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PRIME MINISTER JAMES MARAPE’S CHRISTMAS MESSAGE

A Time for Forgiveness, Healing Wounded Souls and Restoring Hope for a Better Tomorrow

My fellow Papua New Guineans, on behalf of your Government, I wish to convey to all citizens a joyful Christmas wherever you may be in our beautiful country.

Christmas is a time of hope. It is a time where we reflect on the year that has gone and give thanks to God for our lives.

2022 has been a year of great hope for our nation. The worst of the COVID -19 pandemic is now behind us. Our borders have re-opened, and our economy has again begun to strengthen. But 2022 was also a year of great challenges. We encountered difficulties with the national election, and law and order problems continued to persist. We lost leaders, and treasured family members. And we are living with many challenges including financial problems.

But as we always do, Papua New Guineans are united in their common resolve to overcome these challenges and remain united. And it is that spirit of unity that will guide our nation as we approach the 50th anniversary of our independence in 2025.

As Government, throughout 2022 we have continued to embrace economic reforms to make our economy bigger and better. The process of budget repair is well underway and I can confidently at least that we are on track to achieve a balanced budget by 2027. We are making great progress in finalising new economic projects that will secure our nation’s future, both in the renewable and non-renewable sectors.

My Government is mindful of our future generations and has fully established the Sovereign Wealth Fund and as we move into 2023, the process of investing the benefits derived from our national resource projects will continue to be invested in this fund for our future. This will be a legacy for the generations to come.

We have also continued to invest in economic enabling infrastructure. We are building new roads, schools, and hospitals to enable economic activity and market access for our people, especially in the Agriculture Sector where the bulk of our people can be directly involved to draw a livelihood.

We are providing support to micro and Small to Medium Enterprises, which is in turn providing real benefits to our regional and rural communities. At this juncture, I wish to encourage for a savings culture especially in the informal sector through the superannuation funds that are now offering products to suit this category of business which continues to generate massive revenue outside of established businesses.

In terms of making law and justice systems better, we are recruiting more judges and magistrates, and we are recruiting more police and we are fighting corruption by establishing the Independent Commission Against Corruption. It is my pleasure to announce that we have appointed the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioners, and they will start work in 2023. These are the work we are doing thus far to improve law and order in the Country.

And I make an earnest appeal for our citizens to live within the laws of our country. This includes a complete stop to ethnic and all forms of violence and criminal activities, including violence girls and women. With a safe and secure environment, by a change of mindset and developing a National Character of Christianity we will secure our country’s future.

Whilst the Government is working to pay for our children’s school fees, build a better health and education sector, connect PNG with enabling infrastructures and deliver a safer country, I ask all of you, ‘what can you do for your Country?’

My simple request this Christmas is that you respect the laws of this country. As a Christian nation, Papua New Guinean must uphold Christian values at all times.

Christmas is of course a time for forgiveness. It is a time for extending the hand of friendship and reconciling past differences. It is also a time for prayer and fellowship, where collectively we seek the forgiveness of Jesus Christ for our past sins.

As Citizens all of us must play a role in developing our nation and building prosperity. Government cannot do it alone. We must stay strong to our Christian values of trust, love, and care, and we must serve our nation with dignity and respect and strictly abide to our established systems and processes. There is no other way.

To our nation’s public servants, I ask that you always put the interests of the State and our people ahead of your own. As we continue to develop and grow, we must eradicate corruption, embrace professionalism and increase our enthusiasm in the execution of our mandated responsibilities. By working in the service of others, each of you has been entrusted to do your duties with commitment and to the best of your knowledge.

As we prepare to celebrate Christmas, let us all take the time to reflect on our contributions, and how they can be translated into tangible socio-economic development outcomes for our common good and prosperity.

I wish you and your families a joyful and safe Christmas. I give you all my Government’s full commitment that we will work for you better in 2023 to make PNG better.

God bless you all, and God bless our great nation of Papua New Guinea.

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