Investment For APEC Meeting Security To Benefit Papua New Guinea: PM

Funds to be used to improve police, military operations 

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Oct. 24, 2016) – Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says investment in security to be provided for world leaders attending a summit in Port Moresby in 2018 will make Papua New Guinea safer and provide  long-term security benefits.

He said the total cost of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) meetings in the capital city and around the country was being worked out by the Government budget teams. It will be revised in the 2018 budget.

“Half of the expenditure on Apec next year will be an investment in the military and security of our nation,” he said.

“This includes strengthening border security at arrival points ― not only in Port Moresby but around the country.

“We are increasing the capacity of our police and military to new levels that will help our people to be safer in our communities.”

World leaders including the presidents of the United States of America and China would be in Port Moresby for the Leaders’ Summit in November 2018.

He also called on the Opposition to stop “politicising” such an important international event, following a claim by Oro Governor Gary Juffa that the Apec budget in 2017 would be K600 million.

“The budget for Apec in 2017 will be significantly less than the false K600 million that the Opposition has taken out of thin air,” O’Neill said.

“They should not take such narrow-minded view of what Apec means to this nation. Figures are being worked through now by our budget teams and will be further revised for the 2018 budget.”

O’Neill thanked regional partners such as Australia, the United States and New Zealand for their support.

“The Australian Federal Police partnership programme is providing tremendous support to improving our policing capacity ahead of Apec,” he said.

“This will have lasting benefit beyond Apec as the capacity of our police is elevated to a new level.”

The Government has requested its partners to provide security support that Papua New Guinea lacks.

“This includes fighter jet coverage above Port Moresby during the Apec summit and navy ships that will be moored offshore,” he said.

“These ships will have medical facilities. They will partner with our military for the deployment of Special Forces to deal with any threat.”

He said Apec would bring great opportunity for PNG “beyond promoting the nation to the international community and improving security”.

He said it would enhance regional policy development in areas such as agriculture, marine resources, tourism and SMEs. “As chair of the Apec Policy agenda in 2018, PNG will be in a position to guide policy development in crucial economic sectors. This will empower our businesses and primary producers to have input to the development of Apec policy as this affects their sectors.”

The National
Copyright © 2016 The National Online. All Rights Reserved

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment