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PNG yet to consider Pacific APEC help

Papua New Guinea’s Joint Security Task Force team is seriously looking at the design of the security environment before they make a decision on accepting Pacific Police personnel to assist with APEC 2018 Summit in November.

Pacific Island countries have expressed their sentiments to send their country police personnel to assist the RPNGC and PNGDF provide security when the leaders of 21 top nations meet in Port Moresby in November.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Wanmo Varo said that they were happy to have the Pacific Police come to PNG to help but they needed to firm up on administrative and operational issues in order to accept the pacific brothers and sisters.

“The Government through the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea has made it very clear that it is going to be a Pacific APEC,” ACP Varo said.

“It is welcoming, and we are encourages by that and we will support that direction that the Government is taking and we will definitely look at the design of the security environment as we firm up on administrative and operational issues.”

At the recent Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) meeting, leaders expressed commendation and their support to Prime Minister Peter O’Neill singling out that they stood ready to assist where necessary.

PM O’Neill reiterated that the 2018 APEC meeting in Port Moresby in November will be “Pacific-styled”.

“The 2018 APEC will truly be a Pacific-styled event clearly highlighting our cultures so we can advance some of our interests in this community,” O’Neill said.

“The involvement of the Pacific leaders in this Summit is very important. Despite the fact that we are small nations, we must continue to make our bigger brothers aware of our existence and continue to improve connectively with them and strengthen trade and investment.’’.

Meanwhile, the APEC Joint Security Task Force thanked the APEC Economy Governments of China, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, United States and Japan for assisting with the country’s security operation to prepare for the main APEC Summit in November.

Joint Security Task Force Police boss ACP Wanmo Varo told the Post-Courier there are more than 1000 security personnel now in training for the meeting and more are expected from RPNGC, PNGDF and CIS.

“I thank the people and government of Australia, China, New Zealand, Indonesia, United States, Japan and other economies for their continuous support to the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary to provide security for the APEC meeting this year,” Varo said.

“This is one of the exercises that will prepare us for the Senior Officials Meetings leading towards the November event when we host the APEC Leaders’ Summit.”

“This is a police-led exercise but it is a joint security exercise – the RPNGC, PNGDF and CIS and other 25 stakeholder partners from the Government and at this point in time, we have not firmed up the numbers but we have about 1000 in total the police.”

“The dry run exercise that the JSTF had this week was successful with a clear indication that the Police, Soldiers and CIS with the Government stakeholders and assistance from the APEC economies are ready for the event.”

PNGDF Commander Lari Opa said that the PNGDF play a supporting role and their contributions are done in several areas especially with their capabilities.

“We are also preparing all other agencies behind the scene to contribute in large numbers during the APEC Leaders’ week in November,” he said.

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