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Papua New Guinea’s first ever National Security Policy (NSP) was unveiled by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill last Friday at Murray Barracks.
This historic document, which is designed to address all of the country’s security-related issues, was launched along with the PNG Defence Force White Paper.
The launch was preceded by an aerial air show led by the PNGDF Air Element’s CASA aircraft and two Australian government-funded civilian helicopters. The aircrafts did a flyover before a PNGDF long range reconnaissance squadron rappelled out of the helicopters to personally hand-deliver the policy paper to the Prime Minister for commissioning.
O’Neill, upon launching the new policy, said he was proud to have achieved one of three national priorities that had been agreed upon by the Chief Secretary, the NEC and the Office of the PM at the start of this year.
“We agreed to develop this policy within three years and I stand here pleased that we have done it in 12 months," he said and added PNG’s national security lacked cohesion and effective coordination since independence.
The country’s response to security issues has been largely disjointed as a result, he said. “Our national security institutions have been neglected to the extent where they lack appropriate capabilities to provide effective public safety and protection of our natural resources and our international borders. The National Security Policy is our answer to the collaborative security issues of our country,” he said.
In a bid to water down concerns of inter-departmental rivalry, the PM said the new policy paper will not reduce or impede the key functions and responsibilities of individual agencies like the Royal PNG Constabulary or the PNGDF. Instead it will provide a platform upon which security can be coordinated throughout the length and breadth of the nation.
The Government is also committed to addressing and improving security domes-tically as well as internationally. But it is also every citizen’s responsibility to maintain security, said O’Neill before thanking staff who drafted the new policy.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
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