Last week Papua New Guinea (PNG) Prime Minister Peter O’Neill made an official visit to Fiji. As the two largest Pacific Island countries (depending on how you categorize New Zealand), the cooperation and leadership of both PNG and Fiji is vital to advancing the interests and concerns of the South Pacific as a whole.
While acknowledging the improvements that could be made to bilateral arrangements between the two states, including proposing a bilateral free trade agreement, O’Neill sought to stress that wider regional cooperation was essential in light of economic change and “increased tension and geopolitical competition.”
The 22-man Consultative Committee (ConCom) tasked to craft a new charter unanimously approved the draft constitution of the proposed Federal Republic of the Philippines.
The ConCom chairman, retired chief justice Reynato Puno, said the panel would present the draft charter shifting to a federal form of government to President Rodrigo Duterte on July 9 in Malacañang, ahead of the State of the Nation Address.
Under the proposed new charter, the President’s term will end in 2022. “That’s it. It’s not open-ended,” Puno said.