Around the world: Global views on asylum-seeker deal and other international stories


The international spotlight falls on the asylum-seeker deal between Australia and PNG while RAMSI’s troops depart Solomon Islands.

World 02One consequence of the unexpected asylum-seeker deal between Australia and Papua New Guinea has been to focus the attention of the world’s media on PNG’s problems. The epithet applied by the Wall Street Journal was ‘an impoverished nation with a reputation for lawlessness’, while The Guardian claimed that ‘Papua New Guinea has recently been labelled one of the worst places for gender-based violence in the world’, before noting the irony in the Australian government currently urging its own citizens to ‘exercise a high degree of caution’ when visiting PNG.


More positive coverage came in The Australian where Rowan Callick reported on PNG Mining Minister Byron Chan’s recent statement in parliament that the PNG government was considering acquiring the Frieda River Project. ‘[PNG’s] longer-term sustainability as a global resource centre hinges heavily on the development of the next generation of mines,’ Callick notes, while the AUD$5.6 billion copper-gold project has been delayed by its risk-averse operator GlencoreXstrata.

‘The project has not been prioritised by the company because of current developments in the world market,” Mr Chan stated.

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With the regional media’s attention on PNG over the past week, a significant milestone has been rather overshadowed-namely the ten year anniversary of the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI). As the mission’s military contingent prepares to leave Solomon Islands, ABC’s Pacific Beat interviews RAMSI’s Special Coordinator Nicholas Coppel , while on the Lowy Institute’s Interpreter blog Jenny Hayward-Jones asks what lessons can be learnt from the initiative.


The Fiji Times reports that PNG’s globetrotting Trade Minister Richard Maru made an appearance in Switzerland recently. On the sidelines of the Fourth Global Review of Aid for Trade conference in Geneva he attended a Pacific Breakfast that ‘brought the taste of the Pacific to Europe by serving freshly ground Tanna coffee from Vanuatu, and a range of jams, chutneys and herbal teas and infusions from Friends Fiji.’