PRIME Minister James Marape says he wants to get to work straightaway and is expected to appoint his cabinet ministers today.

After his swearing-in, Marape said there were greater challenges ahead.
He thanked MPs on both sides of the House, 90 per cent of whom have voted in his favour.

“I’m truly blessed. Members on both sides of the House responded to my nominations, showing there is a need to work in common unity,” he said.
“We will do proper diagnostic in terms of where we are in terms of the status of our economy, the status of our public service performance. Tomorrow (today), I intend to get on the business of appointing cabinet ministers very quickly. We will visit Government House again tomorrow.” He called on the support of everyone to help him.

“I don’t have all the answers for this nation. That’s what I can tell this country. I am just one man,” he said.

“The assurance I can give is that I can try my best and mobilise talents, talents from the ranks of Government, Opposition, talents from Papua new Guineans out there.”

He said his predecessor Peter O’Neill “went out as a hero”.

In their discussions on Wednesday night, O’Neill told him “you have your own identity, we will not be influencing you.”

Source: The National PNG

DPM Loughman leads delegation to 75th ESCAP Meeting

The seventy-fifth session of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) held its meeting this year from 27th – 31st of May, 2019.

The Commission session is held annually for both the ministerial and the senior official’s level to discuss and decide on important issues pertaining to inclusive and sustainable economic and social development in the Asia and the Pacific region.

This year, Vanuatu’s delegation to the 75th Session of the ESCAP was led by the Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) and the Minister of Tourism, Commerce, Trades and Ni Vanuatu Business, Bob Loughman.

The delegation consist of the First Political Adviser to the Ministry of Trades Mr Simil Johnson; DG Roy Mickey Joy from the Ministry of Trades; Mr Albert James, Policy Auditor at the Department of Strategic Planning and Aid Coordination (DSPPAC) Prime Minister’s Office; Mr Mathieu Hervillard, Vanuatu’s Trade Commissioner to Thailand; and Mr Sanlan William, Head of United Nations and Economic Relations Division in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Theme for this year’s session was, “Empowering people and Ensuring Inclusiveness and Equality”.

Vanuatu was privileged to be part of the different side events during the commission session, one of which was organised by the Government of Japan, ESCAP and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) to discuss on “Community empowerment and participatory policy planning to reduce tsunami and water-related Disaster risk”.

DPM Loughman and other high-level representatives from Japan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Indonesia, and the Philippines discussed failures and success in their own countries in dealing with disaster affected populations.

The Deputy Prime Minister gave Vanuatu’s perspective on the issue by emphasising that small island nations such as Vanuatu are at the “frontline of the battle against climate induced and water related disasters”.

The Deputy PM went further to reiterate that “Vanuatu and other small island countries not only dependent on climate change reduction, but also on the actions of the global community who can help build a bottom up approach to ensuring no one is left behind.”

On Monday the 14th of May, DPM Loughman delivered Vanuatu’s country statement, stressing similarities between the National Sustainable Development Plan (NSDP), also known as 2030: The People’s Plan and the ESCAP’s theme for this year’s session and briefly highlighting some of the work Vanuatu has put in place in the areas of inclusivity & equality, education, climate change, justice and economy, keeping with this year’s ESCAP theme.

During the 75th Commission session, the Deputy Prime Minister also conducted a courtesy call to Mrs. Armida Alisjahbana, the United Nations Under Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of UNESCAP, where the Executive Secretary reiterated her support for Vanuatu’s preparations for the Samoa Pathway midterm review later this year.

The delegation also stressed that despite Vanuatu’s imminent graduation from Least Developed Country (LDC) status in 2020, Vanuatu still seeks to work with donor partners and the international community to ensure smooth transition particularly with issues such as trade, capacity development and diversification of production.

The 75th annual Commission Session of ESCAP was an important opportunity for Vanuatu to share experiences with other countries in the Asia-Pacific region on our shared progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s), empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality in the era of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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Dear Editor,

Bruce Wearne asks a good question. When is Australian and New Zealand “going to get in behind Vanuatu’s advocacy of justice for West Papua”.

As secretary of the Australia West Papua Association in Sydney, I write regularly to our foreign affairs department (DFAT) raising concerns about the human rights situation in West Papua.

In all replies there will always be the sentence, “we recognise Indonesian sovereignty over West Papua”. It does not matter which party is in power but there are individual politicians in all parties, particularly in “The Greens” which are concerned about the situation.

There have been a number of hiccups in our relationship with Indonesia and DFAT’s policy seems to be basically not to upset Indonesia. Everybody wants to get along with their neighbours but it should not be at the expense of the West Papuan People.

One way Australia can support West Papua without incurring Indonesian criticism is to act collectively and support the call by the Pacific leaders in asking Jakarta to allow a PIF fact finding mission to West Papua.

In recent years there has been a groundswell of support throughout the Pacific region in support of the West Papuan people. Hopefully, the PIF leaders at the upcoming PIF summit in Tuvalu will continue to press Jakarta to allow a fact finding mission to the territory. They have the support of their people in doing so.

Joe Collins, Daily Post Vanuatu

AWPA (Sydney)

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