The Commonwealth Secretary-General,Patricia Scotland is in Papua New Guinea this week where she met with Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister James Marape to discuss issues of mutual interest and strengthen partnerships between the Commonwealth and Papua New Guinea.

During her visit, the Secretary-General is emphasising the urgent need for action on climate change and commended Papua New Guinea’s efforts to address this critical issue.

She also highlighted the important role of young people in driving change and promoting sustainable development and praised the Papua New Guinea government’s commitment to empowering youth and promoting their participation in decision-making processes.

In addition, the Secretary-General announced the appointment of two new Champions for the Commonwealth’s “Say No More” campaign, which seeks to raise awareness and promote action against domestic and gender-based violence.

The newly appointed Champions are the PNG Attorney-General Pila Kole Niningiand the Governor of Port Moresby Powes Parkop, who will work alongside existing Champions to promote the campaign’s message across the country.

Speaking after the announcement, the Secretary-General stressed the need for urgent action to end violence against women, which she described as a “pervasive and destructive force” that undermines the well-being and security of individuals and communities across the Commonwealth. She emphasised the important role of men and boys in challenging attitudes and behaviours that perpetuate gender-based violence.

Whilst in PNG, the Secretary-General also met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Justin Tkachenko and Minister for Education Jimmy Uguro to discuss important issues from their portfolios and the Commonwealth’s various programmes and opportunities for collaboration.

The Secretary-General’s visit to Papua New Guinea reflects the Commonwealth’s ongoing commitment to strengthening partnerships with its member states and promoting sustainable development, human rights, and gender equality across the region.

The appointment of new Champions for the Say No More campaign underscores the Commonwealth’s determination to address one of the most pressing challenges facing the region today and to work towards a future where all individuals can live free from violence and discrimination.