TechCamp Empowers Young People in the Pacific Islands

Youth participants from Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands meet in Suva, Fiji, for the first Youth TechCamp in the Pacific, November 2012. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Frankie A. Reed serves as the U.S. Ambassador to Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga and Tuvalu.

"Youth what? Why would you sponsor a TechCamp in the Pacific region, where Internet connectivity is not widespread?"

That’s the question many of my colleagues asked me when I told them the State Department, in collaboration with PasifikaNEXUS and BrightPath, was going to launch “Youth TechCamp Fiji.” And, my answer to them was, that’s exactly the reason it should be done. The Department of State, along with our partners, recognized the value in enabling future leaders of the Pacific Islands to contribute to policy development, spur local content creation, and leverage connection technologies to make a positive impact in their communities and around the world.

From November 21-28, approximately 80 youth participants from Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands met in Suva, Fiji, for the first Youth TechCamp in… more »

Pacific Partnership 2011: New Zealand Joins Humanitarian Mission in Tonga and Vanuatu

New Zealand Multi-Purpose ship HMNZS CANTERBURY in formation, May 2011. [State Dept. Photo]

About the Author: Tom Weinz is the dedicated Foreign Service Liaison Officer for Pacific Partnership 2011.

On November 4, 2010, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and her New Zealand counterpart, Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully, signed a brief agreement following meetings in Wellington, New Zealand. Known as the Wellington Declaration, the document calls for “…a new strategic partnership between the United States of America and New Zealand.” Disaster response management is singled out as a key joint initiative our two countries must address. This is a reaffirmation of the close historical ties between America and New Zealand, but it is singularly significant in providing focus and stressing cooperation in achieving our common goals in the South Pacific region.

New Zealand has participated in Pacific Partnership throughout its short history, usually… more »

By: Tom Weinz: Foreign Service Liaison Officer for Pacific Partnership 2011

Pacific Partnership begins with a daunting challenge: several hundred people, many of whom recently met, need to move tons of equipment into a foreign country; travel to work in a military landing craft, a large Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB), or by Navy helicopter; move overland to a location they have never seen; and work smoothly and efficiently from the moment they arrive until departure. Building a cohesive unit that operates on the basis of a unified mission statement, as well as smaller units for logistics, medical, dental, veterinarian, and engineering projects, has defined life aboard the USS Cleveland since leaving Pearl Harbor on April 4…