Archive for Vanuatu
Vanuatu’s departments of foreign affairs and immigration said that they are aware of new allegations it’s embassy in Beijing is selling passports in China. Vanuatu has had no ambassador in Beijing since the end of the contract of previous ambassador Willie Jimmy last year. but currently it employs a Ni-Vanuatu and a Chinese national. Both with diplomatic passports.
It’s hard to get much farther flung from Europe than Vanuatu. But although it may be 10,000 miles – and several oceans away – from Brussels, this remote archipelago in the middle of the South Pacific is the unlikely location for an outpost of the European Union. Up to seven staff run the EU’s delegation in Vanuatu, part of Brussels’s vast diplomatic empire that operates in 140 separate foreign offices, at a cost of more than half a billion euros (about £420 million) a year. It helps to oversee funds worth several billion pounds more. In total, the European External Action Service (EEAS) – the EU’s foreign office in all but name – employs an army of 3,417 staff, with just under 1,500 people in Brussels and almost 2,000 more in EU delegations – effectively embassies and consulates – across the globe. It is headed by Baroness Ashton, a Labour peer who was nominated for the post of EU high representative by Gordon Brown.
Vanuatu’s new Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edward Natapei, has terminated the appointment of Ti Tam Goiset as roving ambassador for Vanuatu to Russia and other Eastern countries. The termination comes after recent questions in parliament to the former government of Sato Kilman about a provision for Ms Goiset to earn commission on any foreign funding she secured for Vanuatu. After the removal of Sato Kilman as Prime Minister last week, Mr Natapei moved quickly to revoke Ms Goiset’s appointment.
Vanuatu’s ministry of foreign affairs is being told to improve its systems at diplomatic posts after an audit report on the Embassy inChina. The auditors found the Beijing mission was poorly run and has identified corruption and mismanagement by officials and government leaders. “The audit report says the ministry should have a manual detailing what is required of staff working abroad. It says the staff should receive basic training before heading overseas. The auditors isolate the lack of contracts for most activities at the Beijing Embassy as a critical issue. They admonished the first ambassador, Lo Chi Wai, for taking a management fee for the Embassy. They say there was no contract for this and Mr Lo should return the money. The auditors say the ministry should have oversight of all spending and should secure and transfer funds to the Embassy as needed. The Beijing mission had failed to meet an outstanding rent commitment to Chinese authorities, and the auditors say this could have been embarrassing forVanuatu. The auditors suspect kickbacks have been paid to local businessmen, and mention the use of Vanuatu diplomatic plates on vehicles driven by local Chinese business people.”