Tuvalu News

Repatriation Of Tuvaluans from Nauru Starts Later This Month

Friday: June 2, 2006

(PacNewsService) - The repatriation of Tuvaluans working and living in Nauru will be done at the end of this month.

Tuvalu’s High Commissioner to Fiji Seve Paeniu confirmed to PACNEWS the Tuvaluan government will go ahead with reparation and not wait for the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to secure funding for the repatriation process.

“Tuvalu has decided to go ahead and use its own vessel to bring our people back from Nauru and this will be done before the end of this month," Mr Paeniu said. "We would be able to bring back all our people from Nauru before the end of June.”

Mr Paeniu also said that the Tuvaluan Government has been given an understanding that they would be compensated from IOM because the government has utilised its European Development Fund (EDF) allocation to fund the repatriation.

“Yeah, we had discuss these two days ago through the Forum Secretariat and with our partners, donor country Australia and New Zealand," Mr Paeniu said. "They have indicated they would be willing to provide funding, that is the understanding that we would be able to obtain some money to help us with the repatriation."

The repatriation of hundreds of Kiribati and Tuvalu nationals from Nauru is expected to run into over AUD$1 million (US$771,000).

Meanwhile, Mr Paeniu said his government has not changed its position on scientific whaling following robust lobbying by Australia and New Zealand to vote against Japan in the upcoming International Whaling Commission (IWC) in the Caribbean island of St Kitts and Nevis next week.

“It hasn’t changed," Mr Paeniu said. "Tuvalu has always been a supporter of the need exploit and use the marine resources in a sustainable manner and this includes whaling. So that it has always been the position of Tuvalu in support of sustainable management of our marine resources including whales.

“From the scientific research and evidence that Tuvalu has been able to use and excess to that it gives the support to the view that there is still that scope for using whales at the moment.”


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