LATEST ASSIGNMENT - Pacific Islands Forum - Tonga
Pacific Islands Forum - Fiji
Audio:Despite Angry Relations Pacific Forum Makes Progress
New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark provides a wrap-up of the most significant achievements at the Pacific Islands Forum in Nadi, Fiji. She says the Forum was successful despite a tense beginning highlighted with the clash between Australia, Solomons, Papua New Guinea. To hear what was achieved on a regionalised Pacific, NZ's labour scheme for Pacific peoples, and security moves, seeâ¦ Scoop Audio: Helen Clark Summarises Pacific Forum 2006.
Pacific: Clark Assures Sogavare He Will Not Be Arrested - Solomon Islands PM Manasseh Sogavare is fearful he will be arrested over the Julian Moti affair when he returns to Honiara today (Thursday, October 26) but New Zealand says his fears are unjustified. Julian Moti, an Australian lawyer, was able to flee Papua New Guinea for the Solomons aboard a PNG military plane, despite Australia's efforts to extradite him on child sex charges. See... NZ Assures Sogavare He Will Not Be Arrested
Pacific: Diplomacy Produces A Win In Australia/Melanesia Stand-Off - Scoop Report - Pacific leaders have agreed to set up a taskforce to "expeditiously" review RAMSI and report back to the foreign ministers of Pacific Islands states. The move was one of the suggestions tabled in a five point plan put forward by Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare. See... Pacific Leaders Announce Review Of RAMSI
Pacific: Clark Moves To Sooth Australia/Melanesia Impasse
Scoop Report: Pacific Islands Forum, Nadi, Fiji - Selwyn Manning writes that Helen Clark is brokering a solution to an impasse between Australia and Melanesian leaders. On arriving in Nadi she sought counsel, then met with seven Pacific leaders in a bid to keep the Pacific Forum on track. See... Australia's Dominance Drives Wedge Into Pacific
95bFM Audio: Scoop's Selwyn Manning talks to bFM's Noelle McCarthy from the Pacific Island Leaders Forum.
Scoop Audio: Helen Clark on the early session of the Pacific Islands Forum leaders' meeting, Tuesday.
Scoop Audio: Helen Clark Press Conference Q&A
Scoop Video: Tonga, An Island On The Brink Of Change - Scoop's co-editor Selwyn Manning was in Tonga this week attending a state funeral for the late King Tupou. He reports that Tonga's people now want change, and shortly after attending the solemn occasion, NZ's PM Helen Clark said New Zealand will, should Tonga wish it to, do all it can to help Tonga reform its constitutional monarchy toward a more democratic style of government. See... Scoop Video, Audio & Text report: Tonga - An Island On The Brink
Scoop Audio: Selwyn Manning At the Tongan King's Funeral
Scoop Audio: Selwyn Manning and 95bFM's Simon Pound discuss: what lies ahead for Tonga and the strange spectacle of an Island monarchy struggling to come to terms with 21st century society.
Tonga: King Taufaâahau Tupou IV Dies In Auckland - Prime Minister Helen Clark today extended her condolences and sympathies to the people of Tonga at the loss of their Head of State, His Majesty King Taufaâahau Tupou IV. King Tupou IV died overnight in Auckland, aged 88 years, after a long period of poor health. Helen Clark also extended the New Zealand Governmentâs sincerest condolences to Her Majesty Queen Halaevalu Mataâaho on the death of her husband. See... King Taufaâahau Tupou IV
Rumours are flying across the Solomon Islands as to why the Participatory Police Force failed to prevent much of the extensive rioting that took place in Honiara on 18 and 19 April. Anger flared up following the announcement of Snyder Riniï¿½s appointment to the role of Prime Minister, especially over allegations that Taiwanese money had been involved in buying votes. The violence did not break out immediately, but rather simmered for a couple of hours before the situation began to rapidly deteriorate. During this time, critics argue that the extensive damage, especially the virtual annihilation of the business quarter known as Chinatown, could have been prevented if correct crowd control had been carried out. See... The Intelligence Failure Behind Honiaraï¿½s Riots
FULL COVERAGE FROM SCOOP.CO.NZ'S TEAM IN HONIARA:
Scoop Video: Solomons Parliament Decides On PM Thursday - Opposition leader Manesha Sogavare is tipped to become the Solomon Islands' new Prime Minister after a secret vote this Thursday (May 4 2006). In this video doco, Scoop reporter Yasmine Ryan distils the vibe on Honiara's streets, speaking to Solomon Islanders on what they demand from their leaders. She records Sogavare schmoozing the crowds ï¿½ clearly he is the people's popular choice to lead their country.
Scoop Video: Solomons People Power and Parliament
Audio: Sogavare, Opposition Candidate for PM
Audio: Taiwanese Ambassador Chen on Solomons
Audio: Phil Goff visits the Solomon Islands
Audio: John Roughan on the Solomon Islands
Audio: Dyer on Women in Parliament in the Solomons
SCOOP At Pacific Islands Forum, Papua New Guinea
Scoop Foreign Correspondent: - Jose Ramos-Horta & Michael Somare Talk West Papua ï¿½ Don McKinnon Doesn't - Scoop took the opportunity of Timor-Leste Foreign Minister & 1996 Nobel Peace Prize Winner Jose Ramos-Horta's attendance at the 36th Pacific Island Forum to discuss the struggle for recognition by the independence movement from West Papua. See... Scoop Audio: Jose Ramos-Horta Talks West Papua. See also... Feedback: Ramos-Horta West Papua Facts Questioned
MORE WEST PAPUA COMMENT FROM THE PIF:
West Papua Falls Off Pacific Forum Summit Agenda
Scoop Report by Alastair Thompson in PNG - According to NZ Prime Minister Helen Clark The Pacific Forum leaders did not discuss the controversial issue of West Papua at their summit in Madang, in spite of an expectation before the forum by both herself and the Secretary General that they would do so. The news will be a blow to the Free West Papua movement who are staging a rally today outside on Ella Beach near the conference venue. Earlier this week the Secretary General Greg Urwin met representatives from West Papua at a meeting of Civil Society in Port Moresby. See... West Papua Not Discussed - Petition Not Presented
SLUDGE REPORT: Australian Prime Minister John Howard seems to take some considerable pride in the fact that he is not talking about West Papua, to anyone. Talking to media yesterday Mr Howard said he did not talk about West Papua to NZ Prime Minister Helen Clark, nor to Papua New Guinea's PM, the Right Hon. Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare, in his bilateral meetings with them. Mr Howard was so pleased that he did not talk about West Papua to Sir Michael yesterday that he enthusiastically volunteered the information in a press conference with NZ and Australian media, twice. See... Sludge Report #170 ï¿½ Don't Mention The War + Clark & Urwin Make Friends With Pacific NGOs
The Pacific's Civil Society Speaks To It's Leaders - Full Text of Civil Society Meeting Communique: "WE, the representatives of national and regional civil society organizations from the Pacific, who met in Port Moresby from the 21st to the 24th of October 2005, thank the Forum Leaders for the opportunity to contribute to their discussions at the 36th Pacific Islands Forum Summit. WE appreciate the hard work that has gone into the preparation of the Final Draft document. We have some suggested changes and additions." See... Port Moresby Statement of 6th Pacific Civil Forum
John Roughan Discusses The Pacific Island Forum Outcomes - Last week's Pacific Islands Forum meeting in PNG focused on many different areas of life dear to national leaders and their people across the Pacific. Certainly one hot topic was the idea of allowing unskilled island workers into the region's two biggest economies, Australia and New Zealand. However, Australia's PM, John Howard, argued against the idea while New Zealand's PM, Helen Clark, was much more open to it. See... John Roughan: PIF Guest Worker Scheme & More
Greenpeace Disappointed With Conclusion Of Pacific Forum - *Port Moresby, Thursday, October 27, 2005 *Pacific Island leaders meeting at the 36th Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) have taken "one step forward and two steps back" according to Greenpeace Australia Pacific. "The decision to develop a regional agreement on bottom trawling is a step forward to address this destructive practice. This lays the groundwork for Pacific countries to be leaders in supporting the international call for a ban on high seas bottom trawling," said Greenpeace Oceans Campaigner, Lagi Toribau. See... One step forward, two steps back at Pacific Forum
Scoop Audio Report: West Papua Independence On Pacific Forum Agenda
Image By Jason Dorday. New Zealand PM Helen Clark and Pacific Forum secretary general, Greg Urwin, has moved to have West Papua independence discussed by Pacific leaders during a summit meeting to be held this week. Scoop Talks To Two West Papuan Freedom Fighters and goes Inside The Campaign To Get West Papua Back On The Pacific Island Forum's Agenda. See... Scoop Talks To Two West Papuan Freedom Fighters
Pacific Islands Forum Officially Opens - Photo Essay: The 36th Pacific Island Forum officially opened last night with a colourful and vibrant display of Papua New Guinean dance. Photographer Jason Dorday captured the event. Pacific leaders, including those from PNG, New Zealand, Australia, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Cook Islands, Nuie, Solomon Islands have gathered in Port Moresby to discuss issues impacting on the Pacific and will decide whether to adopt a document that will bind the Pacific nations into a common accord ï¿½ the Pacific Plan. See... Photo Essay: At The Opening Of The Pacific Forum
Pacific HIV/AIDS Sufferers Need More Help From NZ - Image by Jason Dorday - HIV/AIDS leaders in the Pacific have joined forces in a call for the New Zealand Government to give more funding to prevention and medicines in the Pacific. 'All the science, all the leadership, and all participation in the world will mean nothing if we don't invest sufficient funds to reach critical coverage levels,' said JVR Prasada Rao the UNAIDS Director for the Regional Support Team Asia and the Pacific. New Zealand AIDS Foundation Executive Director Rachael Le Mesurier said although New Zealand had a good record in providing aid money to the Pacific it had to do better in HIV/AIDS assistance. See... NZ needs to give more to HIV in the Pacific
Audio: Clark/Urwin Confirm West Papua To Be Discussed At Summit
Audio & Images: This morning (local time), as the Pacific Island Forum winds up towards the official opening this afternoon, NZ PM Helen Clark has been holding bilateral meetings with Pacific Island leaders and the PIF Secretary General Greg Urwin. Following her meeting with Mr Urwin Ms Clark took a brief break from her meetings to answer questions from the media. Among the issues discussed were: The Pacific Plan - Her attendance at the NGO forum closing celebrations last night - Whether the issue of West Papua would be discussed at the leaders summit - Winston Peters and whether NZ needs any Australian help in getting along with the United States. See... Audio: NZ PM & PIF SG Talk Forum Issues
PACIFIC FORUM MEDIA RELEASES:
Scoop News: Peters Will ï¿½Definitely Notï¿½ Be Attending Pacific Forum
NZ Foreign Minister, Winston Peters, will not be attending the Pacific Islands Forum in Papua New Guinea this week. Pacific leaders, including those from PNG, New Zealand, Australia, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Cook Islands, Nuie, Solomon Islands have gathered in Port Moresby to discuss issues impacting on the Pacific and will decide whether to adopt a document that will bind the Pacific nations into a common accord ï¿½ the Pacific Plan. See... Scoop News: Peters Will Not Attend Pacific Forum
Helen Clark Visits PNG StopAIDS Centre - Images: New Zealand Prime Minister, Helen Clark, has visited the Anglicare StopAIDS Centre in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Also, NZ PM and Pacific Forum secretary general Greg Urwin face the press. See... Photo Essay: PM Clark Visits StopAIDS Centre PNG
Audio & Images: Helen Clark Addresses Pacific Plan Criticisms In Port Moresby
Audio & Images: Scoop Co-Editor Alastair Thompson reports on Assignment in Papua New Guinea that New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark faced the media over the following issues: Oil & Gas - Indigenous entrepreneurship - NGO criticism of the Pacific Plan consultation process - Labour mobility for seasonal work - NZ's relationship with PNG - NGO criticism of the Pacific Plan consultation process - Labour mobility for seasonal work - New Foreign Minister Winston Petersï¿½ Images By Jason Dorday. Click here to view and listen to this reportï¿½ See... Audio & Images: Clark Pre-Pacific Forum Q&A
HIV Aids problem in West Papua must be highlighted at the Pan Pacific Aids Conference - Indonesia Human Rights Committee says the problem of HIV/Aids is even greater in West Papua than in neighbouring Papua New Guinea where the infection rates are said to be at epidemic levels. Comparing the prevalence rates of people living with AIDS the figures for West Papua are at least one and half times greater than the Papua New Guinea figures. HIV/AIDS is a ticking time-bomb in Indonesian controlled West Papua which has recently been determined to have the highest HIV/AIDs incidence in Indonesia, higher even than in metropolitan Jakarta. See... HIV Aids problem in West Papua must be highlighted
ALSO: Scoop Investigation - HIV/AIDS In The Pacific
Scoop Report: Helen Clark Tours Honiara, Solomon Islands
Audio & Images - A virtual visit to Solomon Islands capital Honiara with New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark in the company of the premiers of Samoa, Nauru & Kiribati. The visit is a whistle-stop tour of Honiara that New Zealand, Australian, Pacific Islands defence and police helped settle in 2003/04 when civil unrest threatened to launch the nation into civil war. Scoop Co-Editor Alastair Thompson reports while on Assignment in Papua New Guinea and the Solomons. See... A Virtual Visit To Honiara With PM Helen Clark
SCOOP AUDIO:Helen Clark answers media questions in Honiara.)
Port Moresby: October 25 05 - The Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand held a bilateral meeting today, the first since Helen Clark's re-election for a third term as NZ PM. Afterwards they held a brief press conference with New Zealand and Australian media. Among the issues discussed in the Press Conference were: West Papua - Labour Mobility - RAMSI's mission to the Solomon Islands - Helen Clark's re-election - The Pacific Plan and PACER.
SCOOP AUDIO:Scoop Audio (NZ PM Helen Clark & Australia PM John Howard press conference.) DOWNLOAD: http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/audio/0510/ClarkHowardPresser251005.mp3
Port Moresby: October 25 05 - Anthony Fofoe and John Kawowo were part of a delegation from West Papua at the pre-Pacific Forum civil society gathering in Port Moresby. In the streaming audio interview linked below (apologies for the sound quality, the two men are both very softly spoken) the two men talk about their efforts to get West Papua's independent movement recognised formally by the Pacific Forum.
SCOOP AUDIO:Scoop Audio (West Papua's independent movement recognised formally by the Pacific Forum.) DOWNLOAD: http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/audio/0510/WestPapuaIV251005.mp3
Tuesday, Oct 25 05,NZ PM Helen Clark IV - announces West Papua will be on leaders' summit agenda.SCOOP AUDIO: Listen To Urwin & Clark Press Standup (9 mins)
Tuesday, Oct 25 05, Greg Urwin IV - NZ PM Helen Clark and PIF sec-general announce West Papua will be on leaders' summit agenda.SCOOP AUDIO: Listen To Urwin Press Standup Following Meeting With Clark (9 mins)
Tuesday October 25 05, Pacific Small Islands States Conference - The Small Island States decided at their meeting that they would be supporting the Pacific Plan. During the Press Conference they discussed this, with particlar reference to the controversial PICTA and PACER trade agreements. They answered questions on how they might raise Government Revenue if they could no longer charge tarifs.
SCOOP AUDIO:Scoop Audio ( Pacific Small Islands States Conference.)
Monday morning, Oct 24 05, Helen Clark began the day with a breakfast with The Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce and Industry business leaders during which she delivered an address on the Pacific Plan, the centerpiece issue at this year's Pacific Island forum. After the address she answered questions from the audience. Among the issues covered were: Oil & Gas - Indigenous entrepreneurship - NGO criticism of the Pacific Plan consultation process - Labour mobility for seasonal work. SCOOP AUDIO:Oct 24 05 - Helen Clark answers media questions after Chamber of Commerce address ï¿½ Port Moresby.)
Monday morning, Oct 24 05, The Prime Minister presented Prime Minister Somare with a gift from New Zealand and after her meeting held a brief standup press conference with the NZ media contingent. Among the issues covered were: NZ's relationship with PNG - NGO criticism of the Pacific Plan consultation process - Labour mobility for seasonal work - New Foreign Minister Winston Peters. SCOOP AUDIO: Oct 24 05 - Helen Clark answers media questions in Port Moresby [7 mins].)
Oct 23 05 ï¿½ Solomon Islands: Helen Clark and Sir Allan Kemakeza discuss the achievements of RAMSI is helping to settle civil unrest in Honiara. SCOOP AUDIO:Helen Clark answers media questions in Honiara.)
Oct 23 05 - Honiara, Solomon Islands: Listen to the bamboo warriors music: SCOOP AUDIO:Bamboo Warriors music in Honiara.)
SCOOP At Gallipoli, Turkey April 2005
Feature: Australia Assumes Supremacy Despite ANZAC Spirit
STATE OF IT - Selwyn Manning writes that ninety years after ANZACs stormed the beaches at Gallipoli, Australiaï¿½s PM John Howard abandoned nine decades of ANZAC spirit boycotting a sacred kiwi ceremony. What does the snub mean for Aust/NZ Relations? And what exactly was Howard signalling? For over one month prior to Anzac Day New Zealand and Australian foreign affairs officials exchanged emails and calls seeking to resolve John Howardï¿½s insistence that he would not be attending the Chunuk Bair service. See... Feature: Australia Alters Course On ANZAC Spirit
ALSO Scoop Video: A memorial documentary to Lt. Col. William Malone and the men who were killed at Chunuk Bair, August 8 1915. Colour images and video editing by Selwyn Manning, black and white images courtesy of Alexander Turnbull Library. See... Scoop Video: ANZAC Cove To Chunuk Bair
Feature: Impressions From A Battlefield 90 Years After - From their position the war was tight around them, they saw the wounded, dead friends, strangers, disorganisation, they lay, they huddled, they were seasick and tired and they had no perspective of the bigger picture that we see - due to history. See... Selwyn Manning: Remembering The Fallen At ANZAC Cove Gallipoli
Scoop Images: Selwyn Manning On The Streets Of Istanbul - Presently en route back to New Zealand from Gallipoli via the Middle East and Malaysia with a plane load of veterans and military personnel Scoop's Selwyn Manning sent in the following photo essays of his trip to Istanbul. See... Scoop Images: Postcards From Istanbul (1), Postcards (2) & The Blue Mosque In Istanbul
Scoop's Selwyn Manning is on tour around Turkey and has been busy snapping royalty, heads of state, and plenty of ordinary punters at Gallipoli. See...Scoop Images: Prince Charles At Chunuk Bair, Chunuk Bair Memorial & ANZAC Dawn Service
Scoop's Selwyn Manning reports from Gallipoli that Australiaï¿½s Prime Minister John Howard will be boycotting an official ANZAC Day New Zealand ceremony at Chunuk Bair, Gallipoli, preferring instead to attend a barbeque on the shores of ANZAC Cove. The snub had New Zealand foreign affairs and defence officials exchanging emails with their Australian counterparts over the past two weeks. Attempts to find a solution to the snub have proven to be futile. John Howardï¿½s decision not to attend is being perceived as an insult by veterans, senior defence officials, and, Australian and New Zealand visitors here at Gallipoli. See... Howard Boycotts Kiwi ANZAC Day Chunuk Bair Service
Images of Gallipoli 90 Years After The Battle - Photo-Essay: Scoop's Selwyn Manning is in Gallipoli attending the 90th commemorations of the World War I battlefield where over two thousand New Zealanders were killed. Seeï¿½ Images from Gallipoli.
Images: On The Way To Gallipoli (Dubai) - Scoop Co-Editor Selwyn Manning sent in the following snapshots from Dubai where the New Zealand Air Force Boeing 757, currently en-route for Gallipoli Turkey, had a stopover last night. The Air Force mission is carrying a group of veterans, as well. Seeï¿½ Images: Snapshots From The Gallipoli Voyage (2)
Images: On The Way To Gallipoli 05 (Cairns, Australia) - Scoop Co-Editor Selwyn Manning has sent in the following snapshots from Cairns of the New Zealand Air Force Boeing 757 currently en-route for Gallipoli Turkey to attend ANZAC day commemorations. The mission is carrying a group of veterans as well as ... Seeï¿½ Scoop Images: Snapshots From The Gallipoli Voyage
Scoop Assignment: Pacific Island Forum 2004, Samoa
Photo Essay:Out and About in Samoa
NZ Gains Int. Support For Indonesian Atrocity Truth Commission - Selwyn Manning in Apia - The United States of America is backing New Zealand in a push to have a UN-backed international ï¿½truth commissionï¿½ established to investigate an Indonesian massacre committed in East Timor in 1999. See... U.S. Backs NZ's Indonesia Truth Commission Push
Selwyn Manning In Samoa: Howard Politicised Into Further Aid For Nauru - Scoop Feature: Information filtering out of a Pacific Islands leadersï¿½ summit suggests Australia will bail-out Nauru from a dire economic crisis. Australiaï¿½s PM Howard told reporters he would agree to provide Nauru more aid. But there are strings attached... See... APIA: Howard Boxed Into More Aid For Nauru
Out n About In Samoa - Photo Essay: The Pacific Islands Forum has concluded in Samoa and post forum dialogue meetings are churning through business. But out and about the island of Upolu a timeless Pacific rolls along. Scoop captures the contrasts. See... Photo Essay: Samoa And About The Pacific Forum
Photo Essay: Pacific Forum Opens In Samoa Style.
Scoop Is In Samoa At The Pacific Islands Forum
Pacific Leaders Go To Ground On Big Issues - Pacific islands leaders have gathered at a secure retreat at Samoaï¿½s Sinalei Reef Resort today where they will discuss a raft of issues impacting on the Oceania region. Featuring high on the agenda is Nauru, AIDS/HIV, security, cultural identity, a Pacific aid co-operative, border clashes and Tongaï¿½s monarchyï¿½ Seeï¿½ Leaders Retreat To Discuss Pacificï¿½s Big Issues
A Gentler Pace Of Politics
Scoop Is In Samoa At The Pacific Island Forum
Nauru On The Agenda -Leaders of Pacific nations are gathering in Apia, Western Samoa to attend 2004ï¿½s Pacific islands Forum and high on the agenda will be how the regionï¿½s nations ought to help resolve Nauruï¿½s impending bankruptcy. See... Pacific Islands Forum To Consider Nauru Crisis
& Watch Scoop over the Weekend for breaking news from the Pacific Island Forum.
Pacific Islands Forum Opening Address Hans Keil
Pacific Smaller Island States Joint Statement
ACP Leaders Joint Statement
SCOOP IN ITALY
LINK: Scoop's Selwyn Manning Remembers Cassino In The Listener - For the men who returned to the site of one of New Zealand's bloodiest battles, the strongest memories were of their comrades who never came home. Seeï¿½ The Listener: Back to Cassino By Selwyn Manning .
Italy:Clark Meets Berlusconi, Discusses Iraq
For more see... Italy Assignment: Full Coverage...
PM Discusses UN Involvement In Iraq With Berlusconi - Italy, Rome -- Helen Clark and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi discussed in Rome yesterday a planned United Nations resolution that, if adopted, would see a multinational UN-led force in Iraq. See... Berlusconi And Clark Discuss UN Forces In Iraq
ALSO: Pope John Paul II Gives New Zealand Blessing - New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark met with Pope John Paul II in his private library at the Vatican late Friday (NZ Time) where the Pontiff gave New Zealand a special blessing. See... Pope Blesses New Zealand And Her Peoples
Abbey of MonteCassino: Once a formidible fortress, now an icon for peace.
Photo Essay: Monte Cassino Abbey Now An Icon For Peace - The Abbey high above the Italian town of Cassino was once the dread of thousands of New Zealanders during a famous Battle here from January to May 1944. But today, the once bombed out ruins have been restored to near original condition. See... Photo Essay: Monte Cassino Abbey An Icon For Peace
NZ And Italy Sign Film Production Agreement - New Zealand and Italy are expanding an agreement on film co-productions between the two countries. See... NZ, Italy sign agreement on film production
Italy:Maori Warriors Show Italians Feared Reputation
A Clash Of Cultures In The Mists Of Cassino - Mist lay heavy about the hills surrounding the Monte Cassino War Cemetery today as a cultural clash marred events commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Monte Cassino. See... Italy: Maori Warriors Show Reputation Feared
New Zealand Signs Holiday/Retirement Deal With Malta - Malta -- New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark has laid a wreath honouring the sacrifice of New Zealand World War I soldiers buried at a war graves cemetery in Malta. See... NZ Prime Minister Arrives In Malta
NZ World War II Veterans Arrive In Cassino
Scoop In Italy: NZAC Veterans Return To Cassino - CASSINO, ITALY -- New Zealand World War II veterans have arrived at the place of a famous battle at Monte Cassino, Italy. See... NZ Vets Arrive In Cassino - North By North-West
MORE FROM THE PM ABROAD:
- New Zealand to open embassy in Cairo
- PM welcomes new film projects
Scoop Reports From CHOGM, Abuja Nigeria
DATELINE ABUJA NIGERIA: December 2003 -- New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark attended the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Abuja, Nigeria. Scoop Co-Editor Selwyn Manning was there reporting on events. Click here for Scoop feature: Symbols Of Commonwealth Irrelevancy
Photo-Essay: Out Of Africa, Nigeria
Scoop Feature: Symbols Of Commonwealth Irrelevancy
Nowhere is Commonwealth impotence more apparent than at this yearï¿½s CHOGM in Nigeria. The real Nigeria, the real Commonwealth, is here for all who choose to see it. One only needs not to turn away. But then, it is not pleasant, it challenges the senses. It dirties the shoes and makes one think. Scoop Co-Editor Selwyn Manning writes from Abuja, Nigeria...
Kings Of Abuja City: Nigeria Army Sergeant Ibrahim Kazac: ï¿½Yes this is a Kalashnikov, a very good weapon, it never misfires even when it is in water.
"Yes, I have just returned to Nigeria from having served in a peacekeeping force in Liberia. Before that I was in Sierra Leone. Yes of course I have been shot at, and have shot people... It is the nature of my job.ï¿½
Soldiers Of Misfortune: This is the backdrop to this Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Abuja Nigeria. The streets here reveal the real issues confronting this meeting of old Empire heads. There's contrast everywhere one looks. Today's Commonwealth meeting is more about polarisation, desperation, poverty, wealth. The extremes are so obvious, they leave a feeling of hopelessness, anger, understanding. If there is relevancy in 21st century Commonwealth it rests in a cradle of African nations, forging a unity never seen on this continent, a regional alliance determined to confront the west and drive forward an African agenda.
Here at Abuja, the Commonwealth Heads Of Government Meeting churns on. The group of six nations charged to decide whether Zimbabwe ought to have its suspension continued, drifts along. South Africa continues to stall progress, the delay a face saving move that places the western nations, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom... in an embarrasing space.
From the sidelines of African politics Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe continues to attack the Commonwealth as a club of racists. And Queen Elizabeth was seen to 'tour' Nigeria for the first time since her coronation in the 1950s.
She was here for less than three days. Surely there's an irony in this fact, a degree of neglect, especially considering the span of her reign and degree of exploitation that this region of the Commonwealth has suffered since colonialism 'settled' the African peoples.
The Queen was staying at the Presidential mansion, albeit in a room recently painted and fuming. She toured a film-set supposedly to meet ï¿½real Nigeriansï¿½. Unfortunately for the Monarch, the people were actors in a play directed to deceive. The Queen leaves for home tomorrow.
But the real Nigeria is there for all who choose to see it. One only needs not to turn away. But then, it is not pleasant, it challenges the senses. The divisions in the Commonwealth here are laid bare.
Ironically, only 100 metres from the Abuja Hilton hotel, a scene of Commonwealth contrasts exists.
To the right, behind gates guarded by scores of machine-gun touting soldiers, are symbols of sheer greed and social dis-conscience. Fountains of wealth flow within the grandeur.
Leaders of the Commonwealthï¿½s nations bask in VIP glory, while to the left, down the road, almost within spitting distance, a gathering of Nigeriaï¿½s poor huddle around an open fire, their ceiling; a highway structure supporting the roar of importance, the belching stench of a richly tuned motorcade carrying the privileged to another cocktail retreat.
Deep inside narrow alleys of one of Abujaï¿½s largest markets sits a group of men. They operate a wristwatch repair service.
One looks up ï¿½welcome to Nigeriaï¿½ he says. To his left a sticker of Osama bin Laden decorates his toolbox. One needs a hero in such a place.
Nigeria is rich in oil. BP and Shell have returned little to Nigeria by way of development or sustainability. That is clear by the degree of poverty and the fact that only weeks ago 20 Nigerians were shot while protesting against fuel prices.
The irony and hypocrisy surrounds all in this continent of hope without means, resource without equality or equity.
And yet, there are those determined to have Nigeria, a country of 120 million people, progress. Cab drivers here say much has improved in the past five years, due they say to President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and settlement between the predominent Muslim population and Christians. Today, inter tribal rivalries and war is largely in the past.
One cab driver called Justice says: "Today people realise that there is no purpose in fighting each other over religion or tribe. We want Nigeria to progress and we can do this through unity."
ï¿½Here democracy is five years old," says a protocol official for CHOGM born in Biafra, 1969, the year the Nigeria/Biafra war concluded.
"One cannot compare Nigeria to those countries who have embraced democracy hundreds of years ago. Here, we are building a nation. We need foreign investment. By hosting CHOGM the outside world has the chance to see the real Nigeria for themselves. We want foreign businesses and governments to have confidence in investing here.
"We have deregulated the telecommunications sector and foreign investment in telecommunications in Nigeria is thriving. We are about to deregulate the power industry.ï¿½
But brutality and corruption exist too. From a government HQ neighbouring a hotel where a New Zealand contingent is staying were heard the cries of a prisoner being tortured at the hands of the police. And the grandiose estates resting atop Minister's Hill, overlooking Abuja's vast sectors of squalor, display wealth accrued by government and private corporate heads which reveals more a complete lack of social conscience and greed than business acumen and success.
And yet the CHOGM talkfest continues on without resolution over Zimbabwe.
Mugabe Threatens To Leave Commonwealth -- On Saturday, December 6 03, Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe threatened to pull out of the Commonwealth making irrelevant an expected decision by a CHOGMï¿½s group of 6 to continue Zimbabweï¿½s suspension from the Commonwealth.
Mugabeï¿½s threat exposes the Commonwealthï¿½s impotency in it not being able to decisively deal with member nations that abandon human rights and democratic ideals. It is a hallmark of Commonwealth conservatism that crisis be resolved by way of consensus and to shy from creating compelling precedence to expel the rogue state forthwith.
Interestingly, Mugabeï¿½s threat to withdraw from the Commonwealth further exposes its weakness as heads of governments were shown to drift without direction or decision.
And from Zimbabwe, Mugabe milks it for all he is worth.
Strength Of Commonwealth Nations
The Strength Of Nations: Commonwealth Parliamentary Assn Secretary General Denis Marshall snoozes while the Coomonwealth's in Crisis.
The Zimbabwe suspension issue has divided nations attending this yearï¿½s Commonwealth Heads Of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Abuja, Nigeria. Western nations have forthrightly pursued consensus to continue Zimbabweï¿½s suspension of the Commonwealth. A growing faction of African nations interprets the westï¿½s public condemnation of Robert Mugabe as ï¿½bullyingï¿½ and seeks to have Zimbabweï¿½s suspension lifted.
A group of six nations has been charged with resolving the standoff. It is made up of leaders from Australia and Canada, who oppose readmission; from Zimbabwe's neighbours Mozambique and South Africa, who are in favour readmission; and two neutral nations from India and Jamaica.
The split at CHOGM stole from Commonwealth secretary general Don McKinnon a unanimous re-election. Indeed McKinnonï¿½s re-election faced a late challenge by Sri Lankaï¿½s former foreign minister, Lakshma Kadirgamar.
He was re-elected 40-11.
Here at CHOGM, Don McKinnon said: ï¿½Iï¿½ve faced many elections in my time, and Iï¿½ve lost a couple and won most of the rest. So I wasnï¿½t worried about it. I was surprised because after canvassing all leaders six months ago on the basis of ï¿½well what do you thinkï¿½, I was certainly encouraged to offer myself for re-election. So I felt a little bit of surprise by what came from Sri Lanka. But no, I am not worried about it.ï¿½
What has this to do with a former empire containing the most painful extremes? Nothing.
"Welcome to Nigeria! Thank you."
Scoop in Nigeria ï¿½ An Empire On The Brink - Nowhere is Commonwealth impotence more apparent than at this yearï¿½s CHOGM in Nigeria. The real Nigeria, the real Commonwealth, is here for all who choose to see it. One only needs not to turn away. But then, it is not pleasant, it challenges the senses. It dirties the shoes and makes one think. See... Symbols Of Commonwealth Irrelevancy
Photo Essay: Abuja Nigeria ï¿½ Hub Of African Humanity
NZ Prime Minister Helen Clark fears Mugabe may put in place a much harsher regime inside Zimbabwe.
Commonwealth leaders had endorsed a Group of Six recommendation that the status quo will remain - that Zimbabwe's suspension from the Commonwealth continue.
Jamaica had been made chair of a Group of Six committee that would have liaised and encouraged Zimbabwe to meet a series of conditions before the suspension would have been lifted.
The committee chairs role was to engage with Mugabe, and once the chair believed sufficient progress had been made, he would have consulted the Group of Six committee. The guiding conditions were: observation of the Harare Declaration on human rights. If sufficient progress had been made, the chair would have reported back to the Group of Six seeking consensus before it recommended to Commonwealth leaders that Zimbabwe be invited back into the fold.
But that is all academic now.
Other conditions were that Zimbabwe would be required to re-affirm the importance of supporting and consolidating democracy, ensuring peace and harmony, and promoting development and growth in Zimbabwe.
New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark had welcomed the CHOGM announcement saying it would not have been credible for Zimbabwe to be invited back into the Commonwealth at this time. She said fears remain that now Zimbabweï¿½s president Robert Mugabe has acted out threats to exit the Commonwealth, he could put in place a much harsher regime to control the nation.
The Sky-Road To CHOGM - Via Oman
Scoop Images: A Virtual Stopover In Bahrain - Scoop Reporters Abroad... Bahrain, December 2003... See... Photo-Essay 1: From Under A Bahrain Sky - (Part 2) & (Part 3)
.... Korea: 50th Commemoration Of Korean War Ceasefire....
DATELINE SEOUL: July 2003 - Selwyn Manning Reporting
Kissinger And Clark Meet In Seoul
SCOOP IN KOREA
A Week Of UN-Styled Statesmanship - New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark was the keynote speaker Sunday at the 50th Armistice Anniversary in Panmunjom, South Korea. Celebrations marking the signing of the Armistice were led by the United Nations at the south side of the Joint Security ... See... Clark Keynote Speaker: UN Anniversary at Panmunjom
Clark And Kissinger Have 45 Minute Closed Door Meeting - Former United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger met with New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark Saturday in Seoul to discuss the North Korea nuclear crisis. See... Kissinger Meets Clark Over North Korea Nuke Crisis
ALSO: - Eve Korean Armistice 50th: Kissinger To Meet NZ PM
Photo Essay: Kiwi War Vets Revisit Graves Of Fallen Friends -New Zealand Korean War Veterans gathered Saturday at the United Nations War Cemetery in Busan South Korea to commemorate 36 men who died in the 1950-53 Korean War. See... Kiwi Kay Force Vets Honour Our Dead In Korea
Photo-Essay: Scoop Eyewitness To Last Cold-War Bastion - Staunchness is the dress code at the North / South Korean border. Scoop Media Sunday captured the scene at the 50th Armistice Anniversary at Ponmunjom on the North - South Border, Korea. See... Photo-Essay: Koreaï¿½s DMZ Dress-Code Staunch
Staunchness Is The Dress-Code At Panmunjom
Kiwi Kay Force Vets Honour Our Dead In Korea - Image: Scoop Media
Smoke And Mirrors Or Just A Spectator Sport - Is it odd that Henry Kissinger is the USAï¿½s official representative at the 50th anniversary of the Korean Armistice Agreement - and what's behind NZ PM Helen Clark having 'unofficialï¿½ talks with Kissinger on North Korea? See... Eve Korean Armistice 50th: Kissinger To Meet NZ PM
Helen Clark Has Bilateral Talks With South Korea President Roh
Scoop Photo-Essay: PM Arrives In Korea - New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark has arrived in Korea and will shortly be meeting with the New President. Scoop Deputy Editor Selwyn Manning is travelling with the PM's party and will report later today on happenings in Korea. On route the PM stopped ... See... Scoop Images: Helen Clark Arrives In Korea
NZ Prime Minister Helen Clark In Korea
Prime Minister Helen Clarkï¿½s Speech In Seoul - Your Excellency, thank you for your kind words. You have shown why the Republic of Korea is held in such high esteem in my country. I thank you for the honour you do me in hosting this lunch. See... PM's Luncheon Speech At Blue House, Seoul, Korea