Commonwealth Secretary-General visits Papua New Guinea to strengthen partnerships and encourage action on gender issues

27 April 2023
Secretary-General with the Prime Minister PNG

The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC, is in Papua New Guinea this week where she met with Prime Minister the Hon James Marape to discuss issues of mutual interest and strengthen partnerships between the Commonwealth and Papua New Guinea. The Prime Minister and Secretary-General also had fruitful discussion on gender issues, climate action and youth empowerment.

Throughout her visit, the Secretary-General emphasised the urgent need for action on climate change and commended Papua New Guinea's efforts to address this critical issue. She also highlighted the important role of young people in driving change and promoting sustainable development. The Secretary-General praised the government's commitment to empowering youth and encouraging their participation in decision-making processes in Papua New Guinea.

While in Papua New Guinea, the Secretary-General also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon  Justin Tkachenko, and the Minister for Education, Hon Jimmy Uguro MP, to discuss important issues with their portfolios. She also informed them of the Commonwealth’s various programmes and opportunities for collaboration.

In addition, the Secretary-General announced the appointment of two new Champions for the Commonwealth's "Say No More" campaign, which seeks to raise awareness and promote action against domestic and gender-based violence. The newly appointed Champions in Papua New Guinea are the Attorney-General, Hon. Pila Kole Niningi, LLB, MP and the Governor of Port Moresby, Hon Powes Parkop, who will work alongside existing Champions to promote the campaign's message across the country.

Speaking after the announcement, the Secretary-General stressed the need for urgent action to end violence against women, which she described as a "pervasive and destructive force" that undermines the well-being and security of individuals and communities across the Commonwealth. She emphasised the important role of men and boys in challenging attitudes and behaviours that perpetuate gender-based violence.

The Secretary-General's visit to Papua New Guinea reflects the Commonwealth's ongoing commitment to strengthening partnerships with its member states and promoting sustainable development, human rights, and gender equality across the region. The appointment of new Champions for the “Say No More” campaign underscores the Commonwealth's determination to address one of the most pressing challenges facing the region today. The campaign encourages work towards a future where all individuals can live free from violence and discrimination.

Media contact

  • Rena Gashumba  Communications Adviser, Communications Division, Commonwealth Secretariat
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