Vanuatu

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Vanuatu is a republic in the Pacific Ocean, comprising of 80 islands in an archipelago 1,750 kilometres north-east of Australia. Earliest human settlement dates to around 4000 years ago with the arrival of Melanesian predecessors. In 1606, Portuguese explorer Pedro Fernandes de Queirós was the first European to sight the islands, and named them the Southern Land of the Holy Spirit (La Austrialia del Espiritu Santo). French admiral Louis Antoine de Bougainville, 'rediscovered' the islands in 1768. Captain James Cook named the islands the New Hebrides in 1774, and British and French settlers arrived during the nineteenth century establishing trading outposts and plantations. Following the ratification of the Anglo-French Convention of 1906, New Hebrides was jointly administered between the French and British governments, as the Condominium of the New Hebrides. In 1980, the archipelago declared its independence within the Commonwealth of Nations, as Vanuatu. The capital and largest city is Port Vila. Estimated population of Vanuatu in 2011 was 224,564.