Restoring International, Community Confidence Priority for Foreign Affairs says Minister Tkatchenko

Sunday 21 January 2024

Foreign Affairs Minister Hon. Justin Tkatchenko,  has moved to immediately address the task and challenges that lay ahead for the Department of Foreign Affairs, moving forward.

Minister Tkatchenko who was reinstated last Thursday 18 January, while thanking the Prime Minister and Government for the confidence of  his reappointment, outlined a priority list for the department – an immediate work-plan of the Marape-Rosso Government following the events of Wednesday January 10.

Minister Tkatchenko said that it is paramount and is an immediate priority for Foreign Affairs, to regain the confidence of the international community and organisations here and abroad.

“My main objective is to bring back confidence to the international communities, organisations and those who live in PNG, and making sure that they understand and have all crucial and important information in relation to the national government’s approach in dealing with the aftermath of the recent events in Port Moresby and the Country.”

“It took one day to destroy all our hard work, and efforts we have put over the last 16 months, but we are resilient, we will turn this around and come back bigger and better.

“Our job is to bring back the confidence of the international communities and giving them assurance through the implementation of our governments policies and reforms in dealing with this matter especially when it comes to Security.”

Minister Tkatchenko added that the Department is also committed to coordinating and working  with the missions, organisations and honorary counsel going forward.

“The department will work to ensure that information in relation to how the government will roll out assistance, programs, projects and laws and regulations in relation especially to security in the country, is available to everyone concerned.”

The third priority as outlined by the Minister, is to work closely with all international partners and missions to implement outstanding Agreements, Treaties and MOU’s that the government had undertaken and signed.

This also includes working with other government departments to assist in implementing these agreements and treaties that have already been signed and agreed to.

“We must deliver Outcomes we have agreed to for the benefit of our Country and those we Partner with.”

Minister Tkatchenko said that the fourth priority is to ensure the Foreign Policy White Paper is professionally completed.

He said the Foreign Policy White Paper is an all-important document that will guide PNG on all Foreign Policy arrangements and directions now and into the future.

“It’s an important document that sets the guidelines for the benefit of our country’s reputation and wellbeing.”

The fifth priority for the department is to complete all reforms and restructure, and the long overdue corporate plan.

“There is lack of qualified staff in Foreign Affairs and we will ensure all positions are filled with reputable highly educated Papua New Guineans.”

Additionally, Minister Tkatchenko said that it will be a priority to ensure that all Foreign Mission positions that we have around the world are occupied by genuine, experienced and qualified Papua New Guineans.

“We need to ensure that we fill all positions this year to fulfil the duties and roles of Heads of Missions to implement our government’s directives and decisions in those countries.”

“Working with international missions here and abroad, it is our responsibility to ensure all our obligations to the organisations are fulfilled, paid for and secure so we can participate at these important meetings around the world that benefits our country.”

“We will also continue to re-fleet all overseas missions and upgrade, renovate and restore them to a professional and modern standard.”

Minister Tkatchenko thanked the government for the continued support in the substantial budget allocation for 2023 and now 2024 National Budgets.

This he said will enable the implementation of the department’s programs and activities without hinderance and achieve our goals and objectives at the highest   2024