PM explains trip

National, Normal

THE future of the Office of Climate Change and Environment Sustainability (OCCES) and its staff will depend on the outcome of the Copenhagen summit, Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare said.
It would also be determined by the final report of the investigations into that office, Sir Michael said last Friday in response to media reports about the OCCES and his delegation to the Copenhagen meeting.
“The allegations of misappropriation and subsequent suspension of the acting executive director were quite serious and must be dealt with properly and thoroughly.
“Until such time this report is made available to me, the acting executive director remains suspended while Dr Wari Iamo will continue to oversee the operations of the OCCES and its staff.
“The OCCES is operational.
“The final report, and the outcome of the Copenhagen meeting, will have a huge bearing on the future status of this office.
“This would include addressing issues like possible redeployment and retrenchment of staff.”
On the Copenhagen trip, Sir Michael denied that he was taking a 30-member delegation to the negotiations.
He also said Environment Minister Benny Allan would be the deputy leader of the PNG delegation and not Kevin Conrad as reported.
Sir Michael said PNG had contributed significantly in the international arena to the debate on climate change and “it is a shame that unsubstantiated stories continue to trivialise our efforts towards achieving a favourable outcome not only for developing nations but importantly for our planet at the Copenhagen meeting”.