FRENCH POLYNESIA NEWS

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December 6, 1999
PINA Nius Online

29TH PACIFIC COMMUNITY ANNUAL CONFERENCE OPENING CEREMONY TAKES PLACE IN TAHITI

PAPEETE, French Polynesia (December 6, 1999 - PINA Nius Online)---The Pacific Community's 29th annual conference is now under way, the daily newspaper La Dépêche de Tahiti reports.

The conference, with the overall theme of "New Technologies: Knowledge and Information in the Pacific Islands," marks the Pacific Community (PC)'s fiftieth anniversary as a Pacific Islands regional organization.

Last year, the organization adopted a change of name, from the former "South Pacific Commission" to the "Pacific Community."

An official opening ceremony was held in the French territory's capital with heads or representatives of member state governments attending, as well as representatives of non-governmental organizations and observer countries.

The ceremony, which took place in downtown Papeete, featured a flag-raising ceremony for each member state hosted by French Polynesian President Gaston Flosse.

Only the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Niue and Samoa did not have representatives present.

Giving the opening address, Tonga's Deputy Prime Minister Langi Kavaliku thanked President Flosse for hosting the event.

The ceremony ended with performances by traditional dance groups from the Marquesas and Tahiti.

On Tuesday, the PC will formally open two days of meetings with the election of its new director general. Guam's Lourdes Pangelinan is expected to succeed Australian Dr. Bob Dun, whose term end this year.

The PC also is scheduled to adopt its year 2000 budget during the conference.

During the opening ceremony, pro-independence Tavini party, headed by Oscar Temaru, staged a 1,000-person-strong demonstration demanding Flosse's resignation after a Paris court recently found him guilty of "passive corruption" in a case involving funds paid to his political party.

Police prevented the protestors from approaching the PC conference's opening ceremony.

 

FRENCH DEFENSE SECRETARY TO FRENCH POLYNESIA TO ATTEND PACIFIC COMMUNITY MEETING

PAPEETE, French Polynesia (December 6, 1999 - PINA Nius Online)---French Secretary of Defense Jean-Pierre Masseret was scheduled to arrive in the French Polynesian capital of Papeete Monday to attend the Pacific Community’s annual general meeting, the daily newspaper La Dépêche de Tahiti reports.

Masseret is returning from East Timor and Darwin (northern Australia), where he visited the French forces (some of which come from the French Pacific territory of New Caledonia) currently contributing to the International Force in East Timor (INTERFET).

In Papeete, Masseret will head a French ministerial delegation (mainly from the French Foreign Affairs and Overseas ministries) attending the Pacific Community’s conference , being held in Papeete December 6-7.

France is a major aid donor to the regional organization.

 

PACIFIC COMMUNITY’S OFFICIALS TALK MONEY IN PAPEETE

PAPEETE, French Polynesia (December 6, 1999 - PINA Nius Online)---The Pacific Community’s 22nd government and administration officials’ three-day meeting, which was held in the French Polynesian capital last week, focused on the regional organization’s budget and finances, the daily newspaper La Dépêche de Tahiti reports.

The SPC (Secretariat of the Pacific Community) currently relies on two major sources of revenues. One is contributions by its member states and territories, which totaled about 7.5 million CFP (US$ 64,103) for the 1999 financial year.

The SPC’s primary source of revenue is "non statutory." It comes from the organization’s aid donors and is estimated to total US$ 16 million for 1999.

In 1995, the "non statutory" revenue totaled about half that amount, US$ 8 million.

During last week’s meeting, calls were made for greater organizational transparency.

The results of the officials’ meeting will be presented at this week’s ministerial meeting.

This bulletin was produced by the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA). Editor: Patrick Antoine Decloitre E-mail: padec@iname.com 

For more information, contact Nina Ratulele, PINA Administrator, at pina@is.com.fj 

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Damodar Centre, 1st Floor 46 Gordon Street Suva, Republic of the Fiji Islands Tel: (679) 303 623 Fax : (679) 303 943 Postal Address: PINA, Private Mail Bag, Suva, Fiji Islands Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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