The National, Tuesday 21st August, 2012
By JUNIOR UKAHA
NEW Minister for Defence Dr Fabian Pok says the Papua New Guinea Defence Force will take part fully in service delivery to the seven million people of the country.Speaking at the ministry handover ceremony at the Grand Papua Hotel in Port Moresby last Friday, Pok said his job was to ensure the force was adequately funded and resourced to carry out its mandated roles and functions. Outgoing minister and opposition leader Belden Namah was not present for the occasion and sent his apology.Pok told senior members of the defence hierarchy and Department of Defence that issues of good governance, accountability, transparency, stability and best practices in the force were some of the things he would look at achieving. He said he would like to see discipline and professionalism maintained at all times at the highest level in the army.Pok thanked Namah and said he would continue from where he left off.PNGDF commander Brig-Gen Francis Agwi welcomed Pok and said he was looking forward to working with him.“Your appointment is timely because of immense transformation in the force,” he said.“We will work with you to achieve the objectives of the PNGDF and the people of Papua New Guinea.”Defence secretary John Sini Porti said he was looking forward to working with the new minister.
Porti said funding was one thing that needed to be increased so that all programmes initiated by defence were achieved.“Development and security go hand in hand, they cannot be separated,” Porti said.