By Harriet Smith, an intern with the Lowy Institute's Melanesia Program.

  • The Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting for 2016 has concluded. This meeting was notable for its accelerated admittance of two French territories, New Caledonia and French Polynesia.
  • Concerns over the PACER Plus trade deal were also discussed at the forum, with Papua New Guinea and Fiji reportedly pulling out of the negotiations. Discussion about human rights concerns in West Papua was not as prominent as expected.
  • The final Pacific Islands forum communiqué can be read here, and the developments out of the forum are examined in this piece from Matthew Dornan and Tess Newton Cain.
  • Several prominent political leaders were arrested in Fiji over the weekend, prompting citizen journalists to coin the hashtag #FijiCrackdown. Those detained were alleged to have breached the Public Order Decree, but have since been released.
  • Lowy Institute Nonresident Fellow Jenny Hayward-Jones spoke to ABC’s Radio National about the developments, addressing the question of whether Fiji is backing away from democracy.
  • A report making the case of adopting a problem-driven approach to public financial management reform in Pacific island countries has been published by the World Bank, the Department of Foreign Affairs, and New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • How Papua New Guinea spent the revenue from its resources boom.
  • Classes at the University of PNG, Unitech, and Goroka University have all resumed. While attendance rates are higher than expected, some students remain concerned about campus security.
  • The SSGM State of the Pacific Conference is being held at ANU in Canberra this week, examining the state of democracy in the Pacific and Pacific regionalism, amongst other themes. The Conference can be followed at #SOTP2016 and podcasts will be uploaded to the SSGM website in the coming days.  
  • Vanuatu made history when their U-20 football team qualified for the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup in South Korea.