PNG APEC Conference Minister: Security Is A Vital Concern, Necessary Condition For Advancing Policy Agenda

Speaking at the Security Group Partners Meeting involving police, military and security experts from PNG, Australia, NZ and the US

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, February 10, 2017) – Asia Pacific Economic Conference Minister Justin Tkatchenko, pictured, has highlighted the importance of security as the nation prepares to host more than 200 Apec meetings in the lead-up to the Leaders’ Summit in 2018.

The minister was speaking at the 5th Apec Security Partner’s Working Group Meeting in Port Moresby yesterday, that brought together police, military and security experts from Papua New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

“Security is the number one priority for our Government as we move towards the first meetings of the Apec Papua New Guinea 2018 calendar,” Tkatchenko said.

Without the right level of security, the Apec policy agenda cannot be advanced.

“It does not matter how good we are in co-ordinating our airport arrivals, our road movements and hotel check-ins, if security is poor, then the meetings will not proceed as they should.

“We are establishing the Apec PNG Joint Security Task Force (JSTF) that the Prime Minister and I expect this to be truly a joint task force.

“This is a structure where the Commander appoints people to specific roles based on the skillsets they possess, not because of the service from which they come.

“The structure of a the JSTF also needs to be in a form that enables inter-operability with our security partners.
“No Apec year or Apec Summit is a unilateral operation. Every major Apec event, be this is PNG the United States or Russia, requires Security co-operation.

“We thank our security partners, particularly Australia, New Zealand and the United States for your support.
“Ever since Prime Minister O’Neill announced that PNG would host Apec in 2018, preparations have been underway.”

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