Forum discussing social issues


THE church partnership programme’s (CPP) 29th biannual forum started in Lae, Morobe, yesterday and will end tomorrow.
The programme is supported by the Papua New Guinea-Australia partnership with the Evangelical Lutheran church of PNG (ELCPNG).
Morobe Governor Ginson Saonu, who officiated the opening ceremony, said his government would take notes of resolutions passed during the three-day forum to the provincial executive council for endorsement and implementation.
“Education and health services are two big sectors churches contribute to the country including other social work and we are thankful for that,” he said.
“In this province, we are always working side by side in service delivery and I will continue to work closely with all the churches for effective service delivery.
“I am trying to inject some new ideas into the Government system.
“In order for that to work, we need to work with the churches to make these ideas work.”
Australian High Commission counsellor (governance) Geoff King said CPP reforms had been taking place and were successful.
King said the importance of democratic accountability was one of the important pillars of the church-government relationship.
“Churches have a huge role in service delivery and must solidify their relationship with the government and deliver services effectively,” King said.
“Together, they (churches), especially the seven mainline churches, can voice out important issues in the country.”
Head of the country’s Lutheran church Bishop Rev Jack Urame said PNG’s present social and economic conditions showed that infrastructure and living standards had not improved.
Rev Urame said more efforts needed to be done to solve these issues.
He said the country was yet to overcome issues of inequality, injustice, violence, poverty, poor infrastructures and living standards.
“Infrastructure development is not fairly distributed around the country but mostly concentrated in big urban areas while life in the smaller towns and rural districts and communities have not improved,” he said.
Rev Urame said the country needed to ask itself whether the development since Independence in 1975 had been satisfactory and fair or not.
He said the country had many natural resources and a population to ensure its prosperity but needed the Government with assistance from the church to reach the desired standards and outcomes.