“Instilling an Effective National Conscience for Real Development and Progress in the next 45 years”

My Fellow Citizens,

Today, we commemorate our nation’s 47th Independence Anniversary.

We do so on this occasion, with the passing of Her Majesty the Queen, our Head of State.

On our Independence anniversary, we also celebrate the legacy of our Queen on a remarkable lifelong service and devotion to her role as monarch, the Commonwealth of nations, to her country and to her role as our Head of State.

Lady Emeline and I are traveling to London along with our Prime Minister to represent our country at the Funeral Service of the Queen on September 19th, this date is now declared a Public Holiday in honour of the passing of the Queen.

As we reflect on the achievements and challenges over the last 46 years, we must determine in our hearts to forge ahead with renewed hope and optimism to work together and united to develop our individual self to make a country a better and prosperous nation for us and the future generations.

There must be a yardstick that measures and reviews our progress and achievements, as a Nation, that delivers real outcome that will bring change and improvements to our lives in the immediate and long term.

It is clear, that if we are to prosper and be on par with our economically vibrant countries within our proximity, we must strictly uphold the principles of democracy, rule of law, transparency, good governance and accountability, respect for one another and freedom of speech, among others.

These are the basic tenets of democracy that we must fully understand and embrace in order to establish a sense of identity and nationhood as a sovereign nation.

I call on us all to respect, uphold and instill in our people, especially our children, and future generations, the core fundamental values that we as a nation adopted since 1975.

On reflection, since1975, we were managing the economy and tracking very well by respecting and adhering to our established systems and processes.

However, somewhere along the way, we faltered and attempts by past Governments to correct these challenges were developed with sound economic and fiscal policies, but which are yet to be fully realized.

Our people in rural communities need to physically see and benefit from service delivery in the unreached rural PNG.

The decision to be more rural-focused and harness the agriculture sector deserves commendation and must now be fully implemented as we approach 50 years of nationhood.

 I want to make an urgent appeal for immediate and strict adherence and respect for the rule of law by all citizens. I make this call given the escalating law and order situation nationwide. There is a daily occurrence of horrendous and cowardly acts of violence, including murder and mayhem in the most callous manner, which we never witnessed before in our urban centres and cities. The most recent occurred outside the Sir John Guise Stadium here in Port Moresby, during the National Elections period, that saw knife-wielding men attacking passersby and bringing the city to a standstill.

The continuing cowardly act of torture among our women suspected of sorcery especially in the Highlands, rape and harassment of our mothers and sisters, and the infiltration of our cities with tribal warfare, are all condemned in the highest order and must cease once and for all.

We must all be free to move around in our cities and towns without fear and intimidation any time of the day and night, and conduct business and not be prevented to do so, by thugs and hooligans.

I also call upon Law enforcement agencies to act immediately within your Mandates to curtail, curb and cease all kinds of illegal activities and make our environment safe for all law-abiding citizens.

The road ahead to our 50th Anniversary in the next three years is not bleak, but promising with current innovative plans and initiatives

Let me once again reiterate my encouragement for a major shift of our mindset and the ingraining of a National Conscience that entails national identity, unity and partnership that greatly contributes to our development agenda, peace and prosperity for our nation now and into the future.

No one can do this for us, but ourselves, and that must happen now, and not tomorrow. 

Happy 47th Independence Papua New Guinea!

Thank you,