In a first, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister James Marape signed the New Zealand – Papua New Guinea Statement of Partnership yesterday.
Prime Minister Ardern says, “it is an important milestone in our relationship. This new Statement of Partnership reflects the importance we place on the close economic, cultural and people-to-people links our two countries have long shared.”
Prime Minister Marape acknowledged that New Zealand has always been a steady help to Papua New Guinea, more so over the last two years during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Thank you also for your interventions in the matter of the Bougainville Referendum and under your leadership we have been able to ramp up our warm relationship through the New Zealand – Papua New Guinea Statement of Partnership.”
During the virtual meeting the leaders also took the opportunity to discuss the APEC Informal Leaders’ Retreat on 16 July, strengthening Pacific regionalism and the COVID-19 situation in Papua New Guinea, including how New Zealand could continue to support the Government of Papua New Guinea’s COVID-19 response measures.
Image credit: NBC Papua New Guinea