PAPUA NEW GUINEA
 

STATEMENT

TO

THE 56th UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
 
 

"Sustainable Development" - through global partnership."
 

PRESENTED

BY

 THE PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE TO THE UNITED NATIONS

H.E. Mr. PETER DONIGI, CBE.
 
 

NEW YORK, NY
15TH NOVEMBER 2001.

Check Against Delivery
I
    Introduction

On behalf of the People and Government of Papua New Guinea, I wish to join previous speakers in congratulating you, Mr. President, on your election to this prestigious post.

Your election shows the highest esteem in which the international community holds both you, personally, and your country, the Republic of Korea.

My delegation is confident that through your immense diplomatic skills and leadership which is already evident, you will continue to guide the work of this Session of the General Assembly to its successful conclusion.
I also take this opportunity, through you, to express my Delegation’s sincere appreciation to your predecessor, His Excellency Mr Harri Holkeri, for his outstanding stewardship and leadership in facilitating the work of the historic Millenium Summit and the General Assembly.

We also congratulate and pay tribute to Mr Kofi Annan on his re-election to the office of the Secretary General of the United Nations and for the award of the Nobel Peace Prize.

II

    Commitment to United Nations

Papua New Guinea is resolute in its commitment to the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter. Papua New Guinea acknowledges the value of many of the UN Treaties and Declarations including those that advance human rights, the rule of law and good governance. Many of these principles are enumerated in our National Constitution.
We acknowledge that the Organisation has had some limitations, which are self-inflicting. We note that the United Nations is now in a much healthier financial position than it ever was in the past. There is however no room for complacency in the pursuit of its reform programmes. The United Nations bodies and systems must be restructured to reflect the new dynamics and geo-political changes and to create, at the beginning of the new Millennium, hope for all.

We believe that our common global problems cannot be resolved under the auspices of violence, terrorism, war and destruction, nor can they be resolved in a vacuum. The United Nations provides a forum and an avenue for fostering dialogue for peaceful resolution of disputes.
An effective Security Council, we believe should be representative of all sub-regions of the world.
My Government also believes that the use of "veto powers" should be limited to Chapter VII issues and the working methods and deliberations of the Council should be more transparent and democratic.

III

    Domestic Challenges.

Papua New Guinea’s development aspirations have been compounded by other problems associated with the downturn in the global economy; economic crisis within the Asia/Pacific Region and the natural disasters, all of which we have little control over.
The Government has addressed these challenges, through a comprehensive programme of structural adjustments. We have worked hard to make sure that structural adjustments are made in the public sector, in order to stimulate and expand growth in the private sector.

The measures we have adopted have stabilized the economy. However, as we look into the future, we cannot but hope that the incidents of September 11 will not unduly affect our further recovery. Judging by the evidence of a downturn in the United States economy, it seems clear that every effort is required to make the Conference on Financing for Development next year, a success.

We are grateful to the "friends of Papua New Guinea Group" comprising Australia, Japan, European Commission and China, among others, who have been generous in assisting our government in its development efforts. The World Bank, IMF, and Asian Development Bank have also been very positive in their responses to our policies.

IV

    Bougainville.

My country has experienced an unfortunate and terrible conflict and has been trying to build mutual confidence and security by pursuing a progressive political settlement, including restoration and development for the past four years in its Bougainville Province. We have utilised the Melanesian way of building consensus between all parties to the conflict. The consensus is now reflected in the Bougainville Peace Agreement signed by the parties on 30 August 2001. The Government is resolute in its desire to implement the Agreement. It has completed work on drafting amendments to our Constitution, to provide for greater autonomy, a referendum, and amnesty. Together with ongoing efforts to implement other aspects of the Agreement, they are expected to facilitate progress on weapons disposal and associated issues such as reconciliation, unification of political and administrative structures in Bougainville. A special session of Parliament has been convened next week on 22 November 2001 to continue debate the Agreement. Parliament will deliberate on the constitutional amendments on or soon after 14 December 2001.

We wish to place on record our deep appreciation to the United Nations, in particular Ambassador Noel Sinclair and his team on Bougainville, the UNDP, the European Union as well as individual EU members, and the Governments of Australia, Fiji, Japan, New Zealand, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu for their continuing and constructive roles in Bougainville.
It is also my pleasure to speak on behalf of the Bougainville parties and the government, to thank the Secretary-General and all member States of the United Nations Security Council, past and present, for continuing to renew the mandate of the United Nations Office in Bougainville. We are confident that the Security Council will continue to provide every assistance, we need in respect to arms collection, storage and disposal.

V

    Decolonization and Human Rights

The process of decolonisation will not be completed, until the people of the remaining seventeen Non-Self-Governing Territories have exercised their inalienable right to self-determination and/or achieved self-government.
Papua New Guinea welcomes the cooperation of the Government of France with regards to the progress made in implementing the Noumea Accords, and setting in motion the eventual exercise of the rights of self-determination by the people of New Caledonia, especially the indigenous Kanak people.
We acknowledge the full cooperation of the Government of New Zealand in the progress made so far in respect to the question of Tokelau Islands.

My government notes the progress made in East Timor. We heartily welcome the announcement of 20 May 2002 as the day the people of East Timor will attain independence and nationhood. We look forward to welcoming them as a full member of this family of nations.

Papua New Guinea continues to urge the other administering Powers to cooperate with the Special Political and Decolonization Committee, in implementing and completing its mandate soon.
The future of each of the remaining Non-Self-Governing Territory can only be assured by a positive, constructive and above all, a transparent approach to developing a unique solution, for each of them.

VI

    Oceans and Law of the Sea.

The 54th UNGA established the Oceans Consultative Process to improve on coordination and management of the programs associated with the use, development and protection of the oceans and seas.  The consultative process has been successful in bringing to the fore, as well as focusing the attention of the member States on a number of issues.
The Pacific Islands Forum Group includes Small Island Developing States that are custodians of the largest ocean space. This ocean space is rich in natural and marine resources.

The SIDS of the region however have limited human, financial and technological capacities to harvest, control, manage and secure these resources, for the benefit of our current and future generations.
It has been said that to divert the poor from the call of the Evil, it is not enough to appeal to their stomachs only. Rather one must appeal to their aspirations as well.

Papua New Guinea places particular emphasis on the sustainable use and development of the resources of the ocean space and deep seabed.

We have joined others with particular interest in the sustainable use and management of the fish stocks in our region to establish the Convention on the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean in September 2000. The next meeting of signatories to this Convention will be held in Papua New Guinea early next year.

We welcome Malta’s lodgement (last Sunday) of its Instrument of Ratification of the Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of UNCLOS relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks. The Agreement, that will now come into force on 11 December 2001, called on States to cooperate to enhance the ability of developing states, in particular the least developed and small island developing States to conserve and develop their own fisheries for such stocks. For all SIDS in the Pacific, financing for development has to be linked to the development of their fisheries sector.

In order to emphasise my point; I have provided some data on the last page of my written statement. You will note that the Central and Western Pacific Fishery is valued in excess of $2.5 billion per annum, whilst the Pacific SIDS only earn an average of $66M per annum in licensing fees.

For the SIDS of the Pacific to attain sustainable growth and development, this situation has to change.
Last year, my delegation also welcomed the conclusion by the International Seabed Authority of the exploration code for seabed mining. Continuing work is to be undertaken in respect to a code for exploration of the polymetallic sulfides and cobalt rich crusts. Papua New Guinea has particular interests in polymetallic sulfides.

My delegation would like, once again, to thank the Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority, Ambassador Satya Nandan, for his report on the work of the Authority. We welcome the execution of the contracts by pioneer investors and urge the remaining pioneer investor to do so as soon as possible.

VII

    Environment, Climate Change, Natural Disasters and Health care

Papua New Guinea supports the principles contained in the Barbados Plan of Action and Agenda 21 of the Rio Summit on Environment and Development.

We continue to support the principles contained in the Kyoto Protocol and the Climate Change Convention. We once again stress the urgency for developed countries to make a concerted effort to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
My delegation welcomes the achievements of the COP 6 meeting in Bonn last July and the successful conclusion of COP 7 in Marrakech, Morocco.

Another greatest challenge for the United Nations is to strengthen the global community’s capacity to respond promptly and effectively to climatic change and natural disasters.

Papua New Guinea experienced drought and frosts in 1997, caused by the “El Nino”; the tsunami of 1998 and the “La Nina” phenomenon bringing floods and landslides, and leaving deaths and destruction in its wake.
We acknowledge the prompt and generous response and support by our neighbours, in dealing with effects of such disasters.
Global warming has also brought increased cases of diseases like malaria to the higher altitude and most populous region of our country. The threat of increased incidence of this disease in this region is real and could negatively affect the demographics of the country. There is a definite link between climate change, natural disasters and the spread and increased incidences of diseases.

Papua New Guinea is also not immune to the HIV/Aids epidemic and tuberculosis. We are grateful to Australia and other partners, who have provided assistance in this field of health care.
We also again welcome last year's announcement by the Japanese government to set aside substantial financial resources for the disease eradication programmes in developing countries.

VIII

    Financing for Development/World Summit for Sustainable Development.

The forthcoming Conferences on the Financing for Development in March 2002 in Monterrey, Mexico and the World Summit for Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in September 2002 must be platforms to launch new and innovative methods for re-aligning the policies of the Bretton Woods institutions to focus more on development and poverty eradication.
There must be a concerted effort to link new and innovative financial instruments to delivery of specific outcome oriented approaches. There must be flexibility, in assisting the developing, especially small islands, landlocked and the least developed countries. For the Pacific Islands peoples to become meaningful participants in the globalization process new financial instruments or mechanisms should be developed to facilitate the transfer of technological capacities and expertise in the fisheries sector.

IX

    Terrorism.

Papua New Guinea is committed to peaceful dialogue between nations, and condemns those who employ terrorism against people, and who finance, recruit and train terrorists and mercenaries.
The barbaric acts of September 11 have been described in many ways. Some have called it horrendous, despicable and the work of “evil-doers”. The use of any adjectives to describe the horror and the continuing threat to human security only adds to the esteem to which some give to the perpetrators. The use of qualifiers to describe the innocence of the deceased gives legitimacy to these acts or otherwise shield the nakedness of the willful and wrongful nature of these acts.  Papua New Guinea condemns the September 11 attack on United States and supports the on-going campaign by United States and the allies against terrorism.

On behalf of Government and People of Papua New Guinea, I express our heartfelt condolences to the immediate families and relatives of all those who had their lives brutally taken away from them in New York, Washington DC, and Pennsylvania.
My government is committed to implement Resolution 1373 of the United Nations Security Council and is in the process of examining all existing Conventions relating to terrorism with a view to acceding to them early next year.

Papua New Guinea also notes the death several days ago of the political leader of the people of the Indonesian Province of Irian Jaya, Mr. Theys Eluay under questionable circumstances. As a neighbouring country which shares a common border with that Province, Papua New Guinea is concerned with the likely spillover effects of new developments in that Province. We urge Indonesia to undertake a thorough, impartial and transparent investigation into his death, to make public the results and to bring to justice those responsible.

X

    Nuclear Issues

My government is committed to a stable, peaceful and environmentally safe world, and therefore supports the objectives of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaties.

We call on all who have nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction including biological weapons to stop testing, manufacturing, storing these weapons and furthermore, to take steps to destroy them.

We also support efforts to ban trans-boundary movements of radioactive and other hazardous wastes through the Pacific region. We call on those States that previously conducted nuclear weapons testings or have discharged chemical and other non-degradable wastes in our sub-region to adequately compensate, as well as, to give appropriate medical assistance to the scores of persons and families affected. Remedial measures and actions should be taken to clean up the damage done to the environment.

XI

Conclusion.

Global and Regional Partnerships in promoting change, is the key to addressing the challenges that the world will face in the 21st Century. Papua New Guinea believes that the challenge for Member States is to reshape this Organization to serve as an effective tool for implementing our collective desire to make our global village a better place for all.

I thank you.
 
 

Data on Fishing Efforts in the Central and Western Pacific

· There were 4,700 diverse long line-fishing vessels in the Central and Western Pacific (CWP) region. Of these 3,000 were from Japan and Taiwan. There were 750 large freezer vessels from Japan, Taiwan and Korea operating throughout the region. There were about 450 offshore vessels based in Pacific Island countries also from Japan, Taiwan and China. There were also another 400 vessels based in American Samoa. There had been an increase from 300 million hooks from the 1960s to 560 million hooks per annum. Effort in long line is the most widespread in industrial fishery in the Pacific. There were 223 purse seiners of which 159 were long distant water vessels. The 1999 catch were 1,033,00 metric tonnes of which 781,000 tonnes were Skipjack tuna, Yellowfin tuna was 218,000 tonnes and Bigeye tuna was 35,000 tonnes.
· The average prices rounded off for these products delivered fresh to the market for January to August 2001 were $1.50, $5.00 and $9.00 respectively making the value of the CWP fishery at more than (US)$ 2.5 billion during that eight months.
· The Pacific Island Developing States only earn an average of $66 million per annum in licensing fees.