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Vanuatu NEWS

NFE/5.0en-USnews-webmaster@google.com2019 Google Inc.Thu, 14 Feb 2019 09:01:22 GMTGoogle News
Vanuatu officials want criminal charges over corruption allegations  Radio New Zealand

Two officials in Vanuatu's government are pushing for criminal charges against people accused of defaming them online.

Radio New Zealand
Heavy rain, flash flooding possible as Vanuatu braces for category two storm  TVNZ

Some areas are already being hit by 75 km/h winds.

Chance circling Cyclone Oma may intensify - Vanuatu  ReliefWeb

Vanuatu's Meteorological *Service* says there is a chance Tropical Cyclone Oma may yet strengthen into a Category 3 system as it continues to loop around in ...

Possible cyclone forming near Vanuatu  Radio New Zealand

A tropical storm below the Solomon Islands could become a cyclone overnight as it heads towards Vanuatu.

Radio New Zealand
Maintenance an issue for huge convention centre in Vanuatu  Radio New Zealand

Vanuatu's prime minister Charlot Salwai says there's no money in the budget to maintain the national convention centre.

Radio New Zealand
Two MPs join Vanuatu's Vanuaaku Pati  Radio New Zealand

Two MPs have joined Vanuatu's ruling Vanuaaku Pati, giving it 13 seats in the 52 seat parliament.

Radio New Zealand
Vanuatu scraps school fees for Ambae children - Vanuatu  ReliefWeb

The Vanuatu government has decided to scrap school fees for children from Ambae island because of the problems caused by the eruption of the island's ...

Vanuatu's new Labour chief says she won't tolerate corruption  Radio New Zealand

Vanuatu's new labour commissioner says corruption won't be tolerated in her office. Murielle Meltenoven is one of a record seven women appointed to be ...

Radio New Zealand
Morrison's Vanuatu trip shows the government's continued focus on militarising the Pacific  The Conversation AU

Prime Minister Scott Morrison's historic visit to Vanuatu is centred around security. This fits a pattern shifting the focus from development to militarisation in ...

The Conversation AU
Air Vanuatu Adds New Service to Melbourne  Aviation Tribune

Air Vanuatu will launch a new non-stop *service* on Tuesday 18 June 2019, flying three times per week between Port Vila and Melbourne.

Aviation Tribune
Newly formed Cyclone Oma no concern to Queensland, says forecasters  The Cairns Post

THE tropical low formerly lingering off the coast of Cairns in the Coral Sea last week has formed into a cyclone. Fortunately, the newly dubbed Cyclone Oma is ...

The Cairns Post
Indonesia urges Vanuatu to improve treatment of women  Radio New Zealand

Indonesia's government has called on Vanuatu to improve its treatment of women.

Radio New Zealand
Vanuatu's Ambrym volcano evacuees to stay in own island safe zones - Vanuatu  ReliefWeb

English News and Press Release on Vanuatu about Earthquake and Volcano; published on 21 Jan 2019 by RNZI.

Vanuatu PM denies settling with Pentecost organisation  Radio New Zealand

Vanuatu's Prime Minister Charlot Salwai has denied a report that says the government has reconciled with the failed Apma Financial Investment Centre on ...

Radio New Zealand
15 women appointed to Vanuatu govt leadership roles  Radio New Zealand

A record 15 women have been appointed to government leadership roles in Vanuatu.

Radio New Zealand
'Their hearts are here': Vanuatu islanders return to volcanic home  The Sydney Morning Herald

At the village of Sari Lohu in the northern part of Ambae, a small volcanic island in Vanuatu, Chief Titus Karack is the only person to return to this blackened ...

The Sydney Morning Herald
Vanuatu Council of Ministers secretary back in jail  Radio New Zealand

The secretary of Vanuatu's Council of Ministers Armstrong Masanga is back in jail after breaching his bail conditions.

Radio New Zealand
Environmentalist on mission to preserve island nation Vanuatu  Aljazeera.com

Leimalu Tapesi, the first woman anointed chairperson of a village tribal council, plans to crack down on illegal logging.

Vanuatu trials vaccine drone deliveries  Aljazeera.com

It is innovative, it is ambitious, but Vanuatu's government wants to know if drone delivery of vaccines to remote locations is also practical and financially viable.

Australian prime minister backs security treaty with Vanuatu  Washington Post

Australia's prime minister has brushed off Vanuatu's resistance to a bilateral security treaty after a meeting in the South Pacific island nation that comes amid ...

Washington Post
Drones swoop in to deliver life-saving vaccines to remote Vanuatu villages  ABC News

What once seemed like a mad fantasy is now a welcome reality in Vanuatu, with an Australian developed product flying necessary medicines into hard-to-reach ...

ABC News
Vanuatu to firm up Australia's new aid commitments  Radio New Zealand

Vanuatu's foreign minister will travel to Canberra in the coming weeks to firm up climate action commitments made by Australia.

Radio New Zealand
Vanuatu refuses to back down on West Papua stance  Radio New Zealand

Vanuatu's foreign minister has dismissed criticism from the Indonesian government for including the United Liberation Movement (ULMWP) for West Papua in its ...

Radio New Zealand
No Tsunami Threat to Hawai'i From 6.8-M Vanuatu Quake  Big Island Now

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reports an earthquake has occurred near Vanuatu at 8:16 a.m. on Jan. 15, 2019.

Big Island Now
Appeal updates – Vanuatu and Indonesia - Indonesia  ReliefWeb

English News and Press Release on Indonesia about Agriculture, Food and Nutrition, Children, Women, Earthquake, Tsunami and more; published on 31 Jan ...

Minister rejects warning over Vanuatu police recruitment plan  Radio New Zealand

Vanuatu's police minister has rejected a warning that changing the Police Act would allow political interference in the selection of new recruits.

Radio New Zealand
Vanuatu police warn about seasonal work scammers  Radio New Zealand

Vanuatu's Police Fraud Unit has warned about scammers targeting seasonal workers, saying it has a number of registered cases related to this area.

Radio New Zealand
Transport operators in Vanuatu face tougher requirements  Radio New Zealand

Transport businesses in Vanuatu are going to face more stringent requirements before they get operating licences.

Radio New Zealand
Sport: New Vanuatu cricket coach excited by new challenge  Radio New Zealand

The new Vanuatu men's cricket coach says he can't wait to get started in his role and harness the local talent to help them win plenty of matches.

Radio New Zealand
Hundreds relocated as volcano erupts on Vanuatu's Ambrym  Radio New Zealand

Six hundred and eighty-five people on the Vanuatu island of Ambrym have been ordered to relocate to safe zones as the island's volcano continues to erupt.

Radio New Zealand
Dengue Overview in Vanuatu - Situational Report 1 (Report Date: 01/02/2019 | for surveillance activity on 01st to 31st January 2019) - Vanuatu  ReliefWeb

English Situation Report on Vanuatu about Health, Women and Epidemic; published on 02 Feb 2019 by Govt. Vanuatu and WHO.

US Customs claims Vanuatu tuna vessel used forced labor  SeafoodSource

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officials announced an order against the Tunago no. 61, a Vanuatu tuna vessel, for suspected forced labor.

Big marijuana bust in Vanuatu  Radio New Zealand

One hundred two-metre high marijuana plants from a plot at Blacksands on the outskirts of Port Vila have been seized by Vanuatu's Police Drug Unit.

Radio New Zealand
Vanuatu PM seeking answers for dismissal of 48 directors  Radio New Zealand

An explanation for the sacking of 48 directors from Vanuatu's public *service* is being sought by the prime minister.

Radio New Zealand
Vanuatu health ministry warns about fake remedies  Radio New Zealand

The Vanuatu Ministry of Health is raising concerns at products being sold on the open market to supposedly treat a variety of conditions, including diabetes, high ...

Radio New Zealand
Strong quake strikes off of Vanuatu, does not pose tsunami threat to Hawaii  Honolulu Star-Advertiser

A strong earthquake struck off the coast of Vanuatu this morning but does not pose a tsunami threat to Hawaii. The preliminary magnitude 6.6 quake struck at ...

Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Vanuatu islanders return to volcanic home, Ambae island  Illawarra Mercury

The violent Manaro Voui volcano has forced the people of Vanuatu's Ambae island to flee their home numerous times in the last year. After living in makeshift ...

Illawarra Mercury
UN still waiting on Vanuatu police report  Radio New Zealand

The United Nations is waiting for Vanuatu to submit a report before its police officers are allowed to participate in peacekeeping missions again.

Radio New Zealand
Vanuatu government approves return to Ambae  Radio New Zealand

Vanuatu's Council of Ministers has approved a plan to restore services to the island of Ambae.

Radio New Zealand
Labour mobility and medical mobility: lessons from Vanuatu  devpolicy.org

Decentralising medical screening services in Vanuatu is facilitating labour mobility.

Gallery: Vanuatu islanders return home  The Sydney Morning Herald

Displaced residents from the island of Ambae are now anxious to get back to their ash-covered homes - even if the dangers have not passed.

The Sydney Morning Herald
Vanuatu's 'shared vision 2030' tourism goal – a pipe dream or survival plan?  Asia Pacific Report

By Dan McGarry in Port Vila. The government of Vanuatu has convened three major tourism and travel stakeholders this week to announce a major shakeup in ...

Asia Pacific Report
Clean water due on Vanuatu's Ambrym soon  Radio New Zealand

A shipment of clean water is due to arrive on the Vanuatu island of Ambrym this week.

Radio New Zealand
Strong mag. 6.0 earthquake - Vanuatu Islands on Friday, 18 January 2019 - information :  VolcanoDiscovery

Date & time: Fri, 18 Jan 13:18:30 UTC Magnitude: 6.0. Depth: 37.0 km. Epicenter latitude / longitude: 19.12°S / 168.75°E Nearest volcano: Traitor's Head (66 km)

Ambae people welcome Vanuatu government support  Radio New Zealand

Custom chiefs from Ambae have welcomed the Vanuatu government's decision to feed the people of Ambae island for four more months while they plant their ...

Radio New Zealand
Pacific News Minute: Star of Vanuatu's Oscar-Nominated 'Tanna' Dies in Port Vila  Hawaiipublicradio

Sad news from Vanuatu, of the death last week of Mungau Dain . Two years ago, the young star of the film “Tanna” was headed to Hollywood to celebrate the.

Vanuatu to hold its first referendum in June  Radio New Zealand

Vanuatu will hold its first ever referendum in June with people being given the opportunity to vote for political reform laws.

Radio New Zealand
Vanuatu's govt approves money for Ambrym volcano relief  Radio New Zealand

Vanuatu's Council of Ministers has approved over $US440,000 to go towards the Ambrym volcanic disaster response.

Radio New Zealand
Air Vanuatu to serve Melbourne from June  Australian Aviation

Air Vanuatu will add a third Australian destination to its route network from June when it begins nonstop flights to Melbourne from its Port Vila hub.

Australian Aviation
Vanuatu: Ambae Volcano Eruption 2018 Emergency Plan of Action Final Report n° MDRVU006 - Vanuatu  ReliefWeb

English Situation Report on Vanuatu about Health, Logistics and Telecommunications, IDPs, Volcano and more; published on 31 Jan 2019 by IFRC.

Safety relocations for hundreds on Vanuatu's volcanic Ambrym  Radio New Zealand

Nearly 700 people from four villages on Vanuatu's Ambrym island have been evacuated to safe zones after ongoing volcanic eruptions and earthquakes over ...

Radio New Zealand
Scott Morrison in Vanuatu talks up Australia's role in mitigating climate change effects  ABC News

Landing on an air strip built by China and holding talks in a building also funded by Beijing, there was some symbolism at play during the Prime Minister Scott ...

ABC News
Escape to Vanuatu from $525 with Virgin Australia  finder.com.au

Keep that summer tan going all year round with these cheap fares.

Vanuatu: Emergency Response to Manaro Volcano Eruption in Penama Province – VUT 191 - Vanuatu  ReliefWeb

English Appeal on Vanuatu about Agriculture, Food and Nutrition, Children, IDPs, Volcano and more; published on 28 Jan 2019 by ACT Alliance.

Nestlé uses PNG and Vanuatu beans for new volcanic KitKat  Radio New Zealand

Nestlé Japan has released a new volcanic edition of its Kitkat chocolate range using cocoa beans from Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu.

Radio New Zealand
Strong mag. 6.5 earthquake - Vanuatu Islands on Tuesday, 15 January 2019 - information :  VolcanoDiscovery

Date & time: Tue, 15 Jan 18:06:32 UTC Magnitude: 6.5. Depth: 10.0 km. Epicenter latitude / longitude: 13.32°S / 166.67°E Nearest volcano: Suretamatai (102 km)

Nepotism concerns prompt change to Vanuatu police recruitment  Radio New Zealand

Concerns about nepotism have prompted new proposals for recruitment to the Vanuatu police force.

Radio New Zealand
Air Vanuatu to acquire 13 new aircraft by 2030  Radio New Zealand

Air Vanuatu has announced it is expecting eight new aircraft to *service* its international sector and five Cessna planes for its domestic routes by 2030.

Radio New Zealand
Is Ancient DNA Research Revealing New Truths — or Falling Into Old Traps?  The New York Times

Geneticists have begun using old bones to make sweeping claims about the distant past. But their revisions to the human story are making some scholars of ...

The New York Times
Strong quake hits Vanuatu | News | GMA News Online  GMA News

A strong earthquake has struck Vanuatu early Wednesday morning, according to an advisory issued by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology ...

GMA News
Australia may help Air Vanuatu expansion  Radio New Zealand

Vanuatu's state owned airline could be eligible for Australian development funding for its expansion plan. An Air Vanuatu plane taking off Photo: RNZI.

Radio New Zealand
US Customs flag Vanuatu tuna longliner for alleged forc  IntraFish

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a withhold release order against tuna and tuna products from the Vanuatu-flagged tuna longliner Tunago No.

Pastor accused of sex abuse was running a 'money-making machine'  Sydney Morning Herald

Federal authorities were warned years ago that Evangelical pastor at the centre of a *fresh* sex abuse scandal was using his church as a 'money-making ...

Sydney Morning Herald
Your weather: Desert storm: Dust cloud, hot temps make way to New Zealand from Australia  New Zealand Herald

If you noticed a slightly more orange hue to the sky this morning it was likely to be courtesy of a 2000km-long dust cloud from across the ditch. The enormous ...

New Zealand Herald
Dateline Pacific evening edition for 14 February 2019  Radio New Zealand

Mixed signals as PNG forces' APEC pay issue festers; Talks in Tonga on future of seabed mining in Pacific; Refugees detained offshore by Australia have had ...

Radio New Zealand
Red Cross ready as South Pacific cyclone season gets under way  International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

Suva/Kuala Lumpur/Geneva, 13 February 2019 – With the South Pacific cyclone season under way and Cyclone Oma headed for Vanuatu, Red Cross societies ...

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
EU blacklists Nigeria for terrorism financing, money laundering activities  Pulse Nigeria

The move has triggered criticism from several EU states worried about their economic relations with the listed states, notably Saudi Arabia.

Pulse Nigeria
Bauxite Bulker Grounds on Reef in Solomon Islands  The Maritime Executive

The bulker Solomon Trader has gone aground in a sensitive marine area in the Solomon Islands, raisin...

The Maritime Executive
Japan's latest Valentine's Day obsession could be 'volcanic island' chocolate  ABC News

Cocoa growers in Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu are set to benefit from a limited edition run of volcanic chocolate bars in Japan, released for Valentine's Day.

ABC News
With South Pacific cyclone season underway, Red Cross societies prepared and ready  Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre

(This story is an IFRC press release issued earlier today in Suva, Kuala Lumpur and Geneva.) With the South Pacific cyclone season underway and Cyclone ...

Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre
David Snowbarger  Salina Post

David Snowbarger, 78 of Concordia, Kansas went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Tuesday, February 12, 2019 at his home. He was born ...

Salina Post
'Anoint me with oil': How evangelical pastor Neil Thomas preyed on his flock  The Sydney Morning Herald

Evangelical churches tend to deal with their dirty secrets in-house. But the women of one predatory charismatic pastor are speaking out, and seeking help.

The Sydney Morning Herald
Vanuatu threatens to sue biggest carbon energy producers  CNN

A tiny Pacific Island nation facing an existential threat due to climate change has put the world's biggest carbon energy producers on notice.

Welcome to FIFA.com News - Pacific contenders line up seeking to break NZ hegemony  FIFA.com

The 2019 edition of the OFC Champions League gets into full swing this weekend with two of the four groups kicking-off. Holders Team Wellington and ...

Weekend Surf Forecast 15 – 17 February 2019  Coastalwatch

COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST. Issued Thursday, 14 February 2019. The monsoon trough and focus of tropical activity shifted out into the ...

Child given world's first drone-delivered vaccine in Vanuatu - UNICEF  UNICEF

PORT VILA/ NEW YORK, 18 December 2018 –One month old Joy Nowai today became the world's first child to be given a vaccine delivered commercially by ...

Tsunami from New Caledonia quake causes damage in Vanuatu  Radio New Zealand

Schools and houses on Vanuatu's southernmost island of Aneityum were damaged when a tsunami hit after yesterday's 7.5 earthquake off New Caledonia.

Radio New Zealand
'Desperate' low-lying Vanuatu seeks to sue climate change culprits  Reuters

Low-lying Vanuatu is considering suing fossil fuel companies and industrialized countries that use them for their role in creating catastrophic climate change, the ...

Vanuatu uses drones to deliver vaccines to remote island  BBC News

Vital medicines are flown to a remote Vanuatu village in what will now become a regular *service*.

BBC News
Drone delivers vaccines to remote island of Vanuatu  CNBC

A one-month old baby in the Pacific island of Vanuatu became the first person in history to be given a vaccine delivered commercially by drone on Tuesday.

ScoMo trip to Vanuatu an historic precedent  Radio New Zealand

Australian Prime Minister's visit to Vanuatu to set an historic precedent this week.

Radio New Zealand
Drones to deliver vaccines in Vanuatu in world-first trial  The Guardian

Drones will take delicate drugs to dozens of remote villages in test that could be replicated around the world.

The Guardian
Toti City captain stamps mark  Loop PNG

Toti City Dwellers Captain and PNG international, Raymond Gunemba, stamped his mark with a hat trick, leading his teammates to a 4 – 2 defeat against the ...

Loop PNG
Vanuatu hideaway delivers the luxe  Sunshine Coast Daily

Well, it wasn't really a country ... it was a lonely outpost of French/British colonialism governed by something called a "condominium government". In other words ...

Sunshine Coast Daily
Vanuatu opposition files motion of no confidence  Radio New Zealand

The leader of the opposition in Vanuatu has this morning filed a motion of no confidence in the prime minister Charlot Salwai.

Radio New Zealand
Drones to deliver vaccines to remote Vanuatu in world-first commercial contracts  ABC News

An Australian company is awarded the world's first-ever commercial contract to deliver life-saving vaccines to vulnerable children in remote areas by drone.

ABC News
Vanuatu launches free trade zone  Radio New Zealand

Vanuatu has launched its first Free Trade Zone on a 50 hectare site on the northern island of Espiritu Santo.

Radio New Zealand
Drones Deliver Vaccines To Children In Island Nation Of Vanuatu : Goats and Soda  NPR

The test program could lead to drone-delivered vaccines for children in hard-to-reach places around the globe.

Dreams come true in Blue Vanuatu  btob

Air Vanuatu's wide-reaching call 'to explore Vanuatu' convinced Business to Business editor HELEN PERRY that the time was right to fulfil a long time ambition ...

Vanuatu mayor apologises for hit-and-run incident  Radio New Zealand

The mayor of Vanuatu's capital, Port Vila, has issued a public apology for his involvement in a hit-and-run last week.

Radio New Zealand
Scott Morrison to make historic trip to Fiji and Vanuatu to shore up Australian influence in Pacific  ABC News

Scott Morrison faces a huge battle to win this year's election, but before then, he'll jet off to the Pacific island nations of Vanuatu and Fiji for a state visit. And, in a ...

ABC News
Strengthening Vanuatu's Response to Natural Disasters - Vanuatu  ReliefWeb

Handing over ceremony of power equipment tools to Vanuatu Government. The Government of Japan and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) ...

6.7-magnitude earthquake hits Vanuatu  Channel NewsAsia

SYDNEY: A 6.7-magnitude earthquake hit the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu on Wednesday morning, the US Geological Survey said, but no tsunami ...

Channel NewsAsia
Vanuatu govt to assess whether Ambae is safe for return  Radio New Zealand

The Vanuatu government will send a team of assessors to Ambae before permitting evacuees to return to the island.

Radio New Zealand
Vanuatu: The undervalued jewel of the Pacific  Stuff.co.nz

It has to be the unluckiest place in the Pacific. In recent years, two cyclones, one volcano and the death of a beloved president have left Vanuatu reeling.

As climate costs rocket, Vanuatu seeks allies to sue for damage  Reuters

KATOWICE, Poland (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - As costs soar from fiercer storms and rising seas, the Pacific island state of Vanuatu is forming a coalition ...

Vanuatu opposition biding its time on power play  Radio New Zealand

Vanuatu's opposition says it has no current plans to advance a motion of no-confidence against the prime minister Charlot Salwai. Vanuatu parliament building ...

Radio New Zealand
Senior Vanuatu civil servants suspended  Radio New Zealand

The director of Customs and Inland Revenue in Vanuatu and his deputy have been suspended by the Public *Service* Commission without any reason being ...

Radio New Zealand
Tsunami warning for Vanuatu and New Caledonia after 7.6 magnitude earthquake  The Guardian

Authorities order the 'immediate evacuation' of people to refuge areas, saying tsunami waves could reach up to three metres. Kate Lyons. Tue 4 Dec 2018 23.58 ...

The Guardian
Vanuatu's seasonal workers: where are they from?  devpolicy.org

Rochelle Bailey and Julie Rereman find that Vanuatu's most remote province sends the largest number of seasonal wokers per capita.


Vanuatu Videos

Vanuatu Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia (4K)
Vanuatu Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia (4K)
VANUATU TRAVEL TIPS (for under 30s) 2018
VANUATU TRAVEL TIPS (for under 30s) 2018
Vanuatu - An exotic journey from Port Vila to Pentecost Island | 3D Planet
Vanuatu - An exotic journey from Port Vila to Pentecost Island | 3D Planet
Vanuatu, You Should Study International Law!
Vanuatu, You Should Study International Law!
A Tourist's Guide to Port Vila, Vanuatu 2018
A Tourist's Guide to Port Vila, Vanuatu 2018
HIGHLIGHTS of Port Vila, VANUATU - Exploring Efate Island, Blue Lagoon + Snorkelling VLOG
HIGHLIGHTS of Port Vila, VANUATU - Exploring Efate Island, Blue Lagoon + Snorkelling VLOG
Vanuatu 2018
Vanuatu 2018
What life is like in Vanuatu!
What life is like in Vanuatu!
Port Vila - capital of Vanuatu
Port Vila - capital of Vanuatu

Vanuatu Images

Vanuatu - Wikitravel
Vanuatu - Wikitravel
Cruises To Luganville, Vanuatu | Luganville Cruise Ship ...
Cruises To Luganville, Vanuatu | Luganville Cruise Ship ...
Ambrym - Wikipedia
Ambrym - Wikipedia
Taiwanese woman to marry herself - Telegraph
Taiwanese woman to marry herself - Telegraph
Massive tourism development proposal for Port Vila poses ...
Massive tourism development proposal for Port Vila poses ...
Matevulu Blue Hole - Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu | This and ...
Matevulu Blue Hole - Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu | This and ...
Vanuatu Exquisite Fairy Wrasse Pair (Cirrhilabrus exquisitus)
Vanuatu Exquisite Fairy Wrasse Pair (Cirrhilabrus exquisitus)
Baloghia - Wikipedia
Baloghia - Wikipedia
Vanuatu Carte
Vanuatu Carte
Culture du Vanuatu — Wikipédia
Culture du Vanuatu — Wikipédia

Vanuatu WebSites


Vanuatu Wiki

Vanuatu (English: (listen) VAH-noo-AH-too or van-WAH-too; Bislama pronunciation [vanuatu]), officially the Republic of Vanuatu (French: République de Vanuatu, Bislama: Ripablik blong Vanuatu), is a Pacific island country located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is 1,750 kilometres (1,090 mi) east of northern Australia, 540 kilometres (340 mi) northeast of New Caledonia, east of New Guinea, southeast of the Solomon Islands, and west of Fiji.Vanuatu was first inhabited by Melanesian people. The first Europeans to visit the islands were a Spanish expedition led by Portuguese navigator Fernandes de Queirós, who arrived on the largest island in 1606. Since the Portuguese and Spanish monarchies had been unified under the king of Spain in 1580 (following the vacancy of the Portuguese throne, which lasted for sixty years, until 1640, when the Portuguese monarchy was restored), Queirós claimed the archipelago for Spain, as part of the colonial Spanish East Indies, and named it La Austrialia del Espíritu Santo.In the 1880s, France and the United Kingdom claimed parts of the archipelago, and in 1906, they agreed on a framework for jointly managing the archipelago as the New Hebrides through an Anglo–French condominium. An independence movement arose in the 1970s, and the Republic of Vanuatu was founded in 1980. Since independence, the country is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, Organisation internationale de la Francophonie and the Pacific Islands Forum.