Wednesday 9 August, 2023

The recent  state visit to Papua New Guinea  by the President of the Republic of France, His Excellency Emmanuel Macron,   was focused on  strengthening  territories and building  new international consensus.

In a joint press conference at APEC Haus on Friday 29 July  2023, President Macron highlighted France’s commitment in ensuring that   it orientates  itself more  with two main objectives -climate change and the strategic and military security in the Indo-Pacific space.

He added, the second major objective is to build a new international consensus that reconciles the fight against poverty and the fight against climate change and its impact on protecting the world’s biodiversity.

“These two strategies concur perfectly and have been put in place in the bilateral plan.”

In regards to defence and security, France has  signed an agreement regarding defence and the statures of the armed forces and have agreed to identify new areas of cooperation,

Both President Macron  and Prime Minister James Marape  had a  one hour Walking One-on-One  meeting along the two kilometre Variarata trek  to the  Look Out, to demonstrate  both countries’ commitment to  Climate Change and Biodiversity bilateral plan.

 Prime Minister James Marape said the walking in the park sends a message to the world that forests on this planet need to be managed, preserved, and harvested ethically, with sustainability deeply ingrained in the practice of managing forest resources. 

“The walk in the park and shared bilateral meeting both had positive outcomes for our nation,” PM Marape said.

Both the French Republic and the inhabitants of Papua New Guinea found the trek to be historically significant and exciting.

The lookout was named after the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, which was  initiated by   Prime Minister Marape, with  assistance of the Conservation  and Environment Protection Authority and Climate Change Development Authority.

President Macron promised Papua New Guinea at the bilateral   meeting that France was prepared to provide financing of EUR$63 million (K238 million) for the PNG Forests, Climate Change, and Biodiversity (FCCB) intervention program between 2021 and 2024.

One of the initiatives highlighted in the visit was  the Managalas Conservation Reserve area in the Northern Province.

Members of the Northern Provincial Government lead by Governor Gary Juffa, as well as leaders of the Managalas rainforest protected area, expressed their gratitude to the French President for his support, and  welcomed him to a traditional Oro ritual at APEC Haus.

President Macron brought with him two leaders of the Pacific, the President of French Polynesia and the President of New Caledonia, as well as two ministers of State and all his delegation.

Meantime during the fruitful bilateral meeting was the announcement of the opening of the French office in Papua New Guinea, where French will run all their programs here in the country.

French President Emmanuel Macron (left) and Prime Minister James Marape, at a press conference at APEC Haus, Port Moresby, on Friday 29 July 2023

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