International Relations. Papua New Guinea press review
Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea (PNG) Hon. James Marape has congratulated the Queen of England, Queen Elisabeth II, on her 94th Birthday this year. Mr. Marape said Her Royal Highness has been a symbol of the democracy and the Westminster system of government Papua New Guinea enjoys, which it attained since independence in 1975. «Papua New Guinea is a member of the Commonwealth Group of Nations in which Queen is the Head of State, » – said Mr. Marape. Prime Minister of PNG also stated that relationships between Papua New Guinea and the United Kingdom has been strengthen over the. The Queen, as Head of State, continues to play her role through her representative the Governor-General of PNG. According to Mr. Marape, on the economic front many British businesses operate in and contribute to the development of PNG. Queen Elisabeth II was born on April 21, 1926, in London and turned 94 years old this year, however, it is officially celebrated by all Commonwealth nations on the second Saturday of June annually.
Australian delegation visited Western province in Papua New Guinea to reaffirm commitment to partnership between states in the case of protecting PNG borders. The delegation was led by High Commissioner, Jon Philp, joined by Western Governor, the Hon. Taboi Yoto MP, Member for South Fly Open, Sekie Agisa MP, as well as senior representatives of the Australian Federal Police and the Department of Home Affairs, PNG Customs and the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary. According to what participants said, The many agencies represented on the delegation reflects the shared importance with which Australia and PNG treat the issues faced by this important border province. This was reaffirmed when the delegation took a tour of the Torres Strait towards Saibai Island. The delegation also visited the Provincial Police Headquarters, including to view the Australia-supported Family and Sexual Violence Unit, one of 26 across PNG. Western Province is also at the forefront of PNG’s efforts to protect PNG from COVID19, but like many provinces it has other contagious diseases that are already endemic, such as drug resistant tuberculosis. The delegation visited the Daru General Hospital to hear about preparations to prevent and respond to COVID-19, as well as tuberculosis controls.
In support of the Western Highlands Provincial Health Authority (WHPHA) efforts to prepare for and response to COVID-19 pandemic, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) extended its presence in Western Highlands, and organized new isolated unit in Mount-Hagen hospital for COVID-19 cases. The unit can cater for up to 12 patients. It also includes a delivery room for expectant mothers, toilet and shower rooms, area for donning and doffing personal protective equipment (PPE), and areas for disinfection and waste management. During the event the head of ICRC Mt Hagen Stephanie Probst said that Red Cross further stepped up its humanitarian responses in remote regions, lacking essential information about COVID-19.
Leader of the People’s National Congress Party (PNC) and former Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea Peter O’Neill has called out current Prime Minister James Marape for false claims about Electrification Partnership (PEP), negotiated during the APEC Summit in 2018, conducted in the capital of PNG Port-Moresby. According to Mr. O’Neill, PEP was very important outcome of the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea that had nothing to do with Mr. Marape. «The PNG Electrification Partnership was driven entirely by our Government and was signed at APEC, but has stalled over the past year as this government has done nothing to expand electrification throughout the country […] Our APEC partners who signed the US$1,2 billion program had made a clear and honest commitment to deliver this electrification program that was intended to extend connection to electricity for 70% of our people by the year 2030 […] the partners have hundreds of millions of Kina set aside right now to move the project along and connect rural and remote communities, and they have been doing what they can to get their initiatives moving, but have been let down by this government […] That is why the four partners, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and US, forced the government to meet with them to try to advance plans to get things moving » – ex-Prime Minister said.