Foreign relations of Papua New Guinea
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea's foreign policy reflects close ties with Australia and other traditional allies and cooperative relations with neighboring countries. Its views on international political and economic issues are generally moderate. Papua New Guinea has diplomatic relations with 56 countries.
Papua New Guinea belongs to a variety of regional organizations, including the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum; the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) (Papua New Guinea is an observer member of the ASEAN); the South Pacific Commission; the Pacific Islands Forum; the Melanesian Spearhead Group and the South Pacific Regional Environmental Program (SPREP).
Relations with Australia were strained in 2006 when Prime Minister Michael Somare was accused of having facilitated Julian Moti's escape to the Solomon Islands.1 Moti was wanted in Australia for serious alleged child sex offences. In retaliation, the Australian government banned Somare from entering Australia; all talks between Canberra and Port Moresby were suspended. In September 2007, relations began to thaw,2 and in December 2007, the new Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, met Sir Michael in Bali. Rudd announced what appears to be a normalisation of relations: "This relationship has been through a very difficult period in recent times. There has in effect been a freeze on ministerial contact between the two governments. I do not believe that's an appropriate way for the future."3
In the late 2000s (decade), Papua New Guinea began to strengthen its relations with Cuba. Cuba provides medical aid to the country.4 In September 2008, a PNG government representative attended the first Cuba-Pacific Islands ministerial meeting in Havana, aimed at "strengthening cooperation" between Cuba and Pacific Island countries, notably in coping with the effects of climate change.5
Date started: 1976
As of November 2005, relations with Pacific neighbor Fiji have been strained by revelations that a number of Fijian mercenaries have been operating illegally on the island of Bougainville, arming and training a rebel militia.
Official diplomatic relations were established in 1976. Papua New Guinea is a member of the United Nations' Special Committee on Decolonization. The French government has noted what it calls Port Moresby's "moderate" attitude on the issue of the decolonisation of New Caledonia - which, like Papua New Guinea, is located in Melanesia.6 The French National Assembly maintains a Friendship Group with Papua New Guinea.
Western New Guinea (which consists of two Indonesian provinces: Papua and West Papua) and Papua New Guinea share a 760-kilometre (470 mi) border that has raised tensions and ongoing diplomatic issues over many decades.7 Indonesia is represented in Papua New Guinea with an embassy in Port Moresby and a consulate in Vanimo.
The Independent State of Papua New Guinea and the People's Republic of China (PRC) established official diplomatic relations in 1976, soon after Papua New Guinea became independent. The two countries currently maintain diplomatic, economic and, to a lesser degree, military relations. Relations are cordial; China is a significant provider of both investments and development aid to Papua New Guinea.
On March 2009, The Philippines and Papua New Guinea entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that would enhance the cooperation between the two countries on the development of fisheries. The MoU will facilitate technology transfer in aquaculture development, promotion of shipping ventures, investments, technical training, joint research, and "strategic complementation" of each country’s plans in the "Coral Triangle" – or the waters between the Philippines, Indonesia, and the Pacific Islands.8 In the same year, Papua New Guinea asked the Philippines for help it its pursuit of membership to ASEAN.910
The U.S. and Papua New Guinea are signatories to the U.S.-Pacific Islands Multilateral Tuna Fisheries Treaty, under which the U.S. grants $18 million per year to Pacific Island parties and the latter provide access for U.S. fishing vessels. The U.S. also supports Papua New Guinea's efforts to protect biodiversity; the International Coral Reef Initiative is aimed at protecting reefs in tropical nations such as Papua New Guinea.
Papua New Guinea and the Commonwealth of Nations
Papua New Guinea has been a member state of the Commonwealth of Nations since 1975, when it gained independence from Australia.
- "PNG report says PM Somare should be charged over Moti escape". Radio New Zealand International. 16 July 2007. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
- "A bit of warmth returns". The Sydney Morning Herald. 10 September 2007.
- Nicholson, Brendan; Forbes, Mark (14 December 2007). "Solomons sacking ends chill". The Age (Melbourne).
- "Cuban Physicians to Aid 81 Nations". Cuba: Prensa Latina. Archived from the original on 2012-07-22. Retrieved 29 March 2008. "Havana, March 29 (Prensa Latina) Cuban doctors will travel to 81 nations to work as physicians in 2008, the director of the Central Unity of Cooperation of the Ministry of Public Health of the island Alberto Gonzalez emphasized. ... In that geographic region, he indicated, several Cuban medical brigades will be welcomed in the course of this year, fundamentally in Vanuatu, Tubalu, Nauru and Papua New Guinea, as in Laos, Congo and Benin."
- "Cuba-Pacific ministerial meeting underway in Havana", ABC Radio Australia, 17 September 2008
- "UN calls on France to give Caledonians chance of having independence.". The Sydney Morning Herald. 19 March 1987. Retrieved 2009-06-04.dead link
- "RP, Papua New Guinea sign MoU on fisheries". "MANILA, Philippines ? The Philippines and Papua New Guinea entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that would enhance the cooperation between the two countries on the development of fisheries, Malacañang said. ...The MoU will facilitate technology transfer in aquaculture development, promotion of shipping ventures, investments, technical training, joint research, and ?strategic complementation? of each country?s plans in the ?Coral Triangle? ? or the waters between the Philippines, Indonesia, and the Pacific Islands, according to a statement released by Malacañang."
- Papua New Guinea asks RP support for Asean membership bid Retrieved 8 July 2009
- Somare seeks PGMA's support for PNG's ASEAN membership bid Retrieved 8 July 2009