The National Parliament has approved the establishment of the APEC Papua New Guinea 2018 Co-ordination Authority.
In presenting the Bill to the Parliament, the Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, said hosting APEC is an opportunity for Papua New Guinea to demonstrate to the world the capabilities of the nation.
“Increasing our participation in APEC is important for Papua New Guinea to ensure our national perspective is heard as barriers to trade are reduced and economies become more integrated,” PM O’Neill said.
“When we host APEC, Papua New Guinea will be responsible for guiding policy discussion and development on a range of substantive issue.
“If the logistics for Papua New Guinea’s APEC events are not properly planned and implemented, policy outcomes will be undermined and our national reputation tarnished.
“APEC will require a whole-of-government approach to ensure the success of our hosting year from both a policy and logistics perspective.
Papua New Guinea must demonstrate our capacity, as a growing economy, to host high level events and facilitate policy discussion.”
The Authority will be led by a Chief Executive Officer who will be responsible for delivering all logistical elements for up to 200 APEC meetings and events that will take place between now and the end of 2018.
New Zealand has offered to provide a Chief Executive Officer with experience with APEC and hosting high-level events and discussions are now underway to facilitate this recruitment process.
The Prime Minister said work will begin in earnest with the APEC Authority having five months until the first high-level meeting to be held in Papua New Guinea.
“The Policy Partnership on Women in the Economy, and the High Level Meeting on Human Capacity Building will bring around 500 delegates from each of APEC’s other 20 member economies to Port Moresby in May.
“Full APEC protocols and arrangements will be followed in preparing for this event that will cover delegate accommodation, meeting venues, hospitality and delegate safety and security.”
A national government operations taskforce comprised of senior departmental officials will provide oversight of the Chief Executive Officer and APEC Authority, while strong financial controls will be in place to ensure accountability.
The Minister responsible for Finance will establish an APEC PNG 2018 Supply and Tenders Board to ensure procurement can be undertaken quickly and efficiently so that the state can get the best value for money.
The authority will be automatically wound up following the completion of the APEC Leaders’ Meeting in 2018.