About Us India-Vanuatu: Bilateral Brief

India-Vanuatu Bilateral Brief

Diplomatic relations with Vanuatu were established in 1986. Till mid-2000, the Indian High Commission in Canberra was accredited to Vanuatu. The accreditation was transferred to HCI,Port Moresby in August 2000 and to HCI Suva in June 2014. Since February 2022, High Commission of India in Wellington is accredited to Vanuatu.

Political Set-up: Vanuatu is a democratic republic. The President is elected for a five-year term through secre tballot by an electoral college comprising the Parliament and the chiefs of Vanuatu's six provincial Governments. Vanuatu joined the Commonwealth and the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) at the time of its independence in 1980. It is also a member of the Francophone Community, the United Nations and several specialized agencies, and of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

Bilateral Relations: In1983, the Deputy PM of Vanuatu met Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi during the NAM Summit meeting in New Delhi. The Transport Minister of Vanuatu attended the World Infrastructural Forum in New Delhi in October 1996. Former Prime Minister Barak Sope visited India in 1983 as a member of the Vanuatu delegation to the NAM in New Delhi. 

The Forum for India-Pacific Island Countries Summit (FIPIC-I):Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi hosted the India-Pacific Island Countries Forum Summit in Suva (Fiji) during the visit on 19 November 2014 with the participation of 14 Pacific countries. Vanuatu delegation, led by the Minister for Foreign Affairs Hon. Meltek Sato Kilman, attended the Summit.

The Forum for India-Pacific Island Countries Summit (FIPIC-II):A Vanuatu delegation led by Prime Minister Hon. Meltek Sato Kilman, visited India to attend 2nd Summit of Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) held at Jaipur on 21 August 2015.

India-Pacific Islands Sustainable Development Conference (IPI-SDC): Under the umbrella of FIPIC, Government of India organized the India-Pacific Islands Sustainable Development Conference (IPI-SDC) which was held at Suva, Fiji on 25-26 May 2017. Minister of State for External Affairs Gen. (Dr.) V.K. Singh (Retd.) hosted the event. The Conference saw the participation of several high-profile leaders from the 14 Pacific Island Nations. From Vanuatu Mr Ham LiniVanuaroroa, Minister of Climate Change Adaptation, Meteorology, Geo-Hazard, Environment, Energy and Disaster Management led the delegation. Prasar Bharati of India gifted programmatic content on India for telecast to all the Pacific Island Countries.


From India to Vanuatu: Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines visited Vanuatu from 25-26 October 2016. This was a first ever Ministerial visit from India to Vanuatu. He had meetings with Prime Minister Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Bruno Leingkone Tau. Minister of State for Power presented a cheque of US$1,90,000 to Bruno Leingkone Tau for procurement of IT equipment for 76 schools in Vanuatu. Both Ministers had signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Establishing India-Vanuatu Centre of Excellence in IT (CEIT). Delegation from PSUs (PGCIL, CDAC, NTPC, EESL, SECI) also visited Vanuatu along with Minister.

Minister Goyal offered India’s assistance to supply LED bulbs and energy efficient equipment (worth US$ 200,000) to Vanuatu as part of annual grant to Vanuatu. The US$ 200,000 assistance for LED bulbs and energy efficient equipment has been delivered on 31 January 2018, by handing over a cheque to President of Vanuatu H.E. Pastor Tallis Obed Moses by High Commissioner at Nauru (on the sidelines of 50th anniversary of Nauru’s independence).  

Vanuatu expressed in favour of expansion of UNSC and supported India’s position for its candidature to permanent membership to the UNSC. Vanuatu Foreign Minister also conveyed its support to India’s candidature for non-permanent seat on the UNSC for the year 2021-22.
From Vanuatu to India:

Alberick Jean Jacques Rory, Senior Health Officer, attended the seventh session of the Conference of the Parties (COP7) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) held in New Delhi from 7-12 November 2016.

Michael Ligo, Custom Audit Officer, from Department of Customs and Inland Revenue, visited India, to attend World Customs Organisation's Asia Pacific Regional Workshop on Intelligence-led Risk Management held at Faridabad, from 21-25 November 2016.

MULTILATERAL COOPERATION: Recently Vanuatu supported Indian candidatures at various international forums:

  1. Indian Candidature to The World Customs Organisation (WCO) in June 2019.
  2. Indian Candidature to the non-permanent seat in UNSC in 2020.
  3. India’s candidature to Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) for 2021-2023.
  4. Election for the International Law Commission (ILC) for the term 2023-27 held on 12 November 2021 in New York for India’s candidate Professor Dr. Bimal Prasad.
  5. Election for the post of Vice-president /delegate for Asia in the executive committee of the International Criminal Police Organization (ICPO-INTERPOL) for India’s candidature of Mr. Parveen Sinha, Additional Director, CBI held in Istanbul, Turkey from 23-25 November 2021.
  6. Written confirmation for Re-election for the membership of the Executive Board (EXB) of UNESCO in Paris in November 2021.

Human Resources Development: India has been offering 05 training slots under the ITEC Programme until 2018-2019. In the year 2018-19, Vanuatu utilized only 1 slot. Since 2019-20, Vanuatu has been offered 01 ITEC slot which has remained unutilized due to Covid-19.

Kemson Tavdey, Foreign Service Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vanuatu participated in the 63rd Professional Course for Foreign Diplomats (PCFD) held at Foreign Service Institute, New Delhi from 29 March to 28 April 2017.

Indian Assistance: As part of Government of India's Regional Assistance Initiatives for Pacific Island countries,India offers annual grant-in-aid for development projects in Vanuatu. Following “Cyclone Pam” in March 2015, India gave a grant of US$ 250,000 as a humanitarian assistance. India gave a grant of US$ 200,000 for resettlement process of Ambae islands after eruption of volcano in June 2018.  The amount was handed over to the Prime Minister of Vanuatu on 26 July 2018.

GOI has increased Grant-in-Aid to Vanuatu to US$ 200,000 annually to be rolled over to provide a wider scope for our development cooperation.

India had given US$ 669,093 to Vanuatu since 2006 for various community development projects ‘like procurement of equipment for school/office equipment/ICT equipment, etc.

Climate Change and Solar Energy Cooperation: India will be doing solar electrification of 200 houses in Vanuatu.  Refresher training for 43 ‘Solar Mamas’ from seven Pacific Island Countries was completed successfully in Fiji on 10 September 2016, as a part of US$ 1.5 mn GOI project of ‘solar electrification of 2800 houses in 14 PICs’. Four Vanuatu solar mamas had been trained in India at Barefoot College, Rajasthan since 2012.

International Solar Alliance: Vanuatu has signed and ratified the Framework Agreement of ISA and become the founding member of ISA.

Participation in ISA Founding Conference and Solar Summit: Hon. Charlot Salwai TABIMASMAS, Prime Minister of Vanuatu led the country’s delegation to the ISA Founding Conference and Solar Summit which was held in New Delhi on 11 March 2018. Vanuatu PM also had a bilateral meeting with Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the Conference.  

Culture: Ms. Meera Das, Indian Classical Dance Group (Odissi) performed in Vanuatu on 7 November 2017 as a part of Namaste Pacifika, a Festival of India being held in seven Pacific Island Countries. This was such first-ever Indian Cultural group’s performance in Vanuatu, which mesmerized over 1000-strong audience. 

International Day of Yoga: Fifth International Day of Yoga was celebrated in Vanuatu on 22 June 2019. Due to the Covid situation in 2020, as directed by the Ministry, the local authorities were informed to celebrate the IDY virtually and a blogging contest was arranged. IDY 2021 could not be celebrated due to Covid situation.


March 2022