Tonga. In March, the government announced that Tonga is ready to ratify the UN Women’s Convention of 1979. The country is one of the few in the world that has not yet adopted the convention, which aims to ensure that women have equal rights as men. However, Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva said that ratification could only be done subject to the exception of those parts of the convention which contravene the country’s constitution and other laws. However, the decision to ratify the Women’s Convention aroused strong protests in parts of the Tongan community, especially within the churches, which feared that an adjustment to the content of the convention would lead to the right to abortion and legalization of same-sex marriage. In June, it was announced that the issue was postponed after the upcoming coronation festivities.
On July 4, King Tupou VI and his queen Nanasipau’u were crowned. The king inherited the throne after his brother George Tupou V, who died in 2012. The ceremony was held at the Free Wesleyan Centenary Church in the capital Nuku’alofa. Among the celebrated guests were the Japanese crown prince couple Naruhito and Masako. The tourism industry noted a sharp increase in the number of foreign visitors in connection with the coronation. The same week as this took place, new coins and banknotes were launched, most of them adorned with the present king’s portrait.
According to COUNTRYAAH, Nuku’alofa is the capital of Tonga which is located in Polynesia. A few days after the coronation, the prime minister announced that the question of whether Tonga would ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Women or not was decided in a referendum. However, no such was held in 2015.
At the beginning of the year, a new island was formed in an eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano in the sea north of Tongatapu, the largest island in the country.