Prime Ministers Media Releases

PM Marape participates in UN Virtual Roundtable on Extractive Industries


Prime Minister Hon. James Marape on the evening of Tuesday 25th May 2021 participated in a virtual Roundtable on Extractive Industries hosted by H.E Mr Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary-General.

This Virtual Roundtable brought together heads of governments, industry experts, chief executive officers of major resource companies, academics, and researchers to discuss ideas on transforming the extractive sector into an engine for sustainable development particularly in the light of challenges posed by the COVID–19 pandemic.

It provided an opportunity for all participants to discuss at the highest global level alternatives and options for countries to support the transition from fossil fuels towards a low carbon resilient and inclusive future.
In thanking the UN Secretary General H.E Antonio Guterres for extending invitation for PNG to be part of these very important discussions, PM Marape expressed satisfaction for the Theme: ‘Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond’, which he said was very relevant and fitting.

PNG, he further stated, was heavily reliant on the extractive industries where 90 per cent of revenue was derived, without which the country would not survive.

PM Marape also expressed gratitude for the support from multilateral and bilateral development partners such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Australia and Japan for their assistance to PNG during the COVID-19 pandemic period.

“At this point in time, nations like PNG need extractive industries to survive, whilst we are cognisant of the need to be globally responsive to achieve the UN Development Agenda by 2030 and the need for us to harvest our own natural resources,” he said.

“I reiterate that with COVID-19 induced contraction in our global and local economy, nations like PNG need to revamp and sustain our economy through recovery measures that we have in place such as harvesting of our natural resources.
“My country is blessed with resources like oil, gas and gold, including 13 per cent of world’s tropical rainforest, and I would like to raise the awareness in this auspices meeting that with resources available to countries like mine, we need the development funds to enable us to rebound from the COVID-19 economic contraction.

“Someone out there in the entire world needs to hear this conversation that smaller and emerging island nations who are naturally endowed, need to be properly heard and supported.

“I therefore make an impassioned plea for greater mobilisation of resources to ensure survival of our economies.

“The UN is requested to play a lead role as an advocator in ensuring that small nations who are dependent on extractive industries, like PNG or Small Island States (SIS) and share the Blue Pacific Ocean are totally exposed to the travesty of this global pandemic and require urgent development assistance.

“I can put my hand directly into the forest, which I believe is a global asset, and I want advanced economies to speak in context.

“Sometimes, we small developing economies sit back and look at advanced economies talk about climate change and minimising our carbon footprint.

“We have made representation many times at international meetings that small island nations are not responsible for many of the carbon footprints.

“It’s about time the UN mobilises the advanced and industrialised economies to support the Coalition of Rainforest Nations.

“Moreover, the UN assistance will ensure our economies are sustainable in the face of this global pandemic.

“In advancing climate neutrality, the debate on fossil fuel needs to be balanced in that it does not hurt small economies who need those revenues to sustain themselves.”

Prime Minister welcomes Supreme Court Decision on Opposition Case

Prime Minister James Marape today welcomed the five men Supreme Court decision this afternoon which ruled in favour of Speaker Job Pomat in the constitutional case filed by Opposition Leader Belden Namah.

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the action of the Speaker to adjourn Parliament was constitutional and refused all the associated orders sought by the Opposition Leader.

PM Marape said that it is time the Opposition stop misleading the people of this country by mounting mischievous court actions which is paid for by the people of this country through Parliament.

He said Mr. Namah and Mr. O’Neill have for far too long chosen not to take responsibility of the economic mismanagement of this country since 2011, and have continuously seek to pull a rug over our people through ill-conceived and politically motivated court cases. At some point, we must put the interest of the nation ahead of our own political interests.

The Prime Minister paid tribute to the majority government that he leads and the leaders who have chosen stability over politics, and have stuck with this government through periods of instability.

He said these leaders have demonstrated political maturity over actions that have caused uncertainty affecting government services as well as private sector activities.

“What we do in government affects decisions that other people must make in terms of their businesses and their lives. We must take responsibility over our actions.

In his remarks he also welcomed the news which means that his government is settled to take the country to the next National General Elections.

“I have a short time to get as much work in before we go to the polls in 2022. I have always maintained that this position is not my birth right, and when the time comes, I will gracefully move on. But for now, we have much to do.”

Prime Minister Marape said we all have to face our people in the 2022 National General Election, where no doubts all leaders will have to account to their voters what they have done for the last five years.

PRIME MINISTER MARAPE WANTS SOUTH KOREA TO HAVE PERMANENT EMBASSY BUILDING IN WAIGANI

The Prime Minister, Hon. James Marape MP, has held fruitful discussions with the outgoing South Korean Ambassador to PNG, H.E Mr Kym-Gu Kang at his Office at the Sir Manasupe Haus in Port Moresby on Tuesday, May 25, 2021.

Ambassador Kang will be leaving the shores of Papua New Guinea this Saturday for Seoul, South Korea after serving his country for four good years.

Papua New Guinea was Ambassador Kym-Gu’s first posting as a Diplomat and has served his country well ensuring the bilateral relationship between PNG and South Korea remained cordial as well as progress in trade and investment links.

South Korea just like PNG as a developing country went from nothing to now the 10th fastest growing and largest economy in the world.

PM Marape noted that South Korea has invested heavily in human resources and is now one of the major producers of electronic goods and a leader on its own right in the Information Communication Technology (ICT) Sector, which PNG can learn and benefit from.

PM Marape has informed Ambassador Kang Kym-Gu that Koreans love and favor coffee and PNG produces good coffee.

“Ambassador there is the possibility of we PNG exporting our coffee both processed and raw coffee beans to Korea and Korean investors can come and invest in downstream processing of our coffee in PNG.

“PNG is opening up a few Special Economic Zones and our Government want Korean investors to invest in PNG as it also offers tax exemptions to promote trade and investment.

“Ambassador on that note I also want to inform you of my Government’s wish and intention for South Korea to have a permanent Embassy based here at the Waigani center of government and business.

“A land will be identified and made available to your South Korean Government to build your own Embassy building here at Waigani closer to Central Government as other countries PNG has diplomatic and bilateral relations are housed,” said PM Marape.

He also informed the outgoing Ambassador that he is in receipt of an invitation for an Official State Visit to Seoul from President Moon Jae-in’s Government and is looking forward to it some this year at the timing of the Korean Government.

"I couldn't make an official visit earlier this year due to the fact that the COVID-19 Pandemic has disrupted businesses including airlines and placed travel restrictions and has affected us all. We are looking forward to the visit any time soon this year when arrangements on both sides of our governments are finalized following strict COVID-19 protocols.

PM Marape said PNG stands ready to learn a lot from countries like South Korea that have nothing and or less resources and came through as the fastest developing 10th largest economy in the world.

He also acknowledged and thanked the South Korean Government for the work and support it lends to PNG through its Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), which also supports the peace building work in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville amongst many other areas including trade and investment and education.

PNG has many resources like gold, oil and gas, coffee, copra, cocoa and the rich flora and fauna, which countries like South Korea could invest in including other APEC member countries.

Papua New Guinea also produces up to 20-30 per cent of the world tuna supply to European and Asian markets, which includes the Republic of Korea.

PM MARAPE SAYS NATIONAL PARLIAMENT HAS TO RATIFY THE REFERENDUM RESULTS

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, MP says the National Government is committed to the consultation process as per the Bougainville Peace Agreement and the National Constitution.

He said this yesterday at the commencement of the Joint Governmental Consultation process following the outcomes of the 2019 Bougainville referendum where 97.7 per cent voted for independence.

PM Marape said the results for independence are as high and clear as PNG’s Mt Wilhelm, but he also acknowledged that the Bougainville Peace Agreement has clearly subjected this outcome to the deliberation and vote by the National Parliament of Papua New Guinea.

The Prime Minister was responding to the formal proposition by the ABG President, Ishmael Toroama at the consultations, that Bougainville wants a time frame for 2025 for political independence and wants elections to be held for an independent government.

President Toroama told the consultations that by 2022 the process and framework towards attaining independence must be agreed to between the two governments.

However, PM Marape said all consultation processes and the agreements must be within the peace agreement. He said that the outcome of the referendum must go before Parliament only when both the Bougainville people and the greater Papua New Guinea are prepared and matured to accept the results of the parliamentary vote.

“This consultation must take place to reach the final leg of the BPA and bring it to Parliament for ratification. We certainly welcome you from the ABG and are deeply honoured and find this the privilege of the highest order to be amongst the discussions.”

PM Marape told the meeting that he had a larger interest of ensuring that greater Papua New Guinea understands the special nature of the relationship and the deep history that we have with the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, and appealed to President Toroama and his delegation to understand the reason why the pace of the consultations must take the interest of the rest of the country into considerations.

“This is no longer just about Bougainville and the National Government. It is now about Bougainville, the National Government and the rest of Papua New Guinea. The rest of Papua New Guinea must be on board when the final vote is taken in Parliament”

“This discussion goes toward testing the total sovereignty of our nationhood. But I believe that on both sides of the Bismarck Sea and on both sides of our people, we are of the view that a common goal can be found and a consensus can be reached.

“This conversation is something that we must not be fearful about but it needs to be made and staged to achieve a common good,” said PM Marape.

He told the first Joint Governmental Consultation Process meeting that both sides must come to the table with good intentions and to remain committed towards the BPA and embrace the National Constitution.

PM Marape in addressing the meeting assured President Toroama and his delegation that no amount of time and work will undo or dilute the results of the referendum and the desires and the wishes of the people of Bougainville.

“And whether it is one, two or three years into the future and as Mr President, you have stated it will be decided in 2025, one thing is certain, that the referendum and its results were secured out of a crisis that has affected us all on loss of lives.

“The referendum is secured out of a mutual agreement for peace and the results will stand for us all and into the future.

“So Mr President let me assure you that no one will dilute the results of the referendum and the intentions and the desire of the people of Bougainville as far as the overwhelming vote for independence is concerned.

“But for us now is to find the process amongst us that is clearly spelt out going forward. And as we commence this consultation process as espoused in the BPA, it is critically important to note and for each and every one of us to maintain the guiding principles of the peace agreement,’’ he said.

PM Marape said key amongst that is for the two governments to agree to a mutually acceptable timetable, define the next steps which will guide all of us into the next consultations before the results can be presented to the National Parliament for its consideration.

“I see the need to jointly agree on a schedule for us to move forward in our discussions”

“Mr President and members of the Bougainville House of Representatives, I thank you for all your welcome and reception to us and our Government whenever we come to Bougainville and also in such consultations like this.

“I can clearly remember coming to Arawa during and after the results of your referendum and we were thinking the reception was going to be hostile but the reception was very warm and welcoming.

“And during that time I mentioned to you in Arawa that the results of the referendum I am taking back as member for Tari-Pori Electorate in my Hela Province.

“Mr President, that conversation simply means when this matter is presented on the floor of Parliament, I maybe the Prime Minister of the country, but my conscious choice and vote through the ratification process will be reduced to just one vote. The rest of the members of the Parliament will express their views as far as the results of the referendum is concerned as individuals.

“Mr President I take note of your suggestion for us to work towards a deadline of 2025 and I hope that in our further conversations today and tomorrow we can fully understand each other better.

The Prime Minister said that Bougainville has always been a pace setter and it is important that as I lead my delegation in these consultations to seek to honor the wishes of the Bougainville people that we do so while at the same time ensure that we secure the rest of the country in a way that the sovereignty and unity of greater Papua New Guinea is intact.

“We must understand that we are the most diverse and united country and have come together as a nation in the last 45 years and we want to tighten the nuts and bolts that no one holds us to a gun induced referendum causing a pathway into the future.

“Mr President your position is different and whilst your experience and view is totally different from the rest of PNG, you must also agree with me that maybe because you see the sun first in the eastern most part of our country and the precedent you set is what your brothers and sisters in the west follow.

“I have a responsibility to ensure that these experiences are not propagated elsewhere in our country.”

“I am sure we will find a common place for your aspiration for self-determination, economic empowerment and political independence while at the same time keep the unity in PNG and PNG that excludes Bougainville.

“I appreciate where you are coming from and you have a constituent mandate and the people of Bougainville and PNG need a clear time frame going forward and we must not go in and out of the discussions and we can set the time frame forward.

“We pledge to you our commitment but there must be a trust and conducive environment for lasting peace and political settlement to be reached,’’ PM Marape told the consultation meeting.

“I don’t want us to come and talk and talk only. Let’s get it down and set the deadline and move forward and we know the issue you want independence and we are struggling to give you independence.

“We don’t want you to go away but you voted for independence so we set the deadlines and time frame going forward.

“Parliament will only determine and if they allow you to go we will let you go and we can exist as friends on either reside of the Bismarck Sea,’’ he said.

PM Marape said that part of his commitment to the process is that if Parliament does not accept the results of the referendum that his government is considering options to withdraw the matter and work again on the consultations to find common ground. This is in keeping with the voices of the people who have spoken.

“The comfort that I can give to Bougainville under my watch and not just me, James Marape but my generation of leaders, is that if Parliament decides to say no to independence, I place my recommendation that we will withdraw the motion and go again to one more round of consultations.

“I have given you my 10 years of commitment to help build Bougainville become economically independent and certainly Parliament will look into it within the 10-year time frame.

“But the President has indicated the time as 2025 and that means we need to handle it within 2022 but I appeal to our brothers and sisters in Bougainville that if Parliament says no to the referendum results then that is something we all must accept to sit down and discuss through such consultations again.

The two days meeting, which started on Tuesday, 18 May 2021 ends today. It is expected that the two sides will agree to a schedule to take the results of the referendum to Parliament today.

 

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