Governor General Grand Chief Sir Michael Ogio today (02/04/14) welcomed former Prime Minister of New Zealand and current Administrator of United Nations Development Programme, Helen Clark, to PNG.
Ms. Clark arrived in the country this morning on a three-day visit.
After her arrival at Jackson's International airport she paid a courtesy call on the Governor General at Government House.
Sir Michael met with Ms Clark and had a chat before she met with Prime Minister Peter O'Neill.
Sir Michael congratulated Ms. Clark on her reappointment as Administrator of UNDP for a second term since her appointment to the post in 2009.
He says UNDP has played a major role in assisting PNG identify development issues and implement policies to address them.
The Governor General says UNDP was also instrumental in the peace process on Bougainville and continues to contribute to the development aspirations of the people of the autonomous region.
He thanked UNDP and New Zealand for their part in bringing peace to the region.
Sir Michael says he do not want to see PNG become fragmented and he hopes to see PNG remain united as a sovereign State and coexistence and peace prevail.
Meanwhile, visiting UNDP Administrator Helen Clark says UNDP is happy to render its assistance to PNG especially in the areas of capacity building.
During her courtesy call on Governor General, she noted that with the introduction of the LNG project the challenge now is to build the country’s capacity to deal with population growth, health, education and infrastructure.
She says the challenge is not about money but to get it working for the people.
Clark aalso noted that while the UNDP is happy to assist with the country’s development issues, disbursement of funds to identified areas of development especially in rural areas needs to be improved.
She says delays in disbursement of funds to much needed areas delays development and slows progress.
Ms. Clark says she envisions interesting and exciting times ahead for PNG and expressed confidence that PNG is on the way up in terms of economic and social development.
She, however, also cited examples of countries like Australia and Norway who were built on extractive resources and have prospered and others like the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria who were also built on extractive resources but have turned disastrous, and these are experiences for PNG to learn from these countries and set a direction for prosperous PNG.