PAPUA New Guinea has withdrawn its bid to for an executive position on the board of the United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) and has now thrown its support behind Solomon Islands.
Education Minister James Marape confirmed yesterday that the Solomon Islands had supported Papua New Guinea in its the bid to host the 2015 Pacific Games, and PNG would reciprocate by supporting the Solomon Islands for the top Unesco position.
Mr Marape explained that he was asked by Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare to withdraw PNG’s bid although 40 countries had shown their support for PNG’s bid.
He said this yesterday after returning from France where he attended the Unesco meeting.
“I went there with directions from the Prime Minister asking us to drop our bid and support Solomon Islands,” Mr Marape said.
The Education Minister said he had presented a paper on climate change at the meeting, asking Unesco to have a position paper ready for the Copenhagen meeting in December.
Mr Marape said that PNG had been at the forefront of climate change issues and his statement to the Unesco conference was well received.
“Development endeavours of a few must not come at the cost of heritage of the majority,” Mr Marape told the conference.
The Member for Tari-Pori called on all nations to rally for Unesco to have a position paper on climate change at Copenhagen.
Mr Marape refuted rumours that he had been recalled by the Prime Minister from Paris because of the Unesco bid issue.
“No, I was not recalled. I have completed what I was tasked to do and returned,” he said.