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PNG Prime Minister Marape cancels trip to UN Assembly Meeting in New York

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape says he has cancelled his trip to the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York as he has more pressing issues to deal with at home.

The two notable ones he points out are preparations for the Supplementary budget in October and the Bougainville Referendum.

The Prime Minister was scheduled to do a presentation at the UN meet in the US on Friday 27th of this month, however, says the date coincides with the issuing of writs for the Bougainville Referendum, hence he chose to forgo the US trip and remain in the country for the referendum.

He conveyed his apologies to the United Nations, but says his Foreign Affairs Minister will deliver his speech on his behalf.

Regarding speculations on social media of a large contingent from the government travelling to the UN meet, the Prime Minister told the media in Port Moresby this afternoon that only two Government ministers will be attending the meeting in New York with two advisors.

They include the Foreign Affairs Minister and the Minister for Climate Change.

Marape says, initially, a large contingent from PNG was to travel to the US for the UN meet, but he has issued an instruction for all to stay back.

He says he was informed that the delegation that was to travel with him to New York compromised of some 55 officials at a cost of more than K1.2 million.

On that note, the Prime Minister says as a cost controlling measure he has ordered for all Heads of Government Departments not to attend unnecessary meetings overseas, unless they are meetings that will benefit the country’s economy.

All overseas trips will have to be sanctioned by himself and the Chief Secretary.

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