New foreign policy for PNG in pipeline

National, Normal

The National – Wednesday, December 1, 2010

PAPUA New Guinea’s second foreign policy review in more than 30 years is being finalised.
Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Abal said in a statement that he had hoped to present the new policy in the November session of parliament which was adjourned last week.
The last review was conducted 31 years ago in 1979 and was then known as Universalism “Friends to All Enemies to None”.
A week-long seminar to gauge public view on the new policy started on Monday in Port Moresby chaired by Abal who said it would serve as “the avenue to provide necessary input and feedback” for a group of PNG consultants to review and adopt recommendations for a final draft policy document to be submitted to the Foreign Affairs and Trade Department.
Abal said the Somare government had directed in November 2005 that this review be undertaken but it was outstanding for several years for a variety of reasons.
“As you can see, it is exactly five years since that directive was given.
“I am happy to say that we are now in the final stages of completing this review exercise,” he said in a statement.
Abal said PNG’s foreign policy review signified an important achievement because it was the first time since Independence in 1975 that Papua New Guinea national consultants were engaged to write up the document.
He acknowledged the time and effort this group, and others, had put in to complete such an important task in a short period of time.