation and Development at the European Commission, Stefano Manservisi on Sunday.
Mr Manservisi spent few hours in Port Vila on his route for New Caledonia for his official visit. While in Port Vila, he met Mr Salwai in PM Office. He was accompanied with Jobst Von Kirchmann who is the head of Unit at DEVCO in charge of Development Coordination for Centrale Asia, Middle East , Gulf, Pacific and Global Asia initiatives, Julian Wilson, Head of Division t the European External Action Service in charge of relations with Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, Ambassador Leonidas Tazapsidis who is head of EU delegation to Vanuatu but based in Solomon Islands and Ambassador.
Mr Manservisi had lunch with Mr Salwai, Deputy Prime Minister, Joe Natuman, Minister of Agriculture, Matai Seremaiah and other government senior officials before he left for New Caledonia.
The Secretariat of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) has been undertaking internal reforms to help formulate its 2018-2020 Corporate Plan and to facilitate that planning process, a Staff Retreat was held at the Aquana Beach Resort outside Port Vila, Vanuatu on 30-31 March 2017.
Reports from Bauerfield International Airport this morning said that all airplanes have been grounded since this morning due to the strike of fuel staffs of Pacific Petroleum. Reliable source said that Air Vanuatu Boeing left Port Vila at about 8 o'clock this morning to refill in New Caledonia.
Last week the government through the Council of Ministers made a decision to extend the dateline for road tax. This decision will allow vehicle owners in Vanuatu to comply with the road tax.
The Minister of Lands and Port Vila’s MP Ralph Regenvanu has welcomed this decision. He said that this extension of dateline to the end on May will permit vehicle owners to pay for road tax and any other necessities.
Port Vila has a high number of vehicles compared to any other places in Vanuatu. The Government website has noticed that since this decision was made last Wednesday by the CoM, there was a queue of vehicles lined up for inspection at the Public Works workshop at Nambatu area in Port Vila.
Prime Minister, Charlot Salwai officially announced this morning at Holiday Inn the name of wining contractor of the runways of Bauerfield on Efate, Pekoa in Santo and White Grass on Tanna. The announcement came after World Bank finally gives his no objection letter on Bauerfield International Airport, Pekoa Airport and White Grass International on Tanna to the minister of pablik utilities last night, Jotham Napat.
"We refer to your letter dated March 30, 2017, addressed to the bank's country director, providing the government of Vanuatu's final recommendations for aword of the contracts for Lot-1 and Lot-2, subsequent to the letter of March 29, 2017 from the bid evaluation committee (BEC) and the last revised bid evaluation report (BER) received by the bank on March 03, 2017. Based on the information provided, the bank has no objection to your recommendations to award the contracts to the qualified bidder who submitted the lowest evaluated substantially responsive bids, as follows:
Prime Minister Charlot Salwai re-affirmed this morning that Government and people of Vanuatu have not change their support to the cause of their Melanesian brothers and sisters of Kanaky. Mr Salwai made the comments when he received this morning a high level delegation of the independent movement of the french territory of New Caledonia, the FLNKS lead by their spokesperson, Victor Tutugoro in his office. He said Vanuatu will continue to raise the issue of independence of Kanaky in regional and international organisations. Mr Salwai said that the issue of independence of kanaks is currently absent within their melanesian organisation of Melanesian Spearhead Group but it is only with the leaders and not their people. He said the issue of the independence of melanesian people is rooted in the minds of the people of Melanesia. The Prime Minister also congratulated the leaders of the FLNKS for their ground works towards then self determination of the kanaks. Mr Tutugoro and the members of his delegation also briefed Mr Salwai on the current political situation in Kanaky. The FLNKS delegation met with Mr Salwai this morning and also Deputy Prime Minister, Joe Natuman, former prime minister, Barak Sope, former president of the Republic of Vanuatu, Kalkot Mataskelekele and one of the former minister of internals affairs, Pastor John Sethy Regenvanu. They will also meet with Malvatumauri Council of Chiefs and others leaders of Vanuatu during their four days visit in Vanuatu. The purpose of their visits is to gather information on how Vanuatu achieved its independence from Britain and France in 1980.
Prime minister speech :
I join the master of ceremonies to thank you all for your presence this afternoon to witness the handing over military equipment by the Government of the republic of China. The People Republic of China continues to be one of Vanuatu’s major development partners and supporter of Vanuatu’s development efforts since they established bilateral relations back in the 1980’s. It is for the reason that the Government of Vanuatu would like continue to maintain the good diplomatic relation that it has with the people and the Government of china through support for the one China Policy. Today’s ceremony marks another development milestone at the Vanuatu Mobile Force Headquarter, Cooks Barracks, Vila. It is a sign of Vanuatu Governments commitment to develop VMF into a higher level security. This is the second time that the VMF has received heavy military vehicles equipment and uniforms. You can still see some signs of the aftermath of cyclone PAM that hit us year ago. You can also see signs of renovation on some building going on. The Government is working hard to ensure that these much needed repair are done. I hope that when we next visit here, the VMF camp will be fully refurnished. We are here today to witness the official handing over of the heavy military and commercial vehicles plus some other hardware that are generously donated by the government of the People’s Republic of China to the Government of the Republic of Vanuatu. We all understand that the Vanuatu Mobile Force will be the direct beneficiary from this assistance and its operations. According to the agreement between the military of National Defense of the People Republic of China and Vanuatu Government through the ministry of the Internal Affair of the Republic of Vanuatu, the military aid grant assistance is to the value of 8,000,000.00 ( eight millions RMB yuans)
Prime Minister Charlot Salwai and Mrs Salwai arrived on their home island of Pentecost yesterday to cast their votes at Melsisi poling station today during Penama provincial elections.
Melsisi poling station is one the biggest poling stations in Pentecost Constituency with over 500 registered voters.
Mr Salwai and his family are registered to vote in Pentecost constituency during general and provincial elections.
PM Salwai is expected to return in Port Vila during the weekend. Other government ministers and parliamentary secretaries are also in their respective constituencies to cast their votes today in Penama, Malampa, Shefa and Tafea provinces today.