Six community centres to be built in Vanuatu's Shefa

It is part of the UNDP's reconstruction programme following the devastation of 22 islands by Cyclone Pam last March.

National Coordinator of the UNDP Project, Russel Tamata says the UNDP Office is working closely with the Department of Public Works and custom chiefs of the islands to construct the buildings.

Mr Tamata says both the standard of the buildings and carpenters are provided by the Public Works while the chiefs and their people on each island provide manpower and labour to complete the buildings.

Queensland police seize record 70 kg of cocaine

Five people were arrested on Monday night by a multi-agency operation which had been tracking the alleged international drug cartel in recent weeks.

It's alleged an Estonian skipper departed Vanuatu aboard the cocaine-packed vessel on August 15 en route to Queensland.

Police say he docked nine days later in Coomera on the Gold Coast and met with a 58-year-old UK national, before the pair bought tools and cracked open the concealed drug haul.

Vanuatu president hopes for united stand with Fiji on Papua

The Vanuatu Daily Post reports Mr Lonsdale made the comments as he welcomed Fiji's newly appointed High Commissioner to Vanuatu, Esala Teleni.

He says Vanuatu has been very vocal on such sensitive issues, and it hoped that overtime, there would be a joining of hands to address what he described as the inhumane treatment received by the Melanesians in West Papua.

Mr Lonsdale says it is a challenge for the Pacific, especially Melanesians, to stand united with the Melanesians of Indonesia's Papua region.

MSG Trade and Economic Meetings in Fiji

The meetings are being held at the Tanoa International Hotel, Nadi, Fiji. 

Senior officials and representatives from Fiji, PNG, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu will be in attendance as part of talks towards a new and more comprehensive trade agreement - MSGTA3 – that will now include Trade in Services, and new chapters such as Labour Mobility, Investment, and Telecommunications. 

MSG Leaders have directed that a draft legal text of the trade agreement must be ready by November 2015.

The meetings include: 

Vanuatu volleyballers match best ever finish on World Tour

The duo lost to Germany in three sets in the quarter finals 23-21, 15-21, 15-17, a day after upsetting the top-ranked team in the world, Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixa from Brazil.

Seixa said the Melanesians were better than them on the day and deserved all the credit for handling the wind better than they did.

Miller Pata says it's Vanuatu's greatest moment on the world tour and like a dream come true.

Their fifth-placed finish matches their best effort at a World Tour event.

They now head to Poland for another Grand Slam.

Vanuatu beach volleyball pair grab win

The Melanesian duo beat their American opponents 21-19, 17-21, 15-7.

It's their first win of the tournament, having lost their first match in straight sets against a Spanish pair and then going down in three sets against German sixth seeds Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst.


Vanuatu foreign Minister ordered not to attend Pacific Islands Forum meet

Minister Vohor is facing serious criminal charges in the bribery case where 18 MPs are defendants.

Justice Sey issued the direction upon the defendants request through his lawyer advising the minister will not be present when the court convenes, as Vohor will be overseas on official duty.

But Justice Sey ordered Vohor and the 17 defendants to refrain from travelling abroad, as well as attend all court sessions in the two weeks sitting and to be punctual.

Six political party presidents will stand trial as Supreme convenes the bribery case hearing in September.

Vanuatu Supreme Court to rule on Leadership Code Act

Justice Mery Sey issued these directions Tuesday when the appellant and defendants to the case sat with their lawyers at the first conference since the case was referred to the Supreme Court.

Among the directives, Justice Sey warned the defendants, most of whom are MP and state ministers that they need to be present in the court room when the case is called.

The Supreme Court judge also conditioned the defendants not to travel abroad while the case is in court.

The Public Prosecution John William Timakata told the court the prosecution will produce 48 witnesses.

Pam damage exceeds 50% of GDP:PDNA Report

This is equivalent to some 64.1% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) report has revealed. Pam is one of the strongest cyclones ever recorded in the southwest Pacific and left a trail of destruction, displacing some 65,000 people, and damaging or destroying approximately 17,000 buildings and ruining agricultural crops across half the country.

Fisheries Observers in six weeks training

The 35 observers were divided into two groups with one group doing sea time at the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) and the other group undertaking the Pacific Islands Regional Fisheries Observer Syllabus Programme.

A statement from government said each group did five weeks of intensive training before going for the second part which will take another five weeks.

Deputy Director Offshore, Edward Honiwala who officially opened the second part of the programme said the observers will spend another five weeks before completing the programme.