Brussels, 29 June 2015/ ACP: The Independent State of Papua New Guinea is prepared to host the 8th Summit of ACP Heads of State and Government in May 2016, the country’s Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill announced at a recent session of the Committee of Ambassadors held in Brussels.
Prime Minister O’Neill also pledged €500,000 to the ACP Group from the Government of Papua New Guinea (PNG), to be invested in establishing a framework for the financial viability of the organisation. This would go towards conducting a feasibility study on a “long-term endowment fund” which could support the activities of the ACP Group in the future.
“I am optimistic for the future of the ACP Group post-2020…. It is therefore important that we reposition the ACP Group to mobilise resources from diverse partnerships,” he stated on his visit to ACP Headquarters on 18 June. (Read the full speech)
“Papua New Guinea believes that given the strength of natural resources that the ACP (countries) have as a group, we can develop a long term fund using this strength. This will allow us to have some financial independence in funding our development aspirations, especially in the areas of economic and social infrastructure.”
In a demonstration of solidarity with fellow African, Caribbean and Pacific Member States, the PNG Government further pledged 500,000 Kina (approx. €160,000) to assist post-recovery efforts in the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone which were affected by the Ebola outbreak. Previously the PNG Government had also provided generous assistance to fellow Pacific countries affected by Cyclone Pam in March 2015.
Prime Minister O’Neill was especially supportive of collective initiatives by the ACP Group to implement the recommendations contained in the SAMOA Pathway – the outcome document from the 3rd International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) held in 2014 in Samoa.
With 37 SIDS countries, including Papua New Guinea, making up nearly half of the 79 ACP Member States, he supported the collective call for “developed countries to control and reduce their carbon emissions to acceptable levels” while also taking the responsibility to work with SIDS in devising practical sustainable development strategies.
Papua New Guinea is the largest economy amongst the Pacific ACP states, with a diverse population of around 7 million who speak over 800 languages and dialects. The country is rich with natural resources such as hydrocarbon, minerals, agriculture, fisheries and natural gas, although the challenge remains in adding midstream and downstream value to natural resources. For 2015, the Government expects a 15% rise in the economy, following on 14 successive years of positive economic growth.
(Photos from top: The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea Hon. Peter O'Neill addressing the ACP Committee of Ambassadors; with the ACP Secretary General Dr. Patrick Gomes; PNG delegation including the Prime Minister of PNG and the Ambassador of Papua New Guinea to the EU H.E Mr. Joseph Kalinoe (far right) meet with the ACP Secretary General.)
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