‘Let us stage the best APEC Summit ever’
ONE of Papua New Guinea’s top diplomats Max Rai has asked all citizens to let PNG shine by hosting the best 2018 APEC ever, in front of our people and Pacific neighbors.
Mr Rai, in his statement to numerous social media and media in PNG and the Pacific, said the ongoing controversy on the acquisition of APEC standard vehicles to transport the leaders of the most powerful economies of the world, agonised him.
“As someone who has been promoting the goodness of our country for 40 years, including lobbying for PNG to join APEC in the early 1990s, I am really appalled at the current controversy,” he said.
“As a reminder to those who do not know, most APEC countries did not want PNG to join APEC, but former Prime Minister Sir Julius insisted and instructed all of us to make it happen. It was not easy but we did it, when eventually former Foreign Minister Sir John Kaputin, who formally applied and accepted our membership in 1994, at the APEC Summit in San Fransico, USA. We were strongly supported by Indonesia and some other ASEAN countries, whilst other close friends opposed us, from taking a seat at the privileged table.
“My earlier former colleagues, Leonard Louma, late Evoa Lalatute, Veali Vagi, Lucy Bogari and I have been senior officials and led early official PNG delegations to APEC Summits. Many of the people leading the current preparatory work on APEC were mentored by us, the earlier APEC officials team.
“I urge our leaders to work together to host this unprecedented mammoth event. After that, you can settle political scores, through investigations and litigations. This unprecedented promotional event must must never be put to peril,” he said.
“Please refrain and restrain and let our country shine! Let us stage the best APEC summit ever, in the Pacific style, with our Pacific leaders participating, and our Prime Minister Peter O’Neill presiding.