CHIEF Justice Sir Salamo Injia has called on the National Government not to lose sight of 80% of Papua New Guineans in the rural areas when implementing Vision 2050.
Speaking in Kimbe during the National Coordination Mechanism (NCM) retreat last Friday, Sir Salamo said that while “the Vision 2050 aims to take the country forward into the modern community of nations, the real development challenge was the bulk of Papua New Guineans in the villages”.
Sir Salamo said that the Government wanted PNG, which ranked number 148 out of 180 countries, to become one of the first 50 countries in the world.
“That’s a pretty low ranking. But the Vision 2050 is to take us out of that and put us in the top 50.
“If we are placed in the top 50, what would this country be like?
“Will it be like Singapore, Hong Kong or the United States?
“As I am looking ahead, I can see Papua New Guinea moving forward and finding its place in the top 50 nations of the world. But that will require modernisation. When PNG is modernised, we will move forward.
“But then the dilemma is what will happen to 80% of our population? They will still speak their own languages, they will still be surviving on kaukau and water, coconut and fish and wearing the same old clothes. That’s a dilemma,” Sir Salamo said.
He believed that the real development challenge here for the Government, more particularly in the Law and Justice sector, is that any strategic thinking in bringing this country forward should include the bulk of PNG’s people in the villages who will carry on with their ordinary lives.
“They, too, must change for the better but in their own small way.
“That is why it is important for us to think about planning for everyone so that we will together modernise and find a place in the world of nations to develop, but at the same time our own people must progress at their own level to live a life that is satisfying.
“We are all for the Vision 2050. We must move forward but we must not lose sight of the bulk of our people. We need to have them on board and we need to care for them,” he said.
He encouraged heads of the Law and Justice sector agencies and their staff to properly plan and strategise enhance service delivery to everyone at all levels of the community.
“It’s a real challenge that we need to look at closely so that when we address service delivery, we don’t forget the bulk of our people who still live in the villages,” Sir Salamo said.