Australia assured that Papua New Guinea’s democracy and constitution remains strong and robust

Thursday, 8 February 2024, 3:50 pm

Prime Minister James Marape in the Australian Federal Parliament, Canberra [PMs Media]

In light of the recent civil unrests in Papua New Guinea and the security concerns surrounding the region, Prime Minister James Marape has assured that the country’s democracy remains strong and the constitution is robust.

Mr Marape made these comments when delivering his historic speech to the federal parliament of Australia this morning in Canberra.

“Nearly 50 years on, our Democracy remains strong; our Constitution as bold as it was on 15 August 1975 when it was launched under the Australian Administration,” Marape told the Australian parliament.

“We have not fallen to the barrel of the gun; and Democracy in the land of a thousand tribes is still intact.

“Despite the huge challenges of land, cultures, languages, and a weak economic starting point in 1975, our Thousand Tribes are still keeping on as “one people, one nation, one country”, in total allegiance to the Constitution.”

Marape described PNG as a resilient country strengthened by its traditional social support system which has been refined over thousands of years.

Faced with many political and economic challenges since independence, Marape said the constitution remains the country’s pillow of strength.

“Since 1975, we have run 10 elections. Many of them have had their share of challenges, but we have unfailingly produced governments,” he said.

“There might have been way too many Votes of No Confidence, and stress of politics, but we have not failed to observe the values and principles of democracy as enshrined in our Constitution.”

Aside from the arising challenges faced in the law & order sector and the changing political landscape, PNG remains as one of the most rugged and inaccessible country’s in the world due to its geography.

Given its topographical challenge and the growing population, the demand for service delivery remains an issue for the government as most times goods and services do not reach the rural parts of the country where majority of the people live.

Marape said despite many encounters faced, the government is in the process of dong structural reforms to improve public sector efficiency to carry the country for the next 50 years.

He assured the Australian government that PNG will continue to grow and improve the country in all the development aspects.

“Please, do not give up hope on Papua New Guinea,” Prime Minister Marape told the Australian federal parliament.

“We have always bounced back from low moments and we will continue to grow, learning from past experiences.

“These reforms and changes includes our governance and public service structure. Changes are also being carried out into our Courts and the Judiciary, and the Police Force. We are also strengthening our anti-corruption laws and environment.

“For our economy, we have made a number of progresses over the last couple of years. From that humble starting point of K5 billion, our national economy had reached K80 billion when I took over in 2019.

Today, the IMF and World Bank will confirm that our economy has surpassed K111 billion. We are working hard to reach a K200 billion within the next 10 years.”