by Delly Waigeno – EM TV, Port Moresby
The Foreign Service can be a significant catalyst for change in Papua New Guinea.
Minister for Foreign Affairs, Rimbink Pato, made the remark last night at the inaugural graduation ceremony of the PNG Foreign Service Training Program.
Twenty-nine people graduated from the program, which covered topics ranging from PNG Foreign Policy, Diplomatic Practice, International Law and Global Strategic Studies.
The graduation of the Foreign Service Training Program was held last night at the Laguna Hotel in Port Moresby.
Guests included Ministers of Cabinet, members of the Diplomatic Corps, and invited guests.
Director of the Training Program, Peter Eafeare, said the program is an initiative of the government of New Zealand and Papua New Guinea; administered through the Victorian University of Wellington and the PNG Department of Foreign Affairs.
The primary objective of the Foreign Service Training Program is to help build capacity in PNG’s Department of Foreign Affairs towards a learning, creative and effective organisation.
The training is an interactive program, conducted by facilitators for three initial weeks at the Victorian University of Wellington in New Zealand.
Minister Rimbink Pato said that as PNG faces new and emerging social, political and economic opportunities from globalisation; it’s important that the Foreign Service build PNG’s connections and partnerships for the betterment of the country.
Prof Winnie Laban, Assistant Vice Chancellor of the Pacific Studies at the Victoria University of Wellington, said globalisation is not a new concept to the Pacific Region.
Secretary for Foreign Affairs, William Dihm, said PNG is not only preparing for some important upcoming events like the Pacific Games and the Pacific Islands Forum, but also looking more widely and further ahead.
Mr Dihm said the recently reactivated Foreign Service Training Program makes up for lost opportunities in the past, and helps build the human capacity for the Department, and PNG’s missions and posts.