Prime Minister Hon. James Marape expresses his gratitude for the invitation extended by Australian Prime Minister Hon. Anthony Albanese to address the Australian Parliament on February 8, 2024. The announcement was made today by Prime Minister Albanese during a press conference held outside the Australian Parliament in Canberra today, following the signing of the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with Prime Minister Marape.
“I thank the Australian Parliament, through Prime Minister Albanese, for inviting me to address the Australian Parliament on February 8, 2024,” Prime Minister Marape acknowledged.
“This is a momentous occasion for Papua New Guinea, marking the first time a PNG prime minister has been invited to address the Australian Parliament. It is a great honor as we approach the 50th anniversary of our independence from Australia in 2025.
“What makes this occasion even more special is the historical connection between our nations. Fifty years ago, the Australian Labor Party, led by then-Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, played a pivotal role in granting self-government to Papua New Guinea under the Pangu Pati-led government, led by Chief Minister Michael Somare. Self-government eventually paved the way for Papua New Guinea’s independence in 1975. Now, with the Australian Labor Party back in government and Pangu Pati in Papua New Guinea, I, as prime minister and party leader, am honored to be invited to address the Australian Parliament.”
Prime Minister Albanese, addressing the press, highlighted the significance of this event. He noted that Prime Minister Marape will be the first overseas leader to address the Australian Parliament since Indonesian President H.E. Joko Widodo in 2020. This invitation reciprocates the honor Australia received in January 2023 when Prime Minister Albanese became the first foreign leader to address the Papua New Guinea Parliament.
“We eagerly anticipate the joint sitting of Parliament and extend our warm welcome to Prime Minister Marape,” Prime Minister Albanese stated, noting the positive reception of Prime Minister Marape’s upcoming address by the Speaker and Opposition Leader.