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PNG pushes for UN reform

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has called for reforms in the United Nations Security Council to make it “more relevant and responsive” to security challenges facing the world.

He also told the Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (Palm) in Japan last week that the United Nations system had flaws which should be rectified.

“It is times like these that nation States must work together through global forums. We must work through the United Nations. But we know the UN system has its flaws and is need of reform,” he said.

“In particular, PNG calls for reforms in the UN Security Council so that it is more relevant and responsive to security challenges faced in the world today.”

He also called on North Korea to stop its nuclear tests and work with the international community to maintain peace in the Korean Peninsula.

“A crucial issue the world is dealing with today is finding a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula. If conflict was to return, there would be serious implications for all nations of the Asia Pacific region,” he said.

“For many decades, the leadership of North Korea have acted in a deeply disturbing manner and violated acceptable rules of behaviour and decency.

“PNG shares the concerns of the international community over nuclear tests by North Korea.

“Our PALM host, Japan, is further facing an ongoing threat of conflict and the risks posed by missile tests. We also know of Japanese citizens being abducted, which is a violation of human rights. And we support Japan in dealing with this matter.

“Papua New Guinea welcomes current negotiations taking place as a means to successfully address the Korean Peninsula issue. We must always work together and find political solutions in order to prevent war.”

He said we lived in complicated times in the global political context.

“There have been changes in the leadership of a number of governments, the Brexit vote and conflict in Syria with all of its human rights ramifications, just to name a few,” he said.

He told the leaders meeting in Iwaki City that they must be self-reliant.

“While overseas assistance plays an important role in achieving our development goals, we must rely more on ourselves,” he said.

“Driving our own economic growth is fundamental to the development in our country. And as we have learned in Papua New Guinea, economic growth must be inclusive.”

He said economic growth was about building partnerships.

“Government cannot advance an economy alone. We must work with the private sector, non-government organisations and churches to achieve better health outcomes for our people,” he said.

“This is particularly important in delivering the foundations for any healthy economy, particularly such as sectors including education and healthcare,” he said.
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