The National Executive Council has appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Hon. Soroi Eoe, as acting prime minister, while Prime Minister, James Marape attends the 76th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York from 21 – 26 September 2021.
“I would like to make an announcement to the country that in my absence and in the absence of the active leadership role of the current Deputy Prime Minister, due to Leadership Tribunal, the Cabinet has given blessing for the appointment of the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Honourable Soroi Eoe as Acting Prime Minister in the nine days that I will be absent from country.”
He said Honourable Minister Soroi Eoe is not new to leadership and also he is one of the Senior Member of the Cabinet.
Prime Minister Marape appealed to citizens and public servants around the country to work with Acting Prime Minister Honourable Soroi Eoe during his absence.
“As he assumes his role as Acting Prime Minister of the country, I rally all our public servants and citizens, especially agents of the Government, in our public service to give full support to him.”
This will be Mr Marape’s first attendance at the UNGA since becoming prime minister in May 2019.
“I had to turn down the invitation to the 74th UNGA in 2019 due to the Bougainville Referendum. The 2020 opportunity was also missed because of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.”
In his press conference this morning, before his departure, Mr Marape said, the opportunity at the UNGA t would provide Papua New Guinea the chance to present the country’s development status in relation to its bio-diversity and rainforests.
Papua New Guinea holds six to seven percent of the world’s biodiversity and up to 13 percent of the world’s rainforest.
Prime Minister Marape said the Australian Prime Minister and himself would be amongst few key Pacific Island leaders who will be addressing the General Assembly.
Prime Minister Marape added that his travel to New York and his participation in the United Nation General Assembly is to advocate on issues affecting the world.
“There is a global conversation on climate change, COVID-19, and global conversations on contemporary issues that face the world and my travel to New York is appropriate as we live in an inter-related world where some of the contemporary issues affecting PNG needs to be advocate on a global stage, and it can be done better in person”, Prime Minister Marape added.
Mr Marape has secured meetings for key leaders including the United Nations General Secretary and couple of key issues will be highlighted, especially in the context of Papua New Guinea as a nation and trying to find a balance between keeping our economy alive and managing COVID-19 as well as pointing out some values Papua New Guinea has for planet earth.
He will also be speaking on behalf of Small Island States in the Pacific that are being impacted by global warming.
“It is time global climate fund institutions that continuously tell us to preserve our untouchable tracts of rainforest, started considering paying those development dollars for our basic services such as health, education and quality economic infrastructure,” he added.