Friday 28 July 2023
The APEC Terminal at Jackson’s International Airport in Port Moresby was a sight to behold as it brimmed with vibrant colors and a sense of anticipation to welcome His Excellency Emmanuel Macron, the President of the Republic of France, on his State Visit to Papua New Guinea on Thursday, 27 July 2023.
Accompanying President Macron were esteemed Pacific leaders of the two countries who have historic ties with the French – the President of New Caledonia, Mr Louis Mapou and the President of French Polynesia, Mr Moetai Brotherson, moreover adding to the significance of the diplomatic occasion.
Led by the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Hon. James Marape, the event saw a distinguished gathering of state leaders, including NCD Governor Hon. Powes Parkop and Minister for National Events Hon. Justin Tkatchenko, Chairman of Motu Koita Assembly, Mr Dadi Toka Jnr, Chief Secretary to Government, Mr Ian Pomaleu accompanied by heads of Government agencies..
The momentous occasion of the President’s arrival was marked by a solemn 21-gun salute, and a Guard of Honour, symbolizing the deep respect and honor bestowed upon a Visiting Head of State and Government.
The atmosphere was electrified with traditional songs sung by the talented cultural groups present at the airport, accompanied by the stirring melodies of the Military band.
In his address, Prime Minister James Marape expressed heartfelt gratitude to all the participating entities for extending a warm welcome to President Macron and the visiting Presidents from New Caledonia and French Polynesia.
He emphasized the significance of the visit and its potential to strengthen the ties between Papua New Guinea and France, as well as enhance the cooperation between the French territories and Papua New Guinea.
President Macron’s itinerary in Papua New Guinea encompassed a one-day stay, during which he visited the prestigious Variarata National Conservation Park on Friday.
The President had the opportunity to witness firsthand the breathtaking natural beauty of the park, underscoring the importance of conservation efforts and environmental protection.
The bilateral meeting between President Macron and Prime Minister Marape was eagerly anticipated.
During their Walking One-On-One meeting along the Variarata trek, both leaders discussed areas of mutual interest, with a particular focus on environmental conservation and climate change.
The signing of various documentations also took place, aimed at exploring how France and the French territories can collaborate to support Papua New Guinea’s conservation endeavors.
The visit of President Emmanuel Macron, along with the Presidents of New Caledonia and French Polynesia, not only signified a remarkable diplomatic milestone for all involved but also underscored the shared commitment to safeguarding the environment and promoting sustainable practices in the Pacific region.
Papua New Guinea embraced this visit with open arms, cherishing the opportunity to foster deeper ties and collaborations with France and its territories in the realm of conservation and beyond.
As the sun set on that memorable day, Papua New Guinea looked forward to the fruitful discussions and meaningful outcomes that undoubtedly shaped the future of environmental stewardship and bilateral relations between the two nations and their Pacific neighbors.