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Pangu Pati leader Sam Basil appointed State Minister

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Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has welcomed Sam Basil as a Minister of State to the Government.

Speaking at Government House on Friday, the Prime Minister said the Leader of Pangu Pati brings a wealth of experience to Cabinet.

“I welcome Minister Basil to Cabinet, and the appointment of two new Vice Ministers, who I know will all make a valuable contribution to the development and implementation of Government policy,” the Prime Minister said.

“Pangu has joined to participate in the management of the affairs of the country and will serve our nation with diligence.”

The Prime Minister added that there would be a minor reshuffle of Ministers today, and Minister Basil would be publicly assigned his ministerial portfolio.

“We will do a reshuffle of ministries, and this is a natural part of ensuring we get the best outcomes for the departments and agencies for which we are responsible.”

The Prime Minister extended his gratitude to Minister Basil and his party for supporting the Government’s policy agenda.

“We have a Coalition of parties and members in Government that brings together a range of knowledge, with many years of Government and private sector experience.

“Following five years of implementation of the First Alotau Accord, all members of Government are working for the implementation of the Second Alotau Accord.

“Together we will take education, healthcare, infrastructure, law and order and the devolution of authority to new levels in Papua New Guinea.

“The last term of Government changed the nation dramatically, and now we will continue that growth.”

Pacific Heads of Education systems meeting outcome

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The Government of Fiji hosted the 22nd Pacific Heads of Education Systems Meeting held in Nadi from 11 – 12 October, 2017. Representatives from 15 Pacific Island countries attended the two-day meeting. 

The regional meeting is an important precursor to the meeting of the Forum of Education Ministers Meeting, which is to be held next year.

The Pacific Forum Leaders have recognised the need for greater relevance in the school curriculum by matching students’ skills acquired through the formal education system to the actual needs of the work place.

The need to meet this demand prompted the Forum Education Ministers to meet and support the Forum Economic Ministers to work together and more closely align students’ skills with the human resources needed to promote economic development and reform.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals approved by the United Nations General Assembly and adopted by countries on 25 September 2015, have provided new regional and global policy and directions which impact on education both in terms of national and regional education plans at all levels.

The goal of SDG 4 is to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all”. It is as a result of this, and the commitment of the Incheon Declaration on the Education 2030 agenda, that the Pacific Education Development Framework is being reviewed and will be reformed as a new Regional Education Framework (REF).

In regional fora the Ministers of Education have recognised the importance of revisiting and realigning goals for education to support education systems to meet the needs of the Pacific post 2015. These included the need to emphasise the following issues as key Pacific priorities in terms of education:

Education is central to sustainable development and is a standalone SDG in the post 2015 agenda,

The new SDG on education includes access to secondary and tertiary level of education,

And there needs to be an emphasis on skills development through TVET and Non Formal Education.

The Pacific Education Development Framework has been reviewed with the aim of evaluating how successful the framework had been in providing evidence against which to plan appropriate education programmes.

 This highlighted the need to have effective monitoring and evaluation systems in place and highlighted the many gaps in the data collected.

There are still challenges in terms of access to education and equity particularly from secondary school upwards and substantial support is still needed for data collection, both nationally and regionally to provide accurate information on which to make evidence based decisions.

The meeting discussed some very important regional educational issues, especially in regard to the quality and relevance of education, such as student learning achievement, skills development and pathways, and teacher development.

The main outcomes from the meeting were:

The review of the Pacific Education Development Framework and its recommendations are to be considered in the development of the new regional framework,

The purpose, drivers and structure of the new Regional Education Framework were discussed and mapped to the SDG 4 targets,

There is a need to integrate into the national education sector plans the SDG 4 and regional education framework indicators for reporting at national and regional levels.

SOURCE: DEPTFO NEWS/PACNEWS

PNG Government plans to create human rights commission: Steven

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Papua New Guinea Minister for Justice and Attorney-General Davis Steven says the Government is planning to create a human rights commission to address related issues in the country.

He told the 8th PNG Human Rights Film Festival organised by the United Nations team at the Port Moresby Arts Theatre that the Government recognised the challenges of not just having a constitution that enshrined the rights of people but doing something about them.

The film festival was organised to capture 17 sustainable development goals in PNG.

“I look back 42 years and all I see is a journey of a nation that cannot be separated with the principles of human rights because in the constitutional planning since 1975, a very clear advent and determination on the part of our forefathers who  framed the constitution to make sure that our nation observe and respect not only the UN charters but also the principles of human rights and freedom,” Steven said.

He also refered to Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s address in a recent UN general assembly where he re-emphasised the thinking that PNG’s founding fathers had when they addressed human rights and freedom in the constitution. 

It was to have a careful balance between individual rights and freedom.

“The PM’s address made reference to the connection between human rights and the political and economic rights that the people must be able to achieve in order that we may achieve integral human development.”

Steven said he was pleased to notice that the UN organising team found a topic to draw attention to the important topic of human rights that needed Government support and support from  communities at large, including sponsors and  stakeholders.

“In the next few months, we want to be able to pass the necessary legislation to create a human rights commission in this country with a passage of a body that is established seemingly to monitor obligations to support and coordinate human rights issues.”

Steven said this would make meaningful progress for people and to help them achieve human rights goals.

Meanwhile, human rights should not be seen as a new thing in Papua New Guinea as it has been in the constitution since independence, says Transparency International PNG director Richard Kassman.

He said during the 8th Papua New Guinea Human Rights Film Festival that the vision of Transparency International was a country where people lived in a constitution of democracy and where government, politics and businesses operated free from cruelty and subject to human rights obligations.

“I want to make reference to the constitution about the goals and guiding principles of our constitution because when the authors of our constitution put that together before 1975 and the legislative council accepted that during independence, they directed that future governments be fully aware of the goals and the guiding principles,” Kassman said.

He said the guiding principles straight after the national goals talked of rights and obligations of our nation.
“So when we talk about human rights, this is not something that should be imposed on us by the United Nation which we are a proud member of. It is also enshrined in our constitution.”

Kassman said it was good that Transparency International continued to remind the leaders and political leaders about the democracy in order for them to be guided in developing plans to build the nation. 

“In order to build our nation, we need to refer back to the guiding principles that are enshrined in our constitution that are quite consistent, as well as the national development goals and sustainable goals too.”

Kassman said the country had subscribed to the convention of human rights and brought freely an independent nation that had the responsibility and obligations of human rights to fulfil according to the constitution.
Kassman, who is also the director, corporate affairs, for Total Exploration and Production, said the biggest problem in the country was the lack of courage and conviction.

“Until Papua New Guineans change that and become courageous, we are not going to progress,” he said. The company participated in the human rights assessment project.

He said currently a team of human rights officials from the UN were doing an impact assessment on Total in the Papua LNG Project.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS/PNG Today

Australian Defence Force to take over the air security for APEC in PNG

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F18 Super Hornet fighter in Port Moresby. Photo. NBC
The Papua New Guinea Joint Security Task Force Commander for APEC 2018 Gari Baki said the security preparations for the APEC Summit in 2018 is on track.

He said the landing of the two F18 Super hornets by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) was to tell the whole world that PNG is ready to host APEC in 2018.

He clarified that Australian Defence Force has been requested by the Joint Task Force team to take over the air security as PNG lacks capability in that area.

“We are down here on the ground and don’t know what is happening up there in the air, and this is the responsibility we are requesting the Australian Defence Force to step in and help.”

He said not only that, the Australian Defence Force will also be assisting our security in areas where we are not capable of handling.

Baki said going forward, the media will be allowed to attend all the meeting by the Joint Task Force and disseminate information to the greater populace about the preparation leading up to the Summit in 2018.

The two F18 hornets arrived in Port Moresby last Thursday and flew three times over Ela Beach before heading back to Townsville, Australia.

SOURCE: LOOP PNG/PACNEWS/PNG Today

Eda Ranu, Water PNG to be one entity

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MOVES are afoot to merge Eda Ranu and Water PNG into one water company to provide better water and sanitation services for the country.

National Planning and Monitoring Minister Richard Maru said on Friday the merger of the two entities would save cost and together they would have the financial capacity to fund a lot of water and sanitation programs in the country, using the profits they generate from the profitable centers like Port Moresby and Lae.

Mr Maru said he is taking an NEC submission to establish the National Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Authority and for the NEC to look into the merger of the two institutions.

“It will not cost the national government any money to fund the operations of the National Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Authority as it will be a self-funding body for the license fees from the water utilities of the country,” he said.

He said this is in line with the government’s National Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH) Policy (2015-2030) which calls for the total overhaul of the water and sanitation sector by putting a new apex body to manage and look after the merger of the two entities.

He with the new body taking care of itself, the government can focus on the WaSH policy and the plan to provide water to all provincial headquarters over the next five years.

Mr Maru said all districts and provincial headquarters should have water supply, including the provincial capitals of Hela and Jiwaka.

“Our intention is to make sure that 70 percent of our people have access to safe water and sanitation by 2030, so the overhaul and reform is critical,” he said.

He currently the government is working together with its development partners; World Bank (WB), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the European Union (EU) to implement the policy at the provincial and district levels as well as in rural village communities.

“PNG has already missed its Millennium Development Goals water and sanitation targets for 2015 and unless considerable improvements are made, it will also miss national targets identified in the Development Strategic Plan 2030.

He said the government and WB signed the Project Agreement in March 2017. The projects identified by WB are to be implemented over a five-year period from 2017 to 2022.

Mr Maru said the project scope involves feasibility study, detailed design documentation, construction tendering and construction. The total funding for this program stands at USD$51 million (K170 million) with Water PNG (WPNG) as implementation agency. Bialla and Bulolo are the first two districts being prepared for construction under the WB program.

He said the ADB program will cover Vanimo, Mendi and Kerema. The scope involves the development of a work plan, water safety plans, review of institutional capacity, review of procurement, review of project management capacity, and feasibility studies.

Mr Maru said the ABD has allocated a budget of USD$50 million (K156 million) for these three towns.

“The objective of the these programs is to ensure that all remaining provincial towns without water supply, must have water supply system installed, in spite of the various challenges anticipation. Sanitation coverage is the next target. Other current in-country donor funded projects are ongoing,” he said.

Mr Maru said the government has asked the EU, under the 11th European Development Fund to fund Tari’s water system as the provincial capital of Hela and Kurumul town water supply as the provincial capital of Jiwaka. Based on initial scope and cost, these two projects will cost E10.5 million (K39.1 million) in total. Source: Sunday Chronicle/PNG Today

PNG, EU join forces to address climate issues

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Papua New Guinea and the European Union will expand co-operation in the implementation of development projects, deepening of business and engagement on global environmental issues.

The commitment to further strengthen relations was made during a courtesy call to the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill by European Union Ambassador to PNG Ioannis Giogkarakis-Argyropoulos.

The ambassador, who is now beginning his third-year in PNG, also delivered a letter from the European council president Donald Tusk and European Commission president Jean-Claude Junker encouraging a deepening of co-operation.

“The European Union is an important development partner for Papua New Guinea and we value this relationship. This is an engagement for which we now commemorate 40 years through the Lome Convention with Europe,” O’Neill said.

“Development cooperation has strengthened a number of areas in Papua New Guinea, including enhancing environmental management, strengthening public financial practices and promoting of renewable energy.”

O’Neill said the European Union was encouraging European trade missions visiting PNG to promote increased commerce and investment.

“We will have a trade mission from Sweden coming into the country soon, and more to follow in the coming year,” he said.

“Increased people-to-people contact, particularly with high-level business people, highlights the investment potential of Papua New Guinea.

“There are many Europeans who are now beginning to find out about our country, and consuming our fish and other exports.

“We will continue to grow the European market for Papua New Guinea products.”

O’Neill said leaders and officials from PNG would also continue to work with the European counterparts on global environmental issues including climate change and the sustainable management of ocean resources.

“Europe has a clear interest in protecting and enhancing the natural environment, and we will ensure that we work together in international forums to promote sustainability,” he said.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

PNG Kumuls beat Fiji Bati 10 - 0; fall to Kangaroos 20 - 4

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The Papua New Guinea LNG Kumuls finished with a 10-0 win over Fiji Bati and a 20-4 loss to the Australian Kangaroos in  the Pacific Tri-nation series  at ANZ Stadium in Suva tonight.

The game began with the Kumuls taking on the hosts Fiji Bati for the first 40 minutes. The Kumuls  dominated over the Fiji's  NRL star studded line-up with tries to captain David Mead and Luke Page and kept the hosts scoreless t0 10 - 0.

The Kumuls took on the Australian Kangaroos in the final 40 minutes. However, the Kangaroos showed their class with tries to  Tom Trbojevic, Josh Mansour, Dane Gagai and Wade Graham.

Kumuls' backline made a well-constructed move that resulted in Rhys Martin's   try in the right-hand corner to register their first point of the second Tri-Nations clash. The Kangaroos won 20 - 4.

Fiji Bati were handed their second loss going down to the Kangaroos 18-0 in the last forty minutes of the tri-contest.

Bati, Kangaroos, Kumuls Pacific Series Livestream online

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Today's  Pacific Tri-Series between Australia, Fiji and Papua New Guinea is available to watch via Live Stream on our page below or  on the Asia Pacific Rugby League Confederation site .

The tournament, from ANZ Stadium in Suva, will see the Kangaroos, Bati and Kumuls play each other in three 40-minute games in preparation for the upcoming Rugby League World Cup.

The event kicks off at 5:30pm Fiji time (4:30pm Sydney, 3:30pm Port Moresby) when the Kumuls take on the Fiji Bati.

Second game will be at 6:30pm Fiji time (5:30pm Sydney, 4:30pm Port Moresby) when the Kangaroos take on the Kumuls, before the final game is at 7:30pm Fiji time (6:30pm Sydney, 5:30pm Port Moresby) when Fiji takes on Australia.

The Live Stream of the game is available below or you can visit  www.asiapacificrl.com/livestream  or  you can watch below.

Live Stream is courtesy of Fiji One.  Watch Live Pacific Series below : Live Stream Ended
 

PNG films promoted through PNG Human Rights Film Festival

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PNG films will dominate the programme of the 8th annual PNG Human Rights Film Festival 2017, featuring locally made films shot all over PNG, including from Jiwaka to Enga, to East Sepik to NCD. The films cover a variety of human rights issues from the Sustainable Development Goals, climate change, and the right to vote. Featuring footage from Manus island, the Festival opens in Port Moresby this evening (Friday, 13 October), with a screening of the film “Chasing Asylum” at the Moresby Arts Theatre. Doors open at 4.30pm. The Opening night will feature a keynote address by Minister for Justice & Attorney General, Honourable Davis Stevens, MP.
“Through the Festival, we have seen the far-reaching impact film can have in strengthening understanding of human rights issues” says Alithia Barampataz with the UN Human Rights Office who leads the Festival Committee.
“The Festival provides a platform to showcase human rights films made in PNG, and provoke the public to reflect on challenges faced by the country, and how each of us can take action to address these, in line with the Festival’s 2017 theme, “Look. Know. Act.” (Luksave na kirapim wok),” says Ms. Barampataz.
The Festival will also feature international films relevant to PNG, including Oscar nominated film, “Tanna,” made in Vanuatu, a love story, which explores the conflict between individual rights and cultural obligations.
Entry to the Festival is free and buses with Festival banners will provide free transportation to the venue provided by the Gini Goada Foundation. A Meri Seif bus will provide pick-ups from Erima (Big Rooster), Tabari Place, Vision City, and another bus will also shuttle Festival goers form the gate of the University of PNG and Vision City.
Next week the Festival will travel to the University of Goroka on Monday, 16 October to Wednesday, 18 October 2017.
The PNG Human Rights Film Festival 2017 is organized by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, The European Union, Transparency International PNG, and the University of Goroka Centre for Social and Creative Media. The Festival is made possible by a range of sponsors, namely, Oxfam PNG, UNDP, UNICEF, US Embassy, Trend Media, The National newspaper, PNG Air, Monpi Coffee, UNWomen, and JICA

Telefomin Hospital receives medical equipment from the Australian High Commission

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The Telefomin Hospital has received much needed medical equipment through an Australian High Commission Direct Aid Program (DAP) grant.

The equipment will support the hospital to deliver better services to the people of West Sepik, particularly antenatal, obstetric and paediatric services. The equipment, delivered with the assistance of the Australian Defence Force, includes items such as baby scales, stethoscopes, vital sign monitors and suction equipment for the delivery room.

Australian High Commissioner, Bruce Davis, was pleased to provide the equipment.
“We understand how important quality medical equipment is in ensuring effective and efficient health treatment,” said Mr Davis. “We are committed to working with the Government of Papua New Guinea and our other partners to improve health outcomes in Telefomin and across the country.”

Caption:The medical equipment being loaded onto the Australian Defence Force aircraft.

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