Mining Kokoda Track a problem for PNG
When all our roads led to ASOPA

The pic that should warm all our hearts

With_rudd Is this a sign a relationship is strengthening? [Left click on the photo for the full image] Michael Somare and Kevin Rudd sharing a joke at the Bali climate conference indicates a thaw in the icy atmosphere that has marked PNG-Australia affairs in recent times. Let's hope it's also a precursor to more personal political re-engagement between the two neighbours.

Australia’s neglect of the Pacific region was alluded to this week in a paper presented to the 9th Pacific Parliamentary Dialogue in Goroka. Prof Benjamin Reilly [below right] of the Centre for Democratic Institutions at the Australian National University told the conference that younger Australian parliamentarians lacked sufficient knowledge of PNG.

Prof Reilly told Pacific Islands parliamentarians that, despite the close proximity of Australia and PNG and the traditional ties they share, younger generation Australian politicians had no appreciation of the many issues facing PNG. Older generation parliamentarians understood PNG better and had closer relationship with the country, its people and culture. Benjamin_reilly

Dr Reilly added that the dialogue should foster closer working relationship between Australia,  PNG and other Pacific Island countries. “We need to acknowledge the reality that democracy in the Pacific region had often not worked well as it could,” he said. But democracy across the Pacific region nevertheless remains resilient.

Source: PNG National - ‘Young Aust politicians ignorant of PNG’ by James Kila

Photos: Sydney Morning Herald; Australian National University


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