Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, MP, officially met with various Resident Diplomatic Heads of Mission and International Organizations from Australia, Japan, China, Philippines, European Union and the United Nations Development Program on Tuesday 11 June at his official suite at Sir Manasupe House.
Apart from providing the opportunity to offer congratulations to Prime Minister Marape following his assumption of office, the various Resident Heads of Missions and International Organizations seized the occasion to reaffirm their existing and ongoing development assistance commitments to the new Marape/Steven Government.
In welcoming these commitments, Prime Minister Marape informed them that his Government’s priorities would not shift much from that of the O'Neill Abel government.
He however mentioned that in order to strengthen strong, practical and meaningful relations with development partners and to effectively deliver on these priorities, he was looking at fine tuning and strengthening Government systems and processes and restoring integrity in the Government system to ensure a strong, reliant, transparent and honest Public Service.
In further strengthening Government processes and procedures, Prime Minister Marape requested and directed for Resident Heads of Missions and International Organization to strictly observe standing protocol by going through formal diplomatic channels of communications; through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in the first instance when engaging in any official Government business with PNG.
He said he would be the last person to see any of them after the Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister.
With regard to trade matters, Prime Minister Marape advised of the shift of the Trade Policy function back to the Department of Foreign Affairs whereby he wanted to see diversification of the economic base by economically empowering Papua New Guineans.
“We will be focusing on Agriculture, downstream processing and culture and tourism,” the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister also mentioned the importance his Government attaches to the Bougainville Referendum Process.
“The work done prior to and after the referendum will be done through the Melanesian way.
“The issue is of a delicate nature but with God's help and guidance, what needs to be done will be done.
The Prime Minister also took the time to introduce the newly appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hon, Soroi Eoe, MP, to the Resident Heads of Missions and International Organizations that were present at this meeting.