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MEDIA RELEASE February 24, 2000

Motarilavoa Hilda Lini of Vanuatu has been appointed by the NFIP/PCRC Executive Board as the new Director of the Pacific Concerns Resource Centre (PCRC). She replaces Lopeti Senituli of Tonga who did not seek renewal of his contract last year, after being at the helm of the secretariat for the Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific Movement since 1987.

Motarilavoa brings with her a wealth of experience. She was Minister of Health in the Vanuatu government from 1991 to 1993 and Minister of Justice, Culture and Women in 1996. She was also Women's Programme Officer in the South Pacific Commission (now Pacific Community) from 1982 to 1986. In recent times she has been a consultant to various international organizations, editor and journalist, and a member of the Liberation movement in Vanuatu.

Motarilavoa has had a long association with the NFIP Movement having actively participated in the development and implementation of the peoples Charter for NFIP, as well as member of the NFIP Steering Committee from 1980-1982, which decided PCRC’s formation as secretariat for the NFIP Movement.

The former Coordinator of the Women's Wing of the Vanuatu Liberation Movement, which campaigned for independence from Britain and France in the 1970s, Ms. Lini has been a strong supporter of persons and organizations working for independence in other countries of the Pacific, including West Papua, Kanaky (New Caledonia), East Timor, and Te Ao Maohi, (French Polynesia). She also has close contacts with the Bougainville, Maori, Aboriginal, and Shoshone peoples.

For many years Motarilavoa was the only woman legislator in the Vanuatu Parliament. She has been a lobbyist in both regional and international fora for issues of concern to Pacific peoples, including nuclear testing, indigenous rights, development issues, and recognition of human rights for Pacific women.

During her years as a legislator, Motarilavoa was a strong advocate for international understanding and peace. In recognition of this she was awarded the prestigious "1998 Women of the Year" by the American Biographical Institute, and the International Peace Bureau awarded her the Sean MacBride Peace Prize in 1993. The President of Vanuatu awarded her the Vanuatu Tenth Anniversary Medal in 1990.

Pacific Concerns Resource Centre lodged the application for Motarilavoa's work permit with the Fiji government in January 2000. She will take up her appointment in Suva as soon as her work permit is approved.

For further information, contact: Stanley Simpson TEL: 304 649 Fax: 304 755

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