It is with deep sadness and concern that I condemn the recent deaths and escalating violence in Papua New Guinea, including in Porgera and Port Moresby, over the course of the 2022 National Election.
My heart goes out to the grieving families in one of our largest Pacific nations.
It is a stark reminder of the fundamental responsibility our Leaders hold to ensure the right to safety and the protection afforded by the rule of law across all our communities, and particularly for the most vulnerable members of society.
The supreme law and founding constitutions of our Forum nations, and the fundamental rights and protections they offer for all, must surely prevail.
Just over a week ago, our Forum Leaders welcomed and endorsed the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent, which is underpinned by the wellbeing and security of our Pacific people.
All Forum Leaders are fully committed to ensuring the democratic and human rights of all Pacific citizens across our sea of islands.
Our nations embrace good governance, the full observance of democratic principles and values, the rule of law, the defence and promotion of all human rights, gender equality, and commitment to just societies.
Our people value peaceful, safe, and stable communities and countries, ensuring robust security and wellbeing for all.
I recognise that implementing the rule of law and justice across the more remote parts of our region is challenging, but it is critical.
I commend those who are moving swiftly, with urgency and determination, to end the brutality and damage displacing thousands of those impacted most by internal conflict. It is my prayer and my call that justice be done, addressing the underlying causes of such conflicts to prevent it happening again.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the victims, and to the Leaders and people of Papua New Guinea as they work to resolve this evolving issue.
The Forum stands ready to support the government and people of Papua New Guinea in any way it can.