Vanuatu Games Association Threatens Pullout Of Mini-Games

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Seeks government release of funding

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, April 30, 2016) – The Pacific Games Association of Vanuatu is now threatening to ask the Pacific Games Council to withdraw the 2017 mini-games from Vanuatu if urgent action by the Government is not taken to release promised funding.

Vanuatu Government was the main instigator of a bid to host the games in the country and had requested VASANOC to submit an expression of interest to host the games according to VASANOC.

After Vanuatu won the Bid in 2011, the host agreement was signed by the Government with the Pacific Games Council and witnessed by VASANOC.

It also says Vanuatu's bid included the written support of Government, the Ministry for Sport, the Port Vila Municipality and VASANOC.

But the Association says there's been no release of funds from the Government, and VASANOC is now considering notifying the Pacific Games Council of Vanuatu's withdrawal as hosts of these Games.

The Vanuatu Daily Post says if this happens, it will be the first-time in the history of the games that a host country has withdrawn from hosting the event.

Earlier, the Pacific Games Council said a lot remains to be done before Vanuatu is ready to host the 2017 Mini Games.

China started construction work on the main Korman site in Port Vila earlier this month, after 13 months of delays following Cyclone Pam.

The Pacific Games Council will meet with key officials next week, including the Vanuatu Prime Minister Charlot Salwai, prior to next month's General Assembly.

The Executive Director, Andrew Minogue, said the signs of progress are positive but plenty still needs to be done.

"The money still has to come through to the Organising Committee and then they themselves have to ramp up their efforts and plans for the Games because we're in December 2017 for the Games which is really only 19/20 months away from now."

Andrew Minogue said the Council's General Assembly in Port Vila is a good opportunity for member countries to have a look around at what progress was being done to reassure them everything is on track.

 

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