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PNG on track to host APEC Leaders in November this year

By Makereta Komai, PACNEWS Editor in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea 

Papua New Guinea is on track to deliver the APEC Leaders’ Summit in November this year.

The assurance was conveyed to Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Senior Officials by PNG’s Ambassador for APEC, Ivan Pomaleu in Port Moresby on Sunday.

Ambassador Pomaleu provided an update to MSG senior officials at the end of their two day preparatory meeting in the lead up the 21st MSG Leaders’ Summit on Wednesday.

He said hosting APEC, considered the world’s largest gathering of 21 powerful economies in the Asia Pacific Rim nations, is a massive logistical and security undertaking for Papua New Guinea.

“We will be hosting four Senior Officials Meeting, multiple stakeholders meeting, six ministerial and one Leaders Summit. At the same time, we will be chairing 15 committees and Working Groups, said Ambassador Pomaleu.

The first of these series of Senior Officials meeting begins on 24 Feb-09 March.

In total, in the lead up to the 12-18 November APEC Leaders’ Summit, PNG will host 78 meetings, an average of eight meetings per week at four key hotels in Port Moresby – Stanley Hotel, Laguna, Lamana and Gateway.

When questioned on the involvement of MSG and Pacific Leaders at this important global meeting in the Pacific, Ambassador Pomaleu assured that Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has promised to invite Pacific Leaders.

“The invitation to MSG and Pacific Leaders is at the prerogative of the Prime Minister. It is normal for the Prime Minister to invite leaders from within the sub-region to be part of the conversation at APEC.

“The PNG Prime Minister has not wavered from his intention. We are working on that and the invitation will be made at the appropriate time, said the PNG APEC Ambassador and Chair of the APEC Senior Officials Meeting.
In response, MSG countries have welcomed PNG’s intention to invite leaders to the APEC Summit in November and offered to assist Papua New Guinea, if the need arises.

“Solomon Islands stands ready to help wherever it can and look forward to engaging with PNG and the world leaders at APEC, said Peter Kenilorea, Solomon Islands Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs and External Trade.

“We your brothers from Melanesia are grateful to PNG for bringing the world to the Pacific and we are looking forward to be part of this exciting meeting in November this year, said MSG Secretariat director general, Ambassador Amena Yauvoli.

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