WITH the PNG political situation changing seemingly every day, it is hard to provide comments representative of Social Concerns. The fact that the wider populace appears to have been relatively patient should not hide the general feeling that people want to have a General Election and to make a new start. Hopefully the events impacting on Justice and the Constitution in recent months will not create even more problems in coming years. One would wish that PNG will emerge from these days of “crisis” a more mature democratic state. To serve as a reminder, the Preamble to the PNG Constitution appears as the last entry in these April notes.
Parliament Fiddles While the Peoples Frustration Burns
From – The Masalai blog 20 April 2012
As the donkeys continue to fiddle with our laws, the people’s frustration continues to burn. Whether or not the public protest last week was successful or not remains to be seen, but what it clearly highlighted in the way it was rapidly organised over an Easter weekend (when most families are in church), was that the public really is getting frustrated with this timewarped legislating circus. Here are some examples for your studying pleasure:
More angst in the community can also be seen in the recent in-fighting amongst the police. Yet another example of a leadership that is bringing out the worst in all of us.
So how did it all go wrong? When the O’Namah government came into power there was immense support for them, by the simple fact that they were finally saying what we wanted to hear. Finally, we all though that the policies that really mattered like education, infrastructure, health and so on would be put on priority. With such record approval rates, why did they begin tampering with our laws? There is nothing wrong with amendments to laws or introducung new Acts of Parliament. However we do have to ask what greater good each amendment or new act brings to society.
As with any country that has a written charter for its government, where else do you turn to but to your Constitution. Specifically within our Constitution is our National Goals and Directive Principles. If those goals and principles are not the guiding light for these amendments and bills, then what is motivating them? Fundamentally and on an absolute personal level, what does O’Namah hope to achieve? They have already lost the public’s support, they are slowly losing the International community’s approval, they are testing the patience of the private sector and all for what purpose?
My advice to them would be that they say they’re sorry, drop all their bills and put all their efforts into running the best elections this country in the Pacific has ever seen. This would at least maintain some integrity for them because the more they fiddle to stay in the big house, the more likely that house is going fall on them as the fire rages around them.
Constitution manipulated — Dr Siaguru
Post Courier 3 April
PNG’s Constitution has been manipulated, prostituted and destroyed in the eyes of the people. This remark was made by the Vice Chancellor of PNG University of Natural Resources and Environment (UNRE) Professor Philip Siaguru during the school’s graduation last Friday. He said that similar experiences with nations that have gone before us were still struggling to get back on their feet spiritually, economically and politically. Prof Siaguru said that the political stability as a growing and prospering nation enjoyed since independence has evaporated in the last seven months. “The fair unbiased and unprejudicial leadership needed at the political level of this nation appears to have become a leadership of revenge, dominance and control. This nation’s freedom of conducting business openly and fairly has been compromised at the highest political level,” he said. He said that the immunity and self-defence enjoyed by citizens that do not have the means to buy private armies and protection have been taken away from them in daylight. He said that even thieves have some honour and a sense of responsibility, because many of them operate under the cover of darkness, but PNG’s freedom and liberty is being taken away in daylight and many in the know have fallen silent and PNG as a nation is saying, the Constitution is being tested.
This is not a govt for the people, by the people
The National, 18th April 2012
PETER O’Neill and his government have committed the cardinal sin in a democracy, which is based on the premise of a government of the people, for the people and by the people. The government is accountable through a healthy dialogue with its citizenry for its conduct and businesses relating to the development of appropriate, relevant and legitimate public policies and programmes. In recent weeks, there has been much public outcry in relation to devious personal excuses of individual members of the government, especially regarding controversial legislations like the Judicial Conduct Act. O’Neill had promised to delay the implementation of the act and to ensure the election proceed as scheduled, but the government that he leads retracted these vows by making decisions in direct contradiction to his statements. The failure to honour these promises has raised questions on the government’s commitment to transparency, accountability and legitimacy; important tenets it has preached with feverish enthusiasm over the past few months. All this had led ordinary Papua New Guineans to believe that O’Neill, his deputy Belden Namah and the government cannot be trusted. The challenge now is whether the people would just stand idly by while the laws of PNG are being trampled on, institutions of the state personalised and prostituted for devious self-serving purposes, and the government run without adherence to public demands and with total disregard to the considerations of the people. This has been further displayed through the self-serving conduct and strategy of the O’Neill-Namah government to remain in power at all costs. Notable examples include threatening to suspend opposing provincial governments, implementing legal manoeuvres to render the Supreme Court reference impotent, passing retrospective legislations and the political witch-hunt of bureaucrats and politicians. Events within the last three weeks have sent a clear message that the government and leaders in this regime are not to be trusted. It is time we take the responsibility to speak and act to protect our country while we still have one. (Letter by Sanso Wabag)
Bishop: Abuse of laws wrong
The National, Monday 23rd April 2012
A CHURCH leader says the continuous abuse of the Constitution is unacceptable. Archbishop of the Catholic church of Port Moresby John Ribat said last Friday the Constitution was not a foreign document that needed to be changed at the whim of a few leaders. Rabat raised the concern last week at the Rakunai Basilica, in Kokopo, East New Britain province, while presiding at a mass celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Blessed Peter ToRot. All Catholic bishops of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands who are meeting at Kokopo for their annual consultation, attended the Mass as well as about 1,000 faithful. “The Constitution is not a foreign document,” Ribat said. While talking about the leadership qualities, he referred to ToRot as an example of a good family leader and community leader, “one of those who are needed at all times”. He said ToRot always gave priority to the needs of others before himself. Other Bishops who attended that ceremony were concerned with the manner in which the government was trying to manipulate and make amendments to the Constitution.
Protect the Constitution that holds us together, says Nonggorr
The National, 23rd April
ANY attempt to tamper with the Constitution will destablise the nation’s foundation, Prof John Nonggorr told a group of students. He said it was why the Constitution was so important for Papua New Guinea. He said the founding fathers of the nation brought together fragmented tribes in the country through the Constitution. And the younger generation owes it to them. “That is why some of us are standing up for the Constitution,” he said. “We’ve got to protect it. It holds the nation together.” Nonggorr said the 860-plus languages and tribal groups were the strength of the country where there no one dominant group could overpower others. He told students and staff at the Divine Word University in Madang that the constitutional crisis could be seen as being played out in small pockets of interest groups where “loyalties are divided”. Nonggorr said the security forces was divided along ethnic and tribal lines. “And so is the public service and the people. “The security forces are divided and everybody else is divided,” he said. “It may sound funny but that’s the strength that holds our country together.” He said divided loyalties, while not conducive in some respects, was good for the overall national security of the country. Nonggorr said in some countries, one ethnic group or tribe dominated the politics or military who then used their dominance to control others in undemocratic ways.
Social media driving new chapter of consciousness
Although the past few months, and particularly the last two weeks, have been tumultuous for PNG politics and Papua New Guinea in general, there are a number of positives which have since become clear in what has been a difficult period for the country. These positives are not do so much with any change in the political decisions of the O’Namah government, although Peter O’Neill’s re-commitment to again not defer general elections 2012 is to be welcomed, but more so with the socio-political phenomena gaining traction in PNG which I am calling the opening up of PNG’s consciousness.
Yesterday’s protest march against the delay in elections and the implementation of the Judicial Conduct Act 2012 has highlighted the interesting growth of pipol pawa (people power) which began to take shape during the height of the constitutional crisis last year. Regulatory watchdogs, non-governmental organisations, the public and particularly the young people of PNG are beginning to realize, what in the past has been a somewhat hazy understanding, that we do have the ability to organise ourselves in such a manner as to effectively and responsibly make a difference – through pipol pawa.
This ability, and indeed the desire to effect such change has always been present in PNG, but the means to do so has not. The opening up of PNG’s consciousness has social media and technology to thank. This emerging phenomena in PNG has added a new dimension to the very fabric of PNG society, and consequently to PNG politics.
Where just two years ago PNG politicians could comfortably sit in their plush parliamentary seats content with the knowledge that their words and actions would be somewhat disjointedly reported to a small minority of PNGeans thanks to local traditional media and to the one or two pesky foreign-based correspondents, now with a simple Tweet or SMS, messages are flowing from the Highlands to the Islands and are consequently being transmitted to the world.
The tables have turned, and ever so slowly, the PNG government is beginning to realise that the environment is changing. If they haven’t recognized this yet, they have surely felt the effects of the opening up of PNG’s consciousness.
Turmoil affects Education The National
Wednesday 25th 2012
THE uncertainty in the political climate is affecting, among other things, children’s education, according to the PNG Teachers Association. For one thing, loss of school hours instigated by public protests and marches will eventually take its toll on students’ certification, said association general secretary Ugwalubu Mowana. School certificates are released when time and hours required for students to attend school are completed. He said the suspension of classes would affect certification, the school curriculum and the calendar. Association vice-president Kila Avei said the political uncertainty put at risk investment, work productivity in the public and private sector, service delivery to the people and providing quality education to the children. The association supports the Trade Union Congress stand that the June election be held as scheduled and that political leaders respect the requirements of the national constitution
Population of PNG is more than 7 million
Post Courier 4 April
PAPUA New Guinea has now 7,059,653 people in the country, the Government announced yesterday. This is an increase of 1,868,867 persons compared with the 2000 figures of 5,190, 786 people recorded 10 years ago. This represents an increase of 36 per cent in PNG’s population count since 2000. Meanwhile, the breakup of the total population of PNG stands at -PNG male population was recorded at 3,663,249 (million) and female 3,396,404 (million). The Highlands Region recorded the highest record population of 3,001,598 (million), Momase 1,795,474 (million), Southern Region recorded 1,302,887 (million) and NGI 959,694 persons. The top five provinces that have the highest record of population stands as: Morobe – 646,876, Eastern highlands – 582,159, Southern Highlands – 515,511, Madang – 487,460, Enga – 452,596 and NCD is at the 11th position with 318,128 while Manus has the lowest population of 50,321 and Gulf the second lowest of 121,128 population. Bougainville had the first full census conducted in 20 years after the Bougainville Crisis and it now records 234,280 persons with 120,187 males and 114,093 females. The rest of the country has Western with 180,455, Central -237,016, Milne Bay- 269,954, Northern -176,206, Hela-352, 698, Western Highlands-352,934, Jiwaka-341,928, Chimbu-403,772, East Sepik – 433, 481, West Sepik -227, 657, New Ireland-161, 165, East New Britain – 271, 250 and West New Britain – 242,676 persons.
WHP villagers build road, health centre, classroom
The National, 03rd April 2012
THREE women died from birth complications because they could not make it to the nearest health center on time, it has been revealed. And this forced villages in the lower Nebilyer area of Western Highlands to build a health centre closer to them, improve road conditions and upgrade their water supply. Last Saturday saw the official opening of the Humul Health Centre staff house, the Pup River Bailey Bridge and Kumbu gravity-feed water supply. These were undertaken by Humuls’ 2,000-plus villagers through their Tilga Walya Yamb Development Association in partnership with the provincial rural health service and Unicef. Since the association was formed in 2003, the community had worked hard to improve their standard of living. They constructed a 5km road from Kumbu to Tabaga, built a bridge, health centre and staff house, school classrooms and completed their water supply project. Water has always been a problem for the Humul community because large rivers in the area are always flooded. And rainwater collected is often contaminated. The development association aims to bring hope, deliverance from poverty and prosperity through developing basic infrastructure so that the people could access social services and pursue income-generating activities.
Million beer crates sold in Porgera annually – MP
Post Courier 12 April
ABOUT 1.8 million cartons of beer are sold through illegal black markets in the Porgera District annually. And as a result, illegal mining is high at the mine site because people need the money to by the beer. Further, there are 420 illegal liquor outlets and 2000 people commuting illegally to the mine site every day, causing a major law and order situation in the region. Lagaip-Porgera MP Philip Kikala made the remarks yesterday and took the Government to task to review the current polices (if any) in place to best suit the law and order situation in his electorate.
Report on beer refuted
Post Courier 23 April
THERE are no 1.8 million cartons of beer sold through illegal black markets in Porgera District in Enga Province, a leader claimed. Bush Neap from Wabag was referring to an article reported in the Post- Courier last Thursday by Lagaip/Porgera MP Philip Kikala who stated that million beer cartons were sold in Porgera annually. He said the Enga Provincial Liquor and Licensing Board was there and was monitoring the movement of beer and sales in the province. “The Provincial Liquor Board has made a tremendous job to issue trading license to areas that met the requirements only and not illegally,” Mr Neap said. He said Mr Kikala’s statement on the floor of Parliament had painted a bad image to Mr Ipatas and the Provincial Liquor Board because people from around the country could think that nothing was done in Enga about liquor and its effects.
Gr 10-12s yet to get certificates
The National 13 April
STUDENTS who completed grades 10 and 12 last year have not received their certificates. Instead, they were issued temporary statements of results which will remain valid until the end of this month. Education director of measurement services branch Greg Kapanombo attributed the delay to problems associated with the education secretary’s signature. “The certificates have been reprinted and will be delivered to the measurement services branch once payment is made to the Government Printing Office,” he told the department’s southern regional consultative meeting in Port Moresby yesterday. Kapanombo said there had been very little money allocated for the national examinations and the first steps in preparing for the examinations had not started.
Spare a thought for the elderly
The National – Friday, April 13, 2012
IN the midst of all the political turmoil in the country, a small but significant news item appeared in our pages this week which all would do well to take note of. The World Health Organisation stated that by 2015, there will be about 400,000 people aged over 60 in Papua New Guinea. This would place a significant strain on the health system of the country, WHO reported. Needless to say, the system is already stretched to breaking point and needs no extra strain at all. William Adu-Krow, the WHO representative in PNG, said in a statement that health and other sectors of the country must firstly recognise the contributions made by our elders and to prepare for that time when they would need assistance in their old age. This statement indicates that more and more people are living beyond PNG’s life expectancy limit of 54.
A lot of those living over 60 years reside in urban settings. They are far removed from the safety net of the mostly village-based traditional social welfare system, often referred to as the wantok system. Such people only have their savings, if they have any, and siblings, if they have any, to lean on for security and sustenance in old age. The state, unfortunately, has no policy on the infirm and elderly. The cash economy and the nuclear family concept have now replaced the once strong extended family, clan and tribal allegiances upon which the wantok system was based. Whereas the working senior might fall back on some superannuation saving in his old age, the elderly in the village are left to fend for themselves and many of their children are away at work or in school. As we anticipate increased revenues into PNG’s coffers and a corresponding improvement in the standard of living, we must be mindful that it will lead to growing lifespan of our people. While this is good news, it will bring with it its own set of problems. Actually, this is not a problem we can anticipate in future. It is already here. Many of those who will be making the policy decisions on this are themselves almost there if they are not already more than 60 years old
Survivors tell of life jackets being locked away
The National, Thursday 19th April 2012
THE Commission of Inquiry into the sinking of the mv Rabaul Queen on Feb 2 was told that life jackets were locked and not accessible to passengers when the vessel started sinking. At Tuesday’s hearing, only one witness out of the six survivors said he saw three people wearing life jackets. Roderick Voit, 26, from East New Britain, told the inquiry he believed more lives would have been saved if the life jackets were easily available. Student Alexander Buago from the North Solomons province said he did not see any of the survivors wearing life jackets. When asked by the lawyer assisting the commissioner, Mal Varitimos whether he saw life jackets on the vessel, he said he did but they were locked and could not be accessed when the vessel began sinking. The witnesses also said they could not distinguish the crew members from the passengers because they did not wear uniforms. It took between eight and 10 hours before survivors were taken on board the foreign ships summoned to the area by a distress call. The nine big ships were anchored in a way so as to form a barricade towards the south eastern end of the disaster spot. From there, they could spot survivors. Smaller boats rescued the survivors and brought them back to Lae.
What’s in it for rural areas?
Post Courier 19/4/2012
Given that a lot of expectant parliamenterians will run in this election, the question is what transformations will the new parliamentarians and their political parties bring about in the districts and rural communities of this country? And will these transformations be consistent and on a national approach or will individual parliamentarians be left to their own devices to ensure development takes place in their districts and rural areas? It is common knowledge that very little tangible developments and transformations have taken place in most districts and rural areas of this country. For social development, in the areas of Education and Health Services, schools and health centres are either rundown and or medical and school supplies are not getting to such institutions on time. Officials who serve at those institutions work under extreme conditions, where transportation to and from their work places are non-existent and or there are no support economic services such as banking and shopping centres to name a few of such examples. The question is what difference will upcoming parliamentarians and their political parties bring about in terms of tangible transformations in Districts and Rural Communities. As it is, previous parliamentarians and their political parties have done very little in bringing about significant development in the districts and rural areas.
PNG unemployment blamed on skill mismatch
Radio NZ International 26 April
The president of Papua New Guinea’s Divine Word University says the government is partly to blame for high levels of unemployment among graduates. Frather Jan Czuba, who raised the issue at a recent National Youth Commission symposium, says there are several key causes of dearth of jobs for local youth. Father Czuba says this includes the agreements signed by the PNG government with developers which allow foreign companies to bring in thousands of foreign staff to do work that could be done by Papua New Guineans. “When they allowed a lot of foreign workers, employees, to come instead of training Papua New Guineans, or employing Papua New Guineans. The other is there is no clear government direction in terms of economic and social development and their proper assessment of their needs in the labour market. The Higher Education sector provides training but does not talk to the labour market, so there is a mismatch of skills.”
PNG children in sex work
The National, Friday 20th April 2012
CHILDREN are being driven into sex work in Papua New Guinea because of poverty, a damning report by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) said. The report, released in the capital yesterday, says there is child trafficking involving parents and guardians who sell their children to clients. It classes children forced into sex work as the worst form of child labour. The report was based on findings by a joint committee comprising members of the PNG Trade Union Congress, Young Women’s Christian Association and other stakeholders. The researchers interviewed about 400 children living in Port Moresby. Pacific countries ILO director David Lamotte said sex work by children aged below 18 was caused by poverty. He said there were also other means of earning money by school-aged kids who were not at school because they just had to earn money to make a living. About 47 % of children interviewed on the street had never been to school. Lamotte said the ILO was working closely with trade unions, YWCA, education department and police to draft a child labour national policy to stop child labour. He said children often looked for worked because their parents could not afford their needs and wants or because they came from broken homes. He said once a child started working at the early ages of 13, 14 and 15, he or she would remain poor for the rest of his life.
HIV cases increasing in Southern Highlands
The National, Monday 23rd April 2012
MORE HIV cases have been reported in Southern Highlands and Hela provinces, with 90% of those infected contracting the disease from having unprotected sex, the provincial AIDS council says. Last year, 240 new confirmed cases were reported, taking to 927 the number of cases reported. Women make up more than half that number because more women are turning up for testing. The council said there was little or no support from the provinces’ political and public service office. It admitted it cannot fight the spread of the epidemic alone. William Tom said the provincial monitoring, evaluation, surveillance team reported 240 (91 male, 149 female) cases after conducting tests on 14,762 people (5,113 male, 9,649 female) from the province’s 34 testing sites. The Catholic HIV testing programme tested 60% (8,867 people), Oil Search HIV programme 25% (3,855 people) and others such as Nina Clinic 15% (2,220). The Oil Search HIV programme is responsible for coordinating HIV/AIDS programmes in the petroleum development impact areas in Hela and Southern Highlands. Of the 240 cases, Imbonggu district recorded the highest number of cases, followed by Tari-Pori, Mendi Munihu, Nipa, and Koroba-Lake Kopiago. Ialibu-Pangia and Kagua-Erave districts recorded low HIV cases because of fewer testing centres serving a combined population of 105,314 people (2000 national census). Tom said the epidemic would continue to spread, especially during the election period, and called for the political and public machinery system to look seriously into the issue.
CMC supports bid on health
Post Courier 23 April
CHURCHES Medical Council has thrown its support behind the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to report to the National Government and make health a priority. Chairman Wallace White Kintak said the committee had visited the hospitals in urban centres and proved that the facilities were in disarray. Mr Kintak said health facilities in rural areas, including church health facilities were also in the state of decay and need improvement. He said successive governments had failed and disregarded the facility improvement program and it now appears that millions of funds had been distributed around the country for health but not much was done to channel some of these funds towards improvement of facility improvements. Mr Kintak said the O’Neill-Namah Government had approved K10 million under the 2011 supplementary budget for church health services but this was diverted somewhere else and only one million was released to the recepients. “That funding could have done well in improving church health facilities but somehow it sunk in the Waigani swamp,” Mr Kintak said.
PNG reports on successes
The National, 25th April 2012
PAPUA New Guinea yesterday joined the world in commemorating World Malaria Day by reporting and celebrating successes on the fight against malaria in the country. Health and HIV/AIDS Minister Jamie Maxtone-Graham said the country had the highest case of malaria in the Western Pacific region and the government was doing its best to curb the problem. About 1.7 million malaria cases and 600 deaths caused by malaria were recorded annually in health facilities. Maxtone-Graham emphasised the importance of prevention saying malaria would not be an issue in this country if all Papua New Guineans practised prevention. Prevention means filling all puddles to prevent mosquito breeding, buying treated mosquito nets to prevent one from getting sick and regular health checks to know their status. “All these are very simple practices are effective in eradicating malaria in PNG.
Census data shows education reforms not had impact
The National, April 26th 2012
IT is evident that systematic reforms, including education reforms at all levels since 1993, have not had the desired impact on access, retention and quality of education, Education Minister Theodore Zurenuoc says. He said student enrolment data showed that only 11.5% of six-year-olds in the country were admitted to elementary prep to begin their formal education. He said 88.5% of the six-year-olds were not admitted. Speaking during the launch of the new universal basic education policy framework released in Port Moresby yesterday, Zurenuoc said the 2007 annual school census data showed that of the total number of children who had access to basic education, only 45.3% completed Gr 8. “The other 54.7% of the children did not complete a full nine years of basic education,” he said. “There are a plethora of reasons for the poor access and completion rates,” he said. He said the contributing factors had been well researched and documented by the National Research Institute. He said NRI had clearly shown that parents, guardians and caregivers “do not have the financial capacity to pay school fees”.
Surprise! Catholic social teaching is the church’s best-kept secret
by Tony Magliano on Apr. 16, 2012 Making a Difference
The Catholic church has a very big secret. It is so powerful, challenging and relevant that if every bishop, priest, deacon, religious and layperson was committed to communicating and implementing this secret, it would turn society upside-down and literally transform the world.
However, revealing its contents and tirelessly urging the full application of its message would surely cause great controversy. The church would come under fierce attack from both conservatives and liberals for being naïve and acting outside acceptable ecclesial boundaries.
Therefore, most Catholics have opted to tread lightly, sadly guaranteeing that Catholic social teaching will remain our best-kept secret.
From time to time, a passing reference is made to Catholic social teaching, but these token efforts are too weak and too infrequent to make much difference for the unborn, poor and war-torn of our world.
What is it about Catholic social teaching that is so threatening to the status quo?
The short answer is that its foundational tenets of justice and love demand that wealth and power are not selfishly hoarded by rich and powerful individuals, corporations and nations, but instead, be placed at the service of all people and all nations.
But because the strong and rich most often insist on remaining in dominant and privileged positions, they perceive such teachings as dangerous.
Our best-kept secret is that the Catholic church is deeply blessed with more than 100 years’ worth of outstanding social justice and peace documents authored by popes, Vatican II, world synods of bishops and national conferences of bishops. But sadly, these documents attract more dust than readers.
Out of these Catholic social teaching documents, the church has developed a set of principles designed to help guide us in applying the liberating message of the Gospel to the social, economic and political problems facing modern humanity.
These principles are:
▪ The protection of all human life and the promotion of human dignity
▪ The call to participate in family and community life
▪ The promotion of human rights and responsibilities
▪ The preferential option for the poor and vulnerable
▪ The safeguarding of workers’ dignity and rights
▪ The building of global solidarity and the common good
▪ The care for God’s creation
▪ The universal destination of goods
▪ The call to be peacemakers
From the Papua New Guinea Constitution
Our National Goals and Directive Principles
We, the people of Papua New Guinea, set before ourselves these national goals and directive principles that underlie our constitution:-
WE HEREBY PROCLAIM the following aims as our National Goals, and direct all persons and bodies, corporate and unincorporate, to be guided by these our declared Directives in pursuing and achieving our aims:
▪ Integral human development
We declare our first goal to be for every person to be dynamically involved in the process of freeing himself or herself from every form of domination or oppression so that each man or woman will have the opportunity to develop as a whole person in relationship with others. WE ACCORDINGLY CALL FOR everyone to be involved in our endeavours to achieve integral human development of the whole person for every person and to seek fulfilment through his or her contribution to the common good; and education to be based on mutual respect and dialogue, and to promote awareness of our human potential and motivation to achieve our National Goals through self-reliant effort; and all forms of beneficial creativity, including sciences and cultures, to be actively encouraged; and improvement in the level of nutrition and the standard of public health to enable our people to attain self fulfilment; and the family unit to be recognized as the fundamental basis of our society, and for every step to be taken to promote the moral, cultural, economic and social standing of the Melanesian family; anddevelopment to take place primarily through the use of Papua New Guinean forms of social and political organization.
▪ Equality and participation
We declare our second goal to be for all citizens to have an equal opportunity to participate in, and benefit from, the development of our country. WE ACCORDINGLY CALL FOR an equal opportunity for every citizen to take part in the political, economic, social, religious and cultural life of the country; and the creation of political structures that will enable effective, meaningful participation by our people in that life, and in view of the rich cultural and ethnic diversity of our people for those structures to provide for substantial decentralization of all forms of government activity; and every effort to be made to achieve an equitable distribution of incomes and other benefits of development among individuals and throughout the various parts of the country; and equalization of services in all parts of the country, and for every citizen to have equal access to legal processes and all services, governmental and otherwise, that are required for the fulfilment of his or her real needs and aspirations; and equal participation by women citizens in all political, economic, social and religious activities; and the maximization of the number of citizens participating in every aspect of development; and active steps to be taken to facilitate the organization and legal recognition of all groups engaging in development activities; and means to be provided to ensure that any citizen can exercise his personal creativity and enterprise in pursuit of fulfilment that is consistent with the common good, and for no citizen to be deprived of this opportunity because of the predominant position of another; and every citizen to be able to participate, either directly or through a representative, in the consideration of any matter affecting his interests or the interests of his community; and all persons and governmental bodies of Papua New Guinea to ensure that, as far as possible, political and official bodies are so composed as to be broadly representative of citizens from the various areas of the country; and all persons and governmental bodies to endeavour to achieve universal literacy in Pisin, Hiri Motu or English, and in “tok ples” or “ita eda tano gado”; and recognition of the principles that a complete relationship in marriage rests on equality of rights and duties of the partners, and that responsible parenthood is based on that equality.
▪ National sovereignty and self-reliance
We declare our third goal to be for Papua New Guinea to be politically and economically independent, and our economy basically self-reliant. WE ACCORDINGLY CALL FOR our leaders to be committed to these National Goals and Directive Principles, to ensure that their freedom to make decisions is not restricted by obligations to or relationship with others, and to make all of their decisions in the national interest; and all governmental bodies to base their planning for political, economic and social development on these Goals and Principles; and internal interdependence and solidarity among citizens, and between provinces, to be actively promoted; andcitizens and governmental bodies to have control of the bulk of economic enterprise and production; and strict control of foreign investment capital and wise assessment of foreign ideas and values so that these will be subordinate to the goal of national sovereignty and self-reliance, and in particular for the entry of foreign capital to be geared to internal social and economic policies and to the integrity of the Nation and the People; and the State to take effective measures to control and actively participate in the national economy, and in particular to control major enterprises engaged in the exploitation of natural resources; and economic development to take place primarily by the use of skills and resources available in the country either from citizens or the State and not in dependence on imported skills and resources; and the constant recognition of our sovereignty, which must not be undermined by dependence on foreign assistance of any sort, and in particular for no investment, military or foreign-aid agreement or understanding to be entered into that imperils our self-reliance and self-respect, or our commitment to these National Goals and Directive Principles, or that may lead to substantial dependence upon or influence by any country, investor, lender or donor.
▪ Natural resources and environment
We declare our fourth goal to be for Papua New Guinea’s natural resources and environment to be conserved and used for the collective benefit of us all, and be replenished for the benefit of future generations. WE ACCORDINGLY CALL FOR wise use to be made of our natural resources and the environment in and on the land or seabed, in the sea, under the land, and in the air, in the interests of our development and in trust for future generations; and the conservation and replenishment, for the benefit of ourselves and posterity, of the environment and its sacred, scenic, and historical qualities; and all necessary steps to be taken to give adequate protection to our valued birds, animals, fish, insects, plants and trees.
▪ Papua New Guinean ways
We declare our fifth goal to be to achieve development primarily through the use of Papua New Guinean forms of social, political and economic organization. WE ACCORDINGLY CALL FOR a fundamental re-orientation of our attitudes and the institutions of government, commerce, education and religion towards Papua New Guinean forms of participation, consultation, and consensus, and a continuous renewal of the responsiveness of these institutions to the needs and attitudes of the People; and particular emphasis in our economic development to be placed on small-scale artisan, service and business activity; and recognition that the cultural, commercial and ethnic diversity of our people is a positive strength, and for the fostering of a respect for, and appreciation of, traditional ways of life and culture, including language, in all their richness and variety, as well as for a willingness to apply these ways dynamically and creatively for the tasks of development; and traditional villages and communities to remain as viable units of Papua New Guinean society, and for active steps to be taken to improve their cultural, social, economic and ethical quality.