His Excellency Marc Su and Rt. Hon. Enele Sosene Sopoaga
Photo: With the complement of the Tuvalu Government Media
A cheque amounting to AU$4, 047, 920 was received on Monday (19 March 2018) morning by the Government of Tuvalu. The cheque was presented by the Ambassador of the Republic of China on Taiwan in Tuvalu, His Excellency Marc Su. The cheque was received by the Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon Enele Sosene Sopoaga on behalf of the Government of Tuvalu.
Before he presented the cheque, His Excellency Marc Su thanked the Government of Tuvalu for supporting Taiwan especially in international meetings and also for the very good relationship Taiwan has enjoyed since the two nations established diplomatic relationship.
The cheque was Taiwan’s assistance and contribution to Tuvalu in its development.
The Rt Hon Prime Minister Sopoaga on behalf of the Government of Tuvalu responded by thanking the Government of Taiwan through Ambassador Marc Su for its continuous support for Tuvalu.
The Republic of China (Taiwan) is the only country that has a permanent diplomatic mission in Tuvalu.
(Ms Afasene Iosefa)
After the PNA Leader’s Meeting in Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Tuvalu’s Prime Minister, Hon. Enele Sosene Sopoga left to India to attend the mega inaugural International Solar Alliance Summit.
The big draw at the summit was the French President Emanuel Macron, who was on a state visit to India coinciding with the event, which his country is co-sponsoring.
The meeting comes just over two years after India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi first proposed the initiative.
According to reports, the key goal of ISA is to make available solar energy at an affordable rate, create solar grids and establish solar credit mechanism,
Tuvalu’s Prime Minister Hon. Enele Sosene Sopoaga said Tuvalu has already ratified and signed the ISA Treaty and his presence at the meeting provides Tuvalu an opportunity to request India to provide us with more solar energy.
At the moment, solar in Tuvalu has about 30 percent in total and Tuvalu needs to increase its solar to 60 or 70 percent.
The solar panels are installed at the Media Department, the Tuvalu Electricity Corporation, the Government Office, the Princess Margaret Hospital, the Marine Warehouse, and outer islands.
The Prime Minster of India held bilateral talks with some of the leaders on the sidelines of the summit.
The vision and mission of the International Solar Alliance is to provide a dedicated platform for cooperation among solar resource rich countries where the global community, including bilateral and multilateral organizations, can make a positive contribution to assist and help achieve the common goals of increasing the use of solar energy in meeting energy needs of prospective ISA member countries in a safe, convenient, affordable, equitable and sustainable manner.
The secretariat is based in Gurgaon, where Prime Minister Modi and then French President Hollande laid the foundation stone in 2016.
Hon. Sopoaga is being accompanied by his wife, Salilo Enele, Secretary of the Ministry for Public Utilities, Avafoa Irata, the Acting Private Secretary, Asogali Tufoua, and Security Officer, Penivao Penete.
Tuvalu’s premier, Enele Sopoaga, says he would like to see the private sector take a role in helping economic development and fighting climate change in his country. Tuvalu is considered one of the most threatened Pacific Island nations because of rising sea levels due to climate change. Mr Sopoaga told Pacific Trade and Invest that Tuvalu was working on many fronts to combat the effects of climate change.
He said the private sector could be instrumental in helping create economic resilience. Mr Sopoaga said traditional products like toddy or viscous coconut sugar syrup have great potential. He said coconut oil and breadfruit were also promising candidates for exports with the right kind of processing and packaging inputs to develop them. The Prime Minister said there were no supply issues because of the abundance of coconut trees and the communities’ readiness in producing toddy for sale. “One coconut can produce as much as five litres of toddy,” he said. Mr Sopoaga believes the product has good export potential. The government has had samples assayed at the laboratories of the University of the South Pacific (USP) in Suva, Fiji and have developed a nutrition label in preparation for exports.
The Minister of Communications and Transport Hon. Monise Laafai, officially opened the Funafuti International Airport’s new terminal on Wednesday morning, 28 February at the Vaiaku Falekaupule. The function in fact began with a special service to dedicate the building which was conducted by Rev Penitusi Taeia, the President of the Ekalesia Kelisiano Tuvau.
Attending the ceremony were government dignitaries, representative from public corporations, non-government organizations, religious bodies and island communities. The Head of State, Governor General, His Excellency Iakoba Taeia Italeli and spouse, government ministers and spouses, the wife of the Speaker to Parliament, Mee O. Tausi, MPs and their wives.
In his opening remarks, Hon. Laafai said: ‘I am truly honored and privileged to stand here as a representative of the Tuvalu Government, to deliver the keynote address for the official opening of the Funafuti International Airport terminal.”
“Before I proceed, I would like to pay my respect to the people of this land – the living and the dead, for the opportunity to use this land for significant development project.”
‘Today’, the Minister said, ‘marks another milestone in the history of our aviation sector.
“In November, last year, we officially became the 192 member of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). In December, the same year, we witnessed the signing of the Air Service Agreement between Tuvalu and the Republic of Kiribati where we agreed to open our skies for Air Kiribati to start flying to Tuvalu.
I am pleased to announce that Air Kiribati will commence its first commercial flight on 21 March 2018, with two promotional flights preceding that, which have been scheduled to come on 14 and 17 March.”
“Now we are here to witness the opening of our very new airport terminal. Soon we will have a new air control tower building and a better and safer airstrip which are still in progress.”
All these new developments in our aviation sector according to Hon. Laafai, were part and parcel of the Government’s commitments toward improving air service in Tuvalu.
In the aviation industry, he said, such building plays a key role in the smooth and safe movements of passengers and cargoes.
“Indeed, with time is now of the essence to both air service operators and travelers, a well-designed and well-equipped terminal is critically important.”
“For those of us who have had the opportunity to travel to other destinations around the globe, we have witnessed, and sometimes marveled about, the complexity and magnitude of airport operation,”
Hon. Laafai on behalf of the people and the Government of Tuvalu extended his most gratitude to the World Bank, through Mr. Lasse Melgaard, the World Bank Representative for the South Pacific and Country Director for Tuvalu based in Suva, for the extraordinary support in funding the construction of this world standard airport terminal.
In the same vein, the Minister also extended his huge fakafetai lasi (thank you) to the Contractor Reeves International and CCB Envico (JV) through Mr. Brian Oman, the site manager, for the good work and fine workmanship.
“I know that we have had some difficulties during the construction phase due to unforeseen circumstances, but your patience and unwavering commitment has finally paid off,” said Hon. Laafai.
Mr. Lasse Melgaard, the World Bank representative also made a speech at the function. He said “This isn’t just a terminal – it is the gateway to Tuvalu for tourists, seafarers, official visitors and students, all coming and going from this central transport hub.”
“Investment in airports is crucial, not just for function, but also for form, as they are usually the first and last thing visitors see when visiting a country,”
“As we can see, the terminal’s design marries aesthetics, comfort and conformity with all the safety and security standards of a modern airport. All too often the sense of local culture is lost in new infrastructure, so it’s heartening to see elements including colorful walls and timber featuring prominently.”
He went on to say that the terminal is also an example of sustainability and resilience, with its natural ventilation system and an 800,000-liter rainwater tank for times of drought.
Mr. Melgaard also said that additional storage and handling facilities have also been incorporated to enable better response following natural disasters. The complexities of remoteness and the sheer amount of materials required for the building posed a number of challenges, and much blood, sweat and tears went into overcoming the hurdles in creating this travel hub.
In the field of aviation, he said, “I should note that Tuvalu is making headways in other areas as well. We are proud to have supported Tuvalu’s efforts in becoming the newest member in the world of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).”
He said this will provide Tuvalu a voice at international aviation dialogues, and access to ICAO’s guidance and support on aviation policy development, capacity-building, and infrastructure development planning.
Mr. Melgaard also took the opportunity to reaffirm the World Bank’s commitment to working with the Government of Tuvalu to meet development challenges head-on.
“We are partnering with you in outer island development, ICT, aviation, fisheries, energy, and policy reforms to ensure secondary school fees, reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases, strengthen the sustainability of public finances and encouraging a more robust banking sector.”
He also acknowledged the work of each and every Tuvaluan who worked with Reeves/CCB team on the building – you should feel very proud of what you’ve built here.
However, Mr. Brian Oman, the site manager stood on behalf of the project manager of the Contractor Reeves International and CCB Envico JV, to convey his specials thanks to everyone, the workers and the community for their helpful and friendly making the work went well and much easier.
After the speeches, all the invited guests moved to the new terminal to witness the unveiling of the plague by the Hon. Monise Laafai, and the cutting of the ribbon by the Governor General, His Excellency Sir Iakoba Taeia Italeli, the World Bank representative, Mr. Melgaard, and the Acting Prime Minister Hon. Namoliki S Neemia.
Followed after was the handing over of the keys to Hon. Laafai by the site-manager Mr. Oman.
lounges, proper immigration, quarantine and custom clearance facilities, a sick-bay for health service, a space for duty free shop and of course a bigger VIP lounge that could cater large numbers of visiting and out-going dignitaries.
From there, all the invited guests had a tour of the building in which KMT News personnel witnessed all the basic airport facilities that include a more spacious departure and arrival
The new terminal, according to Hon. Laafai, will not be used until two weeks as there are interior decorations and furnishing that need to be done before we could actually start using it.
The A$5.07 million-dollar-project was funded by the World Bank
That same evening, the Chief Guest, the Hon. Minister of Communication and Transport, Monise Laafai hosted a dinner at the Funafut Lagoon Hotel after which there were entertainments of local dancing provided by the community of Funafuti and Nukulaelae yp highlight the night.
Trainees at the Tuvalu Maritime Training Institute looked after the catering
There were three items from each dancing group and then the night was rounded up with speeches from the host of the evening, Hon Monise Laafai and the Acting Prime Minister, Hon Namoliki Sualiki who both thanked the two communities for the wonderful performance.
APPEAL FOR DONATIONS FOR CHURCH BUILDING
The Vaiaku Vaialofa Church Congregation is appealing for donations towards the construction of its new church building. This congregation is a member of the mainline Christian Church in Tuvalu, the Ekalesia Kelisiano Tuvalu which is a member of the World Council of Churches (WCC), the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC), the Council for World Mission (CWM)
THE Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Enele Sopoaga, says the recently-released University of Auckland research pointing to an increase in his country’s land mass is flawed. Enele Sopoaga told Fijian media at a press conference in Suva this afternoon that Tuvalu was not expanding and said the University of Auckland research released by New Zealand media two days ago was flawed and risky.
Mr Sopoaga rejected the research by the university’s coastal geomorphologists, Professor Paul S. Kench, Dr Murray R. Ford and Dr Susan D. Owen, which was largely based on 40 years worth of imagery of the Tuvaluan shoreline.
PM said the expansion of Tuvaluan shoreline did not equate to habitable land for the people of the ‘sinking’ country. Entitled ‘Patterns of island change and persistence offer alternate adaptation pathways for atoll nations’, the research paper was submitted to the university in July 2017 and approved on January 9, published online on February 9. “Results highlight a net increase in land area in Tuvalu of 73.5ha (2.9 per cent), despite sea-level rise, and land area increase in eight of nine atolls,” the research abstract explains. “Results challenge perceptions of island loss, showing islands are dynamic features that will persist as sites for habitation over the next century, presenting alternate opportunities for adaptation that embrace the heterogeneity of island types and their dynamics.” PM Sopoaga said the report and the release of its findings were “rather unfortunate”.
“As the leader of the Tuvalu, about which most of the report has paid most of its focus, I find it totally unfortunate and perhaps untimely in that the news item was never allowed responding or verifying by Tuvalu authorities,” the PM said. “It was simply put for public consumption without proper verification. I strongly feel this is irresponsible reporting and irresponsible disclosure of information which should have been properly verified.” The PM said the report should have been contextualised with features of climate change effects such as saltwater intrusion. Alluding to mischievous agenda, Mr Sopoaga said neither the researchers nor the University of Auckland had sourced the partnership of Tuvaluan scientists or government and he questioned why the scientists had not brought the research to light at COP23 in Germany last November. “We should have been given the chance so that our scientists, our experts on climate change and on the movement of atoll islands be given the opportunity to at least look at the report and comment,” Mr Sopoaga said. The Tuvaluan government will respond to the report and also upload an alternative viewpoint to the Talanoa Dialogue Portal, which was set up by UN Climate Change (UNFCCC) in late January.
As a normal gesture when attending special important functions overseas, the Prime Minister, Hon Enele Sosene Sopoaga presented gifts of Tuvalu handicrafts to two Pacific leaders whom he visited recently. When he was in Nauru, he presentes gifts of a Tuvalu decorated mat and other smaller items to President Baron Waqa. While in New Zealand he also presented gifts of a mini Tuvalu village and other smaller handicraft items.
The Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Hon Enele Sosene Sopoaga and the President of Nauru, Hon Baron Waqa holding the gift of a decorated mat from Tuvalu. The photo was taken in Nauru by Penivao Penete. Te Ulu o te Maaloo, Enele Sosene Sopoaga mo te Peleistene o Nauru, Tena ‘Malu Baron Waqa e puke fakatasi ne laua te mekei mai i Tuvalu. Te ata ne pei i Nauru ne Penivao Penete.
NZ’s Prime Minister, Ms Jacinda Artern and Tuvalu’s Prime Minister, Enele Sosene Sopoaga holding tohether the gift of a mini Tuvalu village in Wellington, New Zealand. Te Ulu o te Maaloo o Nusila, Tena ‘Malu Jacind Artern mo te Ulu o te Maaloo o Tuvalu, Tena ‘Malu Enele Sosene Sopoaga e puke fakatasi ne laua a te meaalofa tela se fa’kai Tuvalu foliki.
Tuvalu’s Prime Minister Hon. Enele Sosene Sopoaga has left the country on Saturday last week. He is to attend the second PNA Leader’s Summit to be held in Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands.
Hon. Sopoaga said that prior to this meeting which is scheduled to the 2nd of March is the Special PNA Ministerial Meeting from 26 – 28 February also to take place in Majuro. This is a preparatory meeting for the 2nd PNA Leader’s Summit.
However, the Prime Minister said the main objective of the Leader’s meeting is to develop the future pathway for the PNA.
‘We, leaders to the PNA will also look and make plans for the protection of our sea resources. There are so many foreign fishing vessels fishing in our waters and the parties to the Nauru Agreement have been concerned mainly with the management of tuna purse-seine fishing in the Western and central Pacific Ocean. So we have to preserve and manage our sea resources properly,’ he said.
“For Tuvalu, we have two main resources, one is our people and secondly is our sea. And Tuvalu is fully supporting the idea of increasing the fishing licenses for foreign fishing vessels fishing in our waters.’
Both meetings are funded by the PNA and the Forum Fisheries Agency, FFA.
The Prime Minister, Hon Enele Sosene Sopoaga was invited by the President of the Republic of Nauru to attend the celebration of his country’s 50th Independence Anniversary. Hon Sopoaga was accompanied to this invitation by his wife, Salilo Sopoaga, Protocol Officer from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade, Tourism, Environment and Labor, Mrs Asogali T. Panapa and Security Officer, Sgt. Penivao Penete. The two leaders (Hon Enele S. Sopoaga and Hon Baron Waqa) were also able to discuss other issues of mutual interests relating to development aspects.
Tuvalu’s Prime Minister, Hon Enele Sosene Sopoaga and the President of the Republic of Nauru, Hon Baron Waqa in Nauru holding hands. Photo by Sgt. Penivao Penete
The President of Nauru on behalf of his government acknowledged with gratitude the contributions Tuvalu had made to his country in the past years during the phosphate mining period (1960s – 1990s) when Tuvaluans were recruited as laborers with the Nauru Phosphate Corporation(NPC). The Nauru people greatly honor the contributions of the Tuvalu people to Nauru who have served in Nauru.
The President of Nauru also pledged his support for Tuvalu in whatever means his government can provide. An example of these is his government’s willingness to provide Tuvalu’s requirement for big rocks that have been cut from the phosphate mines during the mining period. He told Hon Sopoaga that the stones were in fact cut by strong Tuvaluans laborers who were under the employment of the NPC in those years when phosphate was being mined.
According to Tuvalu’s Prime Minister, these rocks are to be used for coastal protection especially of the new reclaimed land on Funafuti, the Queen Elizabeth the II Park.
A digger loading the rocks into a truck at the Queen Elizabeth II Park, Funafuti Masini keli e fakauta i fatu ki luga i te tulakita i te Queen Elizabeth II Park
Tuvalu Prime Minister, Hon Sopoaga also thanked the Nauru Government for the cordial relationship that had developed between the Tuvaluan laborers and their families and the people of Nauru, as from the past and also today. Hon Sopoaga also acknowledged the benefits the Tuvaluans had reaped from their labor in Nauru. He also confirmed that there is still a Tuvalu community existing in Nauru and his delegation had the opportunity to be invited by them for a Tuvalu feast and entertainment.
Hon Sopoaga also thanked the Government of Nauru for agreeing to let the dead bodies of Tuvaluans who have rested peacefully on the island remained in their graves.
After attending to the 50th anniversary of independence celebration in Nauru, the Prime Minister, Hon Enele Sosene Sopoaga and his delegation travelled to New Zealand to pay a courtesy visit to the new Prime Minister of New Zealand, Ms Jacinda Artern. Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga in a press conference on Thursday, 23 February 2018, said the purpose of the visit was to convey Tuvalu’s greetings and best wishes to Ms Artern and his new government. “We feel that Tuvalu should grab a first chance before other countries or governments to physically meet Ms Artern.
The Honorable Prime Minister of New Zealand, Ms Jacinda Artern and Tuvalu’s Prime zminister, Hon. Enele Sosene Sopoaga in Wellington, New Zealand. Photo taken by Sgt. Penivao Penete. Te Ulu o te Maaloo o Niusila, Tena ‘Malu Jacinda Artern mot e Ulu o te Maaloo o Tuvalu, Tena ‘Malu Enele Sosene Sopoaga
Hon Sopoaga added that the visit was his government’s initiative and all his delegation’s expenses were met by the Tuvalu Government. The visit was a worthwhile visit, said the Prime Minister as there were other important issues government had wanted to discuss with the NZ Prime Minister.
Two other government ministers: Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trade, Tourism, Environment and Labour, Hon Taukelina Finikaso and Minister of Communication and Transport, Hon Monise Laafai and Government Officers, His Excellency the Tuvalu High Commissioner to New Zealand, Paulson Panapa and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Trade, Tourism, Environment and Labor joined in to the Prime Minister when meeting with the New Zealand delegation.
Mai i tua o tena fakatasiga ki fakafafiaga o te 50 Tausaga Tu-Tokotasi o te Maaloo o Nauru, te Ulu o te Maaloo, Tena ‘Malu Enele Sosene Sopoaga ne faima’laga atu ki Niusila o asi fakaaloalo atu ki te Ulu o te Maaloo Fou o Niusila, Tena ‘Malu Jacinda Artern. I tena fakasautalaga i tnea ofisa I te Asofa, 22 Fepuali 2018, I ana pati me I te pgai o te Malaga e fakaoko atu a alofaaga mo fakamanuiga o Tuvalu ki a Jacinda mo tena maaloo fou. “Te lagona ne ii I a matou ko te me ke maua se avanoga tomua o Tuvalu i loo nisi fenua mo maaloo ke fetaui i te foitino a Tuvalu mo Jacinda.
Ne fakaopoopo mai ne Enele me i te malaga tenei se fakatokaga eiloa a te Maaloo o Tuvalu kae ko te ‘togi o tena kaumalaga ne ‘togi katoa ne te Maaloo o Tuvalu.
E tokolua aka nisi o Minisita o te Kapineta, te Minisita o Maaloo ki Tua, Tena ‘Malu Taukelina Finikaso mo te Minisita o Fesokotakiga mo Oloolomalaga, Tena ‘Malu Monise Laafai, te Komesina Maluga o Tuvalu ki Niusila, Tena ‘Malu Paulson Panapa mo te Failautusi o te Minisitulii o Maaloo ki Tua, Fakataukoloa, Tualisi, Enivailomene mo Leipa, Fakavae Taomia ne aofia i olotou faipatiga mo ofisa o te Maaloo o Niusila.
Fakavae Taomia i te feitu fakamaui ki mua. Mai i tua i a Fakavae ko Monise Laafai, ko te Ulu o te Maaloo, Enele Sopoaga i te mata o te taipola ki tua, i tena feitu fakamaui ko Paulson Panapa mo Taukelina Finikasoo i te fakamaui ki mua. Tea ta mai i a Penivao Penete.