PNG can attract international events: Raminai


WORLD-class sporting facilities and other infrastructures have elevated Papua New Guinea’s status as a genuine contender to host international events are legacies of the successful staging of the 2015 Pacific Games.
Vice-Minister for Sports, National Events and Apec 2018 Wesley Raminai said this during his presentation at the Pacific Sports Ministers meeting.
He told fellow Pacific ministers, members of the Pacific Games Council, leading sports administrators from the Pacific region and partners that PNG had gained positively from hosting the Games in Port Moresby.
“It gives me great pleasure on behalf of the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea Peter O’Neill to be given this opportunity to share with you some of the experiences of the 2015 Pacific Games,” Raminai said.
“Indeed, it was an honour and privilege to host the last Games which was a collosal challenge for us because PNG wanted to stage a Pacific Games that portrayed the modern era as much as possible — but within our capacity.
“We obviously can’t hide the fact that it cost our nation a substantial amount of money to be able to deliver a Games that would set some rather high standards,” he said.
“But we chose to do that so that the Games could leave some positive legacies for the region particularly for our nation.
“Papua New Guinea is a country that has almost eight million people which makes us the largest in population compared to our Pacific neighbours.
“We are also the largest island nation which has a diverse culture especially with over 800 different languages which in itself poses a rather interesting situation.”
Raminai said national unity as “one people, one country” that most of our Pacific brothers and sisters do not seemingly need to work hard at, continues to pose major challenges for us”.
“However, like many other nations throughout the world, our country continues to use sports as an important vehicle to promote our national unity and the 2015 Pacific Games helped us to extend that friendship to you our Pacific brothers and sisters including Australia and New Zealand, who participated for the first time in the Games.”
Raminai said those who attended the Port Moresby Games would have left with fond memories of the country.