The second constitutionally mandated post-referendum consultations between Papua New Guinea and Bougainville leaders about independence for Bougainville are being planned for late June 2021. Bougainville President Ishmael Toroama stated a goal of independence and full United Nations membership by
Papua New Guinea will conduct its tenth national election in 2022. A by-election held this week for the Port Moresby North West (MNW) electorate provides a preview of what to expect next year.
In PNG, a by-election is required when a vacancy occurs more than a year before the return of writs
The April election in Samoa has set off a constitutional crisis that finds two rival leaders in a deadlock over the prime minister’s office and threatens the foundations of the country’s political institutions. Samoa is not the first country in the region to find itself in such a predicament.
A video recently surfaced on social media in Papua New Guinea, featuring a group of about 20 men, gathered around their apparent leader, declaring war on Indonesia.
“People of East Sepik,” the leader says, referring to one of the two provinces which stretch along PNG’s northern coastline
Book review: Gëzim Visoka, John Doyle and Edward Newman (eds) Routledge Handbook of State Recognition (Routledge 2019)
At the school hall in Buka, in that heady hour after the declaration of Bougainville’s referendum result in December 2019 – a thumping 97.7% in favour of independence –
When we look at progress in decentralisation in Papua New Guinea over the last 20 years – the sole continuous and overriding policy priority of successive governments – many challenges remain to improve downstream service delivery. Programming for “social accountability” shifts the focus
At present, Port Moresby’s sports fields are silent. The Covid-19 pandemic has temporarily halted what would ordinarily be a gathering in the Papua New Guinea capital of deafening crowds to enjoy high-spirited games.
Hopefully once the virus is brought under control, the excitement will return.
Corruption is one of the biggest challenges in Papua New Guinea, according to Transparency International PNG. In 2020, the government successfully established the Independent Commission Against Corruption to protect government systems and provide whistleblowers a mechanism for reporting complaints.
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound impact globally, with more than 114 million cases and 2.5 million deaths. With 1365 cases and 14 deaths, Papua New Guinea has fared better than most, even though experts believe the infection rate is much higher than reported. The recent rise in reported
Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare led Papua New Guinea to independence, became the first prime minister of the newly sovereign nation, and served as head of government for 17 of its 45 independent years. More than that, Somare was the living symbol of the country’s fierce spirit of self-determination
Each week, it seems we hear about new cases of violent killings linked to tribal warfare in Hela Province, in the heart of Papua New Guinea. Reports emerged last week of 19 dead, including a mother and her child, with thousands more displaced.
This is just the latest of a series of gruesome
So was this serious? Or have the past month’s political events been a cunningly disguised economic rescue package for Papua New Guinea’s resort and restaurant industries?
It was more than a month ago that PNG was thrown into political crisis when Deputy Prime Minister Sam Basil led a
Another season of turmoil has swept politics in Papua New Guinea. The Supreme Court has ruled the recent budget sitting to be unlawful, ordering the parliament to resume on Monday while the prospect a no confidence motion in Prime Minister James Marape hangs in the air.
But for all the raucous
F.R. Stockwell was a British officer of the old school, the grandfather of a friend of mine who writes historical crime novels. Stockwell had a wonderful maxim about political meetings:
Decide before you have a meeting whether it is meant to achieve anything substantive. If it isn’t, hold it in
Papua New Guinea’s 2021 National Budget was passed in the parliament on November 17 under unusual circumstances. The traditional pre-budget lockup for economists and media was cancelled, and no opposition was present. Parliament was reconvened quickly by the Speaker following a defection of
That late November 2020 would herald a period of potential political instability in Papua New Guinea was a given. It has been 18 months since James Marape ousted Peter O’Neill as the country’s prime minister, and a grace period protecting Marape from a vote of no confidence is due to
The Maseratis are still collecting dust in sheds on a wharf in Port Moresby, but the sun has started to shine on at least one of the major deals Papua New Guinea gained from hosting the APEC Leaders Summit back in 2018.
The PNG Electrification Partnership committed the leaders of Japan, the United
Following weeks of anticipation, the people of Bougainville woke on Wednesday to news of a new president-elect. Former Bougainville Revolutionary Army Commander Ishmael Toroama, from Central Bougainville, will take up the mantle of president from John Momis.
Toroama was a popular
Book review: Mark Moran and Jodie Curth-Bibb (eds) Too Close to Ignore (Melbourne University Press, 2020)
Borders have been in the news in Australia, with the novel if frustrating experience of interstate pandemic restrictions leaving residents unable to cross previously free borders to access
Judging by recent satellite imagery, it appears that significant progress is being made on an expansion and upgrade project at Momote Airport, the nearest airfield to Lombrum Naval Base on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. The runway’s usable length has been extended by about 200 metres, precision
The resilience and stability of Papua New Guinea is under growing strain as the country navigates what has already been an unprecedented year. Beyond the increase in Covid-19 cases and the effect the virus is having on lives and livelihoods, the government has overcome a court challenge to the
There must be days when Papua New Guinea Police Commissioner David Manning wonders what he has signed himself up for.
On Friday night, he revealed that his officers had found a ute-load of plastic-wrapped cocaine, just days after discovering an Australian-registered light plane that had
Campaigns for presidential and parliamentary elections are underway in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. A three-week poll commences in mid-August with results expected by mid-September.
No matter who will be the president or members of the 39-seat House of Representatives, a daunting task
There’s been little rest for democracy in Bougainville.
After a break of a few months, the Autonomous Region of Papua New Guinea is plunging back into politics, with elections formally launched this week for its regional House of Representatives.
Coronavirus had forced a delay to the process,
When it comes to mobile networks in the Pacific Islands region, Digicel is dominant. More than 2.6 million subscribers mean its SIM cards power more handsets in the region than any other provider.
But the telco’s US$7 billion debt has been
Papua New Guinea has grappled with economic instability for years, exacerbated by generally declining global commodity prices, increasing national debt and allegations of fiscal mismanagement. None of this is helped by high rates of population growth and unemployment. Now the coronavirus pandemic
Papua New Guinea remains one of the most dangerous places in the world to give birth.
Many women and girls walk kilometres for days when heavily pregnant in order to access health facilities. Just ten years ago, women and girls in rural districts would only visit a clinic as a place “to go die
One of Papua New Guinea’s most prominent social media users is also one of its most prominent politicians. Police Minister Bryan Kramer etched out a profile as one of the country’s most recognisable figures first as a blogger, then as a vocal opposition MP, and now as a member of the
Jon Philp, who commenced as Australian High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea early this month, is the 16th to serve as Australia’s lead diplomatic representative in Port Moresby. I know from experience that the role is unlike any other in the Australian foreign service. The incumbent has the
West Papuans continue to fight for independence with the support of many Pacific nations. Despite Indonesia’s opposition and the recent impact of COVID-19 on the region, the resolution of West Papuan grievances may have stalled but nationalist sentiment has not been quelled.
For a few weeks it has seemed like PNG might have been engaged in a “phony war” against coronavirus.
Only two cases had been confirmed across the nation of around nine million people. One was a foreign mine worker who was quickly sent out of the country once his positive test was confirmed.
It’s been a volatile week for the PNG Hunters.
The Papua New Guinea rugby league team was celebrating on Sunday after staging a late comeback to clinch a 32-30 win against the Souths Logan Magpies in the first round of the Queensland Intrust Super Cup last weekend.
The Hunters were supposed to
Ambullua is a remote community located in upper Jimi District, Jiwaka Province, in the Highlands Region of Papua New Guinea. The population of approximately 7000 is almost entirely reliant on the Catholic Church for basic services, with minimal government or donor assistance.
The journey to
A review is underway into Australian aid policy, with consultations run across the country, and the public, scholars, and aid groups alike offering submissions – some of which are expected to be released in the coming weeks. Early indications from the Minister for International Development and
Bougainville’s president John Momis has long been a towering figure in local politics. President for two consecutive terms since 2010, he was a leading instigator of the archipelago’s early secessionist movement in the 1970s while still a Catholic priest, then an important facilitator during the
The recent announcement of the Papua New Guinea (PNG) Government to cease all negotiations with one of the United States’ largest oil and gas companies, Exxon Mobil, over the P’nyang LNG project, a new gas field in PNG, has broader implications for the US and Papua New Guinea.
At first glance
In a referendum to decide on a future political relationship with Papua New Guinea, a 97.7% majority of Bougainvillean voters have chosen independence. The referendum voting process is now formally closed. A 40-day petition period passed without any complaint lodged, and international observer
As 2019 winds up, Lowy Institute staff and Interpreter contributors offer their favourite books, articles, films, or TV programs this year. Or in this case, a destination…
As far as capital-cities-as-a-bubble go, Papua New Guinea’s Port Moresby is probably the world’s most effectively en-
Piled into the back of an overcrowded ute – appropriately named the “Highway Slave”, although formally known as a Public Motor Vehicle – we made the nine-hour expedition across bumpy, unsealed roads and through rivers without bridges to the district of Siwai to act as observers in
“Joyous” and “excited” aren’t the first adjectives I normally reach for to describe Buka town, but they are the ones that best encompass the mood here these referendum days.
Buka is the administrative capital of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville and centre of operations of the two-
Regional museums and arts centres in Australia and Papua New Guinea are, in general, underfunded or insecurely funded. Yet these places offer significant opportunities for cultural, social, and economic development in remote and regional areas. The cultural heritage and arts sectors hold unrealised
For two weeks from this Saturday, Bougainvilleans will exercise their right to say whether their autonomous archipelago on the eastern edge of Papua New Guinea should become an independent country. This long-awaited referendum was at the heart of the 2001 Bougainville Peace Agreement, which marked
PNG’s supplementary budget passed the parliament last month (October) and represented Prime Minister James Marape’s first tangible policy stance after forming government in May. Compared to the previous forecast, major changes could be seen everywhere – in expenditure, debt, and revenue. PNG
This article is based on the podcast series “Developing” featuring interviews with PNG journalists, industry leaders, and politicians.
Papua New Guinea has gained a reputation – at least, in international reporting on the country – for being corrupt, violent and poor, yet also a
Papua New Guinea is in the grips of a confusing debate about the state of the 2019 national budget, including the Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey, Shadow Treasurer Joseph Lelang, and former prime minister Peter O’Neill. It is difficult to determine who is stating the facts as a matter of national