Papua New Guinea
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Marape to speak at 43rd ASEAN summit

Prime Minister James Marape will be in Indonesia to address the 43rd Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit undergoing in Jakarta, Indonesia.

He told the media he will be the first speaker at the 43rd ASEAN Summit, as invitee of the Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

PNG is an observer of the regional bloc since 1976, earlier than any other non-original member of ASEAN.

Its leaders have been pushing for full membership since at least the 1980s but because of several issues including that of violent crime, political instability, poor infrastructure, discriminatory laws, and unskilled labour as obstacles preventing PNG from joining in the past.

Mr Marape is set to speak in hindsight, the country PNG as an observer aims to strengthen its ties with ASEAN nations and the capacity and institutional effectiveness to be able to respond to the challenges of the next 20 years.

Also, to become a fast-growing, inclusive, and sustainable economic region and to that end, ASEAN must build a solid regional health architecture, maintain food and energy security, and maintain financial stability.

“…series of leaders from our region will be speaking on sustainability development forum held by the Indonesian government and I will be the first speaker and there will be other regional speakers in the summit, especially leaders from Asia,” Mr Marape said.

“I will be speaking on development forum and our conversations in as far as the development, not from the context of PNG but in the ASEAN and Asia as to how we stage our development and our resource harvest, resource consumption and today in the context of how we go into the future.

“We will be given the privilege of speaking in the conference and I will take my stage on behalf of my country speaking not from the PNG context but from the context of the ASEAN and Asia Pacific region which we are part of.”