Wake up,there is a world out there!


EVER since the landing of the London Missionary Society pioneers at East Cape, Milne Bay in 1873, our lives have been impacted and changed beyond our imagination by the thoughts and actions of powers many miles beyond our boundaries, beyond our reach and beyond our control.
In 1884, Germany and England divided New Guinea and Papua along the lines that we use today to mark those two regions.
No Papua New Guinean was asked his or her opinion.
The two world wars, fought between those two principal parties, impacted PNG much and vestiges of them continue today.
No Papua New Guinean was present at the declaration of the war but we lost tens of thousands of lives to those wars.
After the World War I ended in 1918, the victors met and decided on the future of Papua and New Guinea and placed responsibility in the hands of Australia.
Again we were not a party.
The global depression of the 1930s reached its long hands into our country smothering the budding growth of capitalism.
After the World War II, the Bretton Woods agreements of 1947 gave birth to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, two institutions that are ever present in our national life, playing an active front as financial donors or less obvious role as socio-economic advisors.
They have been doing that ever since Independence.
Local Level Governments in PNG were created by ordinance voted upon in Canberra around 1952.
Canberra decided to turn a former Whites-only hospital in downtown Port Moresby into a legislative assembly, the precursor to the 1964 House of Assembly and the National Parliament 11 years later.
The Coronavirus (Covid-19) got dislodged in little known Wuhan province of China around December 2019.
Within two months in was all around the world and in the third, it was in PNG.
And now, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has reported that prospects for global recovery following the ravages of the Covid-19 have darkened since the outbreak of the war in Ukrainian on Feb 24, prompting the organisation to reassess its projects for world trade over the next two years.
That is world trade including PNG’s exports and imports.
WTO now expects merchandise trade volume growth of three per cent in 2022, down from its previous forecast of 4.7 per cent and 3.4 per cent in 2023.
This estimates are less than certain again because of the fluid nature of that conflict and the continuing and mutating nature of the Covid-19.
The World Bank and WTO have also jointly sponsored a report released this month that maps how trade has played a critical role in ensuring access to medical goods and services during global health crises such as the Covid-19 pandemic.
This quick flip through history seeks to make the point that little happens in our country that does not have its beginnings in the outside world.
Our lives are impacted by the decisions and actions of people as far away as Russia and the Ukraine or in Washington DC and we must be conscious of this.
By the same token, little that happens here remains secluded and sequestered.
The world is interconnected and interdependent in that way.