The Spokesperson for Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma says the Secretary-General is closely monitoring developments in Papua New Guinea, and is concerned that the rule of law, including constitutional democracy and the independence of the judiciary be steadfastly upheld.
The Secretary-General stated that the constitutionality of the electoral process and the independence of the judiciary of Papua New Guinea are essential values to be preserved. Commonwealth member states have consistently iterated these values. They are reflected in the Latimer House Principles, and were most recently reaffirmed by Commonwealth Heads of Government in their 2009 Affirmation of Commonwealth Values and Principles.
The Secretary-General has called on all parties in Papua New Guinea to play their part in upholding the country’s fine tradition of respect for constitutionality and the rule of law, as a leading democracy in the Pacific region.
The Commonwealth Secretariat has been working to support and strengthen Papua New Guinea’s judiciary since 2010. It convened a seminar in February 2012, in conjunction with Papua New Guinea’s judiciary and the Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association, on the independence of the judiciary and a judicial code of conduct. The Government of Papua New Guinea also invited the Commonwealth to observe the country’s 2012 elections. The Commonwealth Secretariat has begun working with the Papua New Guinea Electoral Commission and other stakeholders on preparations toward this end.
Secretary-General Sharma emphasised that the Commonwealth stands ready to further assist the government, parliament and judiciary of Papua New Guinea in support of full adherence to Commonwealth values, if requested to do so.