PM O’Neill applauds PALM 8 Discussions

By Jack Lapauve Jr – EMTV News, Port Moresby

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has further welcomed the proposed PALM 8 countries Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy which aims to promote peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region. PM O’Neill says this is based on shared values and pillars of the strategy that are consistent with PNG’s policy agenda. He says the pursuit of economic prosperity and commitment to peace and stability continues to be an agenda for all developing nations.

“While overseas assistance plays an important role in achieving our development goals, we must rely more on ourselves,” the Prime Minister said at the PALM8 Meeting.

“Driving our own economic growth is fundamental to the development in our country. And as we have learnt in Papua New Guinea, economic growth must be inclusive”.

Mr. O’Neill said the Pacific should not be drawn into the tension in the Korean Peninsula, but improve cooperation to harness economic growth while building partnerships. Among his main talking points, Mr. O’Neill expressed the need for more efforts in saving the Ocean, a vast resource that needs protection by nations.

“Government cannot advance an economy alone and we must work with the private sector, NGOs and Churches to achieve better health outcomes for our people. This is particularly important in delivering the foundations for any healthy economy, particularly such as sectors including education and healthcare. We must look at better ways to enhance cooperation in the fields of healthcare, including the way we deal with infectious diseases. This includes the fight against tuberculosis through the provision of medical equipment and better communication. PALM, since its inception in 1997, has contributed to critical key development areas in infrastructure, education, health and transportation”.

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