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Peacekeeping should begin at home: UN boss

THE UNITED NATIONS resident coordinator to Papua New Guinea, David McLachlan-Karr, says gun control in the country is a matter of urgency.

Mr McLachlan-Karr says PNG is no stranger to conflict, with competition over land, resources and local political tensions often leading to violence.

He says the people most affected by fighting are very often the most vulnerable - the women, children and the elderly who are least able to defend themselves.

He says the increasing use of high-powered weaponry is of particular concern and gun control and weapons disposal need to be tackled as matters of priority.

PNG is about to send peacekeepers to the Sudan but Mr McLachlan-Karr says peace building must begin at home and the UN is prepared to help the government foster a culture of peace in the country.

Source: Radio New Zealand International, 21 September


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Reginald Renagi

Good point Barbara and agree with you. Before PNG hopes to go and make peace in foreign lands, it should first do something about making peace at home.

In regions like Bougainville and highlands provinces, people are still very much still in conflict with each other. This cannot continue on even 36 years after Independence.

Barbara Short

David McLachlan-Karr is making an important point.

After reading Leonard Roka's poem, "Davire, my Great Warrior", one can catch a glimpse of the minds of some of the Bougainville people, and see the way they now idolise their compatriots who took up arms against their PNG brothers in the Bougainville war.

I know there are also peacemakers working in Bougainville to help the people work out their problems in peaceful ways.

I also know there are many fine Bougainville people who can think logically and know that the gun is not the way to solve problems.

Just as John Howard had a huge gun recall after the horrific events at Port Arthur, I think the PNG government must work out some way of checking on the firearms of PNG.

They would do well to accept any offer of help from the UN to foster a culture of peace and find peaceful ways of tackling the various problems that we know are now developing in PNG.

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