PNG PM swings axe on huge delegation

Prime Minister James Marape

A proposed list of 56 PNG Ministers, departmental heads, protocol staff, close protection officers and departmental staff travelling to the UN Climate Conference in Dubai has been chopped by the Prime Minister to 29 members.

From the 56 travel list obtained by the Post-Courier, it shows that a total of seven Ministers were to travel, of which five minister were cut according to the PM’s office.

The leak of the list drew a lot of criticism from the public when it was leaked on social media platforms amidst an unpopular trend of large government delegation trotting the globe throughout the year.

But on Tuesday, afternoon the list was recalled by PNG Prime Minister James Marape, according to his office, when this newspaper sought comments on the large delegation.

According to officials in recent months PM Marape has become more cautious with travel without any results.

PM Marape’s Chief of Staff Andy Hetra said the 56 travelling was not the official delegation.

“This was the proposed list. This list has been reduced; instructions were given to cut the list. That I can confirm.”

Their travel is pending PM’s approval he added.

Chief Secretary Ivan Pomaleu in a circular also stated that any travel of the government “must be curbed to a minimum.”

“Relevant agencies must be represented, and we must limit our travelling but increase the back-hand support in country to provide technical back up for the delegation.”

The current travelling list is now at 29 with DPM Rosso leading the group, supported by Climate Change Minister Simo Kilepa, and supported by staff from Foreign Affairs, State Solicitor, Global Green Growth Institute, PNG Forest Authority, Climate Change Development Authority.

All will be funded under the GoPNG with only three members of the Climate Change Development Authority to be funded under the United Nations Framework Convention in Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Post-Courier can confirm that from the travel schedule, PNG will be securing of K400 million (US$107.3 million) in forest conservation programmes after Dubai. Deputy Prime Minister John Rosso is expected to sign the papers of the programme in agreement with several countries.