Friday 19 Oct 2018 | 08:25 | SYDNEY
Friday 19 Oct 2018 | 08:25 | SYDNEY

South Pacific: Votes in them thar atolls

By

Rodger Shanahan

@RodgerShanahan

17 March 2010 10:59

If it's not the Iranians seeking friends in the Pacific then it's the Israelis, and if it's not the Israelis it's the...Emiratis. The UAE's recently announced 'Partnership in the Pacific' is a US$50 million aid program administered by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, for use solely in the region.

In common with the motives of its regional neighbours, this Emirati largesse is in pursuit of the UAE's own foreign policy goals. But at least it's about something other than UN votes. In the UAE's case, the Partnership in the Pacific program was all about getting the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency to be housed in Abu Dhabi. Indeed, the Pacific states formed a critical element of the lobbying, as this breathless account from Dubai's own Khaleej Times shows. 

At the current rate of outside interest in the region, the University of the South Pacific may be well advised to add Arabic, Farsi and Hebrew classes to its Linguistics and Language Division