UN

Pacific voices 'need to be reflected in UN language'

That's the view of the University of the South Pacific's director at the Oceania Centre, Frances Koya-Vaka'uta.

The Pacific is the first region to host the series of United Nations consultations aimed at turning around the decline of the oceans.

Dr Koya-Vakauta said the Pacific voice risks being lost among generic UN language when it's combined with contributions from the eight other consultations.

She said Pacific people need to see themselves reflected in official language for it to resonate properly and this includes plans for the coming 'Decade of the Ocean'.

Vanuatu could be alone on West Papua bid at UN

The Charlot Salwai-led government plans to submit a draft resolution to the Pacific Islands Forum, calling for Indonesian-ruled Papua to be inscribed on the list at next year's UN General Assembly.

The intention was conveyed at this month's meeting of Pacific Forum foreign ministers in Apia.

Despite claims in Vanuatu, however, that other Pacific governments had indicated they would back the draft, no other countries committed support in Apia.

Vanuatu to take West Papua cause to UN

The Vanuatu prime minister, Charlot Salwai, is to take the draft of this resolution to the Pacific Islands Forum summit in Nauru next month.

The Daily Post reported this comes after Vanuatu presented the draft during last week's Pacific foreign ministers' meeting in Apia.

The newspaper reported that at the Apia meeting Vanuatu got support from some Forum members but Australia, Papua New Guinea and Fiji reportedly expressed reservations.

NZ govt MP calls for West Papua issue to go to UN

Louisa Wall made the comment at the launch of a new book examining New Zealand's position on West Papua.

In her book See No Evil: New Zealand's betrayal of the people of West Papua, author Maire Leadbeater criticises successive governments for failing to support Papuan rights.

Ms Wall said the book offers telling insights on how Papuans had no say in their homeland's incorporation into Indonesia in the 1960s.

North Korea: Urgent need to open channels, UN says after visit

The statement follows a visit to Pyongyang by Jeffrey Feltman, the highest-level trip by a UN official to the isolated nation in six years.

North Korea says it has agreed to regular communication with the UN.

Tensions over the North's weapons programme were raised further after a fresh ballistic missile test last week.

North Korea said it was its most advanced missile yet, capable of reaching the continental US.

The test was the latest in a series of nuclear and missile tests conducted in defiance of UN sanctions.

UN signals 'end' of throwaway plastic

They signed off a document stating that the flow of plastic into the ocean must be stopped.

Scientists welcomed the statement, but were unhappy the agreement was only based in principle, with no firm targets or timetables.

Ministers say it's a milestone because it shows governments, industry and the public that a major change is needed.

Vidar Helgesen, Norway's Environment Minister, has been leading the UN debate on plastic pollution.

SPC updates Pacific nutrition guidelines

This was also a chance for SPC to emphasise the guidelines to attendees on the UN assembly's declaration that 2016 to 2025's is the decade for nutrition action.

NCD advisor for the public health division (of SPC) Karen Fukofuka said the guidelines were drawn up in 2000 and the revision of the principles only started last year.

Ms Fukofuka said it was important that the messages were current and consistent for the Ministry of Health and other non-health partners to distribute to the community.

UN urges Australia to solve Manus Island crisis

About 400 refugees are still refusing to leave the former detention centre on the Papua New Guinea island after it was closed at the end of October when essential services were cut.

The deputy regional representative of the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), Nai Jit Lam, said Australia remained responsible for the refugees and should engage them in constructive dialogue.

"This is a man-made and entirely preventable humanitarian crisis. It is a damning indictment of a policy meant to avoid Australia's international obligations," the UNHCR added.

UN calls for greener investors at COP23

The sector was being encouraged to move away from carbon intensive investment.

The UN said finance for climate projects was flowing at a greater pace, with vibrant markets now for renewable energy, electric vehicles, green buildings and climate-smart agriculture.

The World Bank said funding needed to flow so people everywhere could benefit from low-carbon and climate resilient investments.

It hopes the UN can attract public, private, and philanthropic investors.

UN told about New Caledonia woes

The pro-independence FLNKS movement has told the UN decolonisation committee that problems persist with the Noumea Accord which is the territory's roadmap to next year's self-determination referendum.

Speaking to the committee, a FLNKS delegate Mickael Forrest said the Accord was not respected in a number of ways.

Mr Forrest also said the use of natural resources was not profiting the local population.