Australia-Oceania :: Vanuatu

Introduction ::Vanuatu

    Multiple waves of colonizers, each speaking a distinct language, migrated to the New Hebrides in the millennia preceding European exploration in the 18th century. This settlement pattern accounts for the complex linguistic diversity found on the archipelago to this day. The British and French, who settled the New Hebrides in the 19th century, agreed in 1906 to an Anglo-French Condominium, which administered the islands until independence in 1980, when the new name of Vanuatu was adopted.

Geography ::Vanuatu

    Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to Australia
    16 00 S, 167 00 E
    total: 12,189 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 164
    land: 12,189 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    note: includes more than 80 islands, about 65 of which are inhabited
    slightly larger than Connecticut
    0 km
    2,528 km
    measured from claimed archipelagic baselines
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    contiguous zone: 24 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
    tropical; moderated by southeast trade winds from May to October; moderate rainfall from November to April; may be affected by cyclones from December to April
    mostly mountainous islands of volcanic origin; narrow coastal plains
    lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Tabwemasana 1,877 m
    manganese, hardwood forests, fish
    arable land: 1.64%
    permanent crops: 10.25%
    other: 88.11% (2011)
    NA
    tropical cyclones or typhoons (January to April); volcanic eruption on Aoba (Ambae) island began on 27 November 2005, volcanism also causes minor earthquakes; tsunamis
    volcanism: significant volcanic activity with multiple eruptions in recent years; Yasur (elev. 361 m), one of the world's most active volcanoes, has experienced continuous activity in recent centuries; other historically active volcanoes include, Aoba, Ambrym, Epi, Gaua, Kuwae, Lopevi, Suretamatai, and Traitor's Head
    most of the population does not have access to a reliable supply of potable water; deforestation
    party to: Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 94
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    a Y-shaped chain of four main islands and 80 smaller islands; several of the islands have active volcanoes and there are several underwater volcanoes as well

People and Society ::Vanuatu

Government ::Vanuatu

    conventional long form: Republic of Vanuatu
    conventional short form: Vanuatu
    local long form: Ripablik blong Vanuatu
    local short form: Vanuatu
    former: New Hebrides
    parliamentary republic
    name: Port-Vila (on Efate)
    geographic coordinates: 17 44 S, 168 19 E
    time difference: UTC+11 (16 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    6 provinces; Malampa, Penama, Sanma, Shefa, Tafea, Torba
    30 July 1980 (from France and the UK)
    Independence Day, 30 July (1980)
    30 July 1980
    mixed legal system of English common law, French law, and customary law
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President Iolu Johnson ABBIL (since 3 September 2009)
    head of government: Prime Minister Moana CARCASSES Kalosil (since 23 March 2013)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister, responsible to parliament
    (For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
    elections: president elected for a five-year term by an electoral college consisting of parliament and the presidents of the regional councils; election for president last held on 2 September 2009 (next to be held in 2014); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition usually elected prime minister by parliament from among its members; election for prime minister last held on 23 March 2013 (next to be held following general elections in 2016)
    election results: Iolu Johnson ABBIL elected president, with 41 votes out of 58, on the third ballot on 2 September 2009; Moana CARCASSES Kalosil was elected prime minister following the resignation of Sato KILMAN on 21 March 2013
    unicameral Parliament (52 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
    elections: last held on 30 October 2012 (next to be held in 2016)
    election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - VP 8, PPP 6, UMP 5, GJP 4, NUP 4, IG 3, GC 3, NAG 3, RMC 3, MPP 2, NIPDP 2, PSP 1, VLDP 1, VNP 1, VPDP 1, VRP 1, and independent 4; note - political party associations are fluid
    note: the National Council of Chiefs advises on matters of culture and language
    highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of a chief justice and 3 judges); note - appeals from the Supreme Court are considered by the Court of Appeal, constituted by 2 or more judges of the Supreme Court sitting together
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court chief justice appointed by the president after consultation with the prime minister and the leader of the opposition; other judges are appointed by the president on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission, a 4-member advisory body; judges appointed until age of retirement
    subordinate courts: magistrates' courts; island courts
    Greens Confederation or GC [Moana CARCASSES Kalosil]
    Iauko Group or IG [NA]
    Land and Justice Party (Graon mo Jastis Pati) or GJP [Ralph REGENVANU]
    Melanesian Progressive Party or MPP [Barak SOPE]
    Nagriamel movement or NAG [NA]
    Natatok Indigenous People's Democratic Party or (NATATOK) or NIPDP [Alfred Roland CARLOT]
    National United Party or NUP [Ham LINI]
    People's Progressive Party or PPP [Sato KILMAN]
    People's Service Party or PSP [Don KEN]
    Reunification of Movement for Change or RMC [Charlot SALWAI]
    Union of Moderate Parties or UMP [Serge VOHOR]
    Vanua'aku Pati (Our Land Party) or VP [Edward NATAPEI]
    Vanuatu Democratic Party [Maxime Carlot KORMAN]
    Vanuatu Liberal Democratic Party or VLDP [Tapangararua WILLIE]
    Vanuatu National Party or VNP [Issac HAMARILIU]
    Vanuatu Progressive Development Party or VPDP [Robert Bohn SIKOL]
    Vanuatu Republican Party or VRP [Marcellino PIPITE]
    NA
    ACP, ADB, AOSIS, C, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, IOC, IOM, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OAS (observer), OIF, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    Vanuatu does not have an embassy in the US; it does, however, have a Permanent Mission to the UN
    the US does not have an embassy in Vanuatu; the US ambassador to Papua New Guinea is accredited to Vanuatu
    two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and green with a black isosceles triangle (based on the hoist side) all separated by a black-edged yellow stripe in the shape of a horizontal Y (the two points of the Y face the hoist side and enclose the triangle); centered in the triangle is a boar's tusk encircling two crossed namele fern fronds, all in yellow; red represents the blood of boars and men, green the richness of the islands, and black the ni-Vanuatu people; the yellow Y-shape - which reflects the pattern of the islands in the Pacific Ocean - symbolizes the light of the Gospel spreading through the islands; the boar's tusk is a symbol of prosperity frequently worn as a pendant on the islands; the fern fronds represent peace
    boar's tusk
    name: "Yumi, Yumi, Yumi" (We, We, We)

    lyrics/music: Francois Vincent AYSSAV
    note: adopted 1980, the anthem is written in Bislama, a Creole language that mixes Pidgin English and French

Economy ::Vanuatu

Energy ::Vanuatu

Communications ::Vanuatu

Transportation ::Vanuatu

    31 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    total: 3
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
    914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)
    total: 28
    914 to 1,523 m: 7
    under 914 m:
    21 (2013)
    total: 1,070 km
    country comparison to the world: 184
    paved: 256 km
    unpaved: 814 km (1999)
    total: 77
    country comparison to the world: 57
    by type: bulk carrier 38, cargo 8, chemical tanker 2, container 1, liquefied gas 2, passenger 1, refrigerated cargo 24, vehicle carrier 1
    foreign-owned: 72 (Belgium 1, Canada 5, China 1, Greece 3, Japan 39, Norway 1, Poland 9, Russia 7, Singapore 2, Taiwan 1, UAE 1, US 2) (2010)
    Forari Bay, Luganville (Santo, Espiritu Santo), Port-Vila

Military ::Vanuatu

Transnational Issues ::Vanuatu