PM O'Neill calls on Opposition not to politicize APEC

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The Prime Minister,. Peter O’Neill  has called on the Opposition to show maturity as Papua New Guinea prepares to host APEC in 2018 and not try to politicise these important national events.
Prime Minister O’Neill made the comments after opposition member, Oro Governor Gary Juffa, made false claims that the APEC budget was six hundred million Kina next year.

The Prime Minister said a very careful capacity building budget was being articulated for APEC, while at the same time strengthening engagement with partners including the Australian military and the Australian Federal Police was being undertaken.
“The budget for APEC in 2017 will be significantly less than the false 600 million Kina that the Opposition has taken out of thin air,” PM O’Neill said.
“They should not take such narrow-minded view of what APEC means to this country.
“Figures are being worked through now by our budget teams and will be further revised for the 2018 budget.”
The Prime Minister said the APEC investment in security in Papua New Guinea will make the nation safer and deliver long-term security benefits
“Half of the expenditure on APEC next year will be an investment in the military and security of our nation.
“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 be safer in our communities.
“We also have support of our regional partners, particularly Australia, the United States and New Zealand.
“The Australian Federal Police partnership program is providing tremendous support to improving our policing capacity ahead of APEC.
“This will have lasting benefit beyond APEC as the capacity of our police is is elevated to a new level.
“We are talking with counterpart Governments to deliver security support that we do not have.
“This includes fighter jet coverage above Port Moresby during the APEC summit and Navy ships that will be moored offshore. These ships will have medical facilities, and will partner with our military for the deployment of special forces to deal with any threat.”

The Prime Minister said APEC will bring great opportunity for Papua New Guinea that is beyond promoting the nation to the international community and improving security, but will also enhance regional policy development in areas such as agriculture, marine resources, tourism and SMEs.
“As chair of the APEC Policy agenda in 2018, Papua New Guinea 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.
“This will create opportunity for our businesses to strengthen their capabilities and open up new export opportunities.”

PNG Government to increase Engagement with World Bank

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Papua New Guinea Prime Minister,  Peter O’Neill , has thanked the World Bank for its ongoing and expanding engagement with the nation, that he said is bringing about more development and greater transparency for Papua New Guinea.
During a meeting with the World Bank Vice President for East Asia and Pacific Region, Ms. Victoria Kwakwa, in Port Moresby, this week, PM O’Neill thanked the World Bank for its ongoing support that has being benefitting the people of Papua New Guinea.

“We cannot tackle the development challenges of our nation by going it alone, and the World Bank is a very constructive partner for Papua New Guinea,” the Prime Minister said.
“Papua New Guinea has seen a lot of changes over the past five years, and we thank the World Bank for partnering with us for so many projects.
“These include addressing the TB in Papua New Guinea, expanding electricity supply for our rural communities, increasing agricultural benefits, youth empowerment and improving the tourism sector.
“We are seeing the success in various development programs such as the Urban Youth Employment Program and projects in the agricultural sector benefitting many locals throughout the country.
“These are all fundamental sectors of our growing economy and we are taking development to the next level.”

The Prime Minister said advances in opening access to education and expanding universal healthcare are delivering great improvements for the nation and a stronger base for ongoing development.
“When we have a better educated and a healthier national community, we can continue to step-up the level of partnership and engagement with organisations such as the World Bank.
“Together we can develop programs that are more sophisticated and help women to play a greater role in the economy, and to empower small business owners and micro enterprises to advance their businesses.

“Papua New Guinea looks forward to further increasing engagement with the World Bank, particularly in outstanding projects yet to be fully implemented, in which the World Bank has allocated funding."

Early Childhood Learning is Very Important says Lynda Babao-O’Neill

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Mrs Lynda Babao O’Neill, the wife of the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea has officially opened the library for the ‘Buk Bilong Pikinini’ today (25/10/2016) at the Kuluanda Primary School in Tari, Hela Province.
Mrs O’Neill who is the Patron for the Buk Bilong Pikinini says early learning is very important and gives opportunity for underprivileged children to get an education at an early age where it is easy to absorb as much as possible.
“The Book Bilong Pikinini gives children a new look in life and dream of learning more to become successful.”
“It gives children the advantage of going forward in the formal education,” said Mrs O’Neill.
With a dream of educating many children in the country, Mrs O’Neill is adamant to built more libraries to cater for the books so that it gives the underprivileged children a chance in education.
“One of my goal as a patron is to have many libraries throughout the country for early learning at an early age,” said Mrs O’Neill.
She would like to ensure that every community in the country have access to the Buk Bilong Pikinini as it gives the children at an early age to have interest in education and the eager to learn more.
The Buk Bilong Pikinini is inline with the Government policy on education as key priority in educating more children, as they are they future of the country and the human resources that will bring the nation forward.
Mrs O’Neill after cutting the ribbon to officially opening the library took time gather children and read several books to them, which they all listened and wanted her to read more.
She was very happy in seeing the children showing interest in learning and said that is the kind of approach that should be seen in other parts of the country.
Mrs O’Neill was accompanied by a team from Oil Search as well as senior ministers from the Australia Government.....read more on  >> PNG Education News Online

'Facebook 'most secure' for instant messaging services, says Amnesty

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Amnesty International ranked well-known services, with Apple coming second on the list with its iMessage and FaceTime apps.

"We are already in an age where incredible amounts of people's personal data is online and that is rapidly increasing," says Joe Westby, a technology researcher for the human rights group.

Snapchat and Skype were much lower down the list and Westby warns that "there won't be any privacy in the future".

Part of the research looked at how open companies are to requests for data from governments.

"To date, Snapchat has not received any formal government demands for a 'backdoor' but if the day was to come then we would oppose it, just like any other measure that would compromise [user] security," the firm told Newsbeat.

Researchers also looked at whether "end-to-end" security comes as standard on the most used platforms.

End-to-end refers to a type of secure communication that prevents anyone else from accessing your data while it's transferred from one system or device to another.

"Only 10 years ago nobody had smartphones and in 10 years time everything will be online - from your kettle to your house," Joe Westby says.

"So we need to put in place these privacy protections now otherwise there won't be any privacy in the future."

Your data and your human rights

"Online threats are growing, from cyber criminals who may be seeking to steal people's identity to massive government snooping that we have seen exposed recently.

Most 'secure' app providers, according to Amnesty International

Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp
Kakao Inc
"That is where government agencies hoover up loads of data about people and we argue that's a breach of everybody's human rights."

End-to-end encryption helps ensure that nobody can read your content or see your pictures except for the people in the conversation.

Amnesty is putting pressure on companies to "protect everybody using these apps".

But it's not all about encryption

The study also looked at how well each company recognises online threats to users' privacy and freedom of expression.

The campaign group thinks tech firms should disclose details of government requests for user data.

No app is being named 'completely secure' but...

The Signal app is "often seen as the gold standard in security" and "it is a service which a lot of cyber security experts, like Edward Snowden, have endorsed as a particularly secure tool" according to the research.

But they didn't include it in the rankings as it's not considered a mainstream platform.

Fiji signs deal with PNG Road Traffic Authority

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Just like in Fiji, PNG women and girls will soon be able to travel safely in clean and well-regulated public transport.

This was made possible during a learning exchange visit to Fiji last week, where the PNG Road Traffic Authority and the Fiji Land Transport Authority signed a Memorandum of Understanding for an ongoing and close partnership.

This deal will enable the Fiji Land Transport Authority to share its expertise and provide technical support to the newly established PNG Road Traffic Authority in the areas of licensing, vehicle registration, road safety, fee collection and safe public transport services.

UN Women PNG gender specialist, Bessie Maruia, noted that UN Women is confident that PNG transport will advance significantly after this exchange with our Fiji partners.

“PNG will use Fiji’s vast experience with modernising transport and incorporate a more user friendly perspective into PNG’s transport policies and operations,” Maruia said.

UN Women also recognises the underrepresentation of women in the transport sector and will continue to advocate for women’s active participation in decision making processes.

“It’s all about making transport more efficient. Why can’t we have well developed bus stops free from crime and have PMVs that operate safely?

“More women would use public transport and thus economic growth would occur. Transport needs to be more user friendly and Fiji sets a very good example for us to follow,” stated Maruia.

The learning exchange, facilitated by UN Women Safe Public Transport Programme through funding support from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, enabled senior management of PNG Road Traffic Authority to learn about the Fiji Land Transport Authority.

One important achievement was the common agreed objective to promote gender equality in transport to improve service delivery and safety for all.

The chairperson for PNG Road Traffic Authority, Melvin Yalapan, remarked: “We do not have to look far when we have a model institution in the Pacific where we can learn from”.

“Our Fiji counterparts are well established and have set a benchmark for PNG Road Transport Authority to learn from and develop our systems.”

Chairman of the Fiji Land Transport Authority Board, Vijay Maharaj, added that Fiji has adopted strong, well-organised and very modern systems from Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, in order to improve its transport systems.

He said Fiji is honoured to share its knowledge with RTA PNG.

Juffa calls for sacking of Minister Justin Tkatchenko

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Oro Governor Gary Juffa has challenged Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to sack his APEC Minister for misleading the public about the cost of running the APEC meeting in 2018.
Juffa was responding to a statement in the National Newspaper of Monday 24, October 2016 in which Mr O’Neill has claimed the opposition was ‘politicizing’ the APEC meet.
Juffa said he quoted the Sports Minister and Minister responsible for APEC Justin Tkatchenko who informed the media earlier that the budget for APEC in 2017 would be K600 million.
“That figure came from the APEC minister and I only reiterated that such money was too much when there are very important issues in the country that needed immediate funding,” he said.
Juffa said if the Prime Minister though he plugged the figure out of thin air, he should sit back and think again and ask his APEC minister where he got the figure or even sack him for inflating the figure and misleading the people of this country.

However, Juffa said he was not against the staging of the APEC meet adding there was no issue with the opposition regarding the APEC meeting.

The Prime Minister should not play blame game every time there are issues of check and balance brought up by politicians or individuals for the interest of the people and the country.
He said the country has the right to know how much of their money is being spent on such major events and whether the people would benefit out of such events.
“We cannot pretend that we are ok by staging international events that costs a lot of money when our people do not have access to basic services. We just need to empower our people to be self-reliant and are able to stand tall as a nation before we talk about major issues of international significance,” he said.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill however said the budget for the APEC in 2017 will be significantly less than the false K600 million that the opposition has taken out of thin air.
He said figures are being through by a budget team and would be further revised for the 2018 budget.

PNG Ex-Serviceman Awarded Australian Service Medal

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A Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) ex-Serviceman was awarded an Australian Service Medal 1945 – 1975, at a ceremony in Daru on 21 October 2016, for his service in the Royal Australian Navy.

The ex-Serviceman, retired Chief Warrant Officer (CWO) Moi Wia, served in the Royal Australian Navy from January 1973 until Papua New Guinea’s independence in 1975, at which time he transferred to the PNGDF Maritime Element. Retired CWO Wia then served in the PNGDF until he left during the downsizing of the PNGDF in 2002.

Lieutenant Colonel Steve Blair, the Deputy Head of Australian Defence Staff in Papua New Guinea, was delighted to travel to Daru to present the medal.
“It was a real honour to be able to present this medal to retired CWO Wia and a great pleasure to meet a man whose life has been one of service to his country,” LTCOL Blair said.
“Not only did he serve with distinction for nearly 30 years in his country’s defence force, since leaving it he has served as a Ward Councillor in the Boze Local Level Government in Western Province, for nearly ten years.”
“He stands as a great example to others of how to live a life of honour and service to your community and country.”
Retired CWO Wia was very happy to receive the medal, which was presented in a ceremony at the Western Provincial Government Headquarters and witnessed by other ex-Servicemen, Provincial Government officers, along with family and friends.
“I wrote to the Royal Australian Navy earlier this year to follow up on any outstanding entitlements from my service, and was very happy to get a phone call in September advising me about the medal,” retired CWO Wia said.
“I was proud to serve in both the Royal Australian Navy and the PNGDF, and I encourage everyone, particularly young people, to think about how they can make a contribution to their communities and country.”
The Australian Service Medal 1945 – 1975 was approved for issue by Her Majesty the Queen in 1995, and recognises military service in specified areas, such as Papua New Guinea, by members of the Australian Defence Force.

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