Tuesday, September 27, 2011

O’Neill tells United Nations: Papua New Guinea on target

Caption: Prime Minister Peter O'Neill addressing the United Nations general assembly in New York City last Friday.
Caption: Prime Minister Peter O'Neill addressing the United Nations general assembly in New York City last Friday.

PRIME Minister Peter O'Neill has told the Uni­ted Nations general assembly that Papua New Guinea had achieved some of its national millennium development goals, The National reports.
Addressing world lea­ders for the first time since taking up office last month, O'Neill said since the publication of the inaugural MDG report in 2004, PNG had produced two MDG pro­gress reports – a summary report in 2009 and a more comprehensive report last year.
He said the reports showed that PNG was able to achieve some of the national MDG targets, especially on po­verty reduction and child mortality.
On poverty reduction, he said the country got the informal sector involved in cottage industries with growing access to microfinance services at user-friendly and affordable rates.
In terms of primary education, PNG was progressing well with the enrolment of children in Grades 1 to 6 increasing significantly by 53%, he told the assembly.
"This is a marked improvement and will increase the literacy rate in the long term," he said.
O'Neill told world lea­ders that PNG had welcomed and formalised the "One UN – Delivering as One" concept in 2006 as a model self-starter country.
He said PNG continued to benefit from a strong UN presence through its delivery of various development programmes.
"This has unified all the efforts of the separate UN agencies under one budgetary framework and monitoring and evaluation process,'' he said.
He said a new country programme for PNG to begin next January would target governance,
social justice, health, education, gender, environment, climate change and disaster management.
He said the government had recently announced a free education policy from elementary Grades 1 to 10, and subsidised fees from Grades 11 to university next year.
On health, O'Neill said PNG aimed to address key areas such as improving immunisation programmes, providing a clean and safer water supply, centralising the purchase and supply of drugs, maternal and child mortality, malaria, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and other communicable diseases

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