Joint statement of President Pranab Mukherjee and His Excellency Sir Michael

Joint statement to the press on the occasion of the state visit to Papua New Guinea by President Pranab Mukherjee and His Excellency Sir Michael OGIO, GCL GCMG, KST.J., Governor General of the Independent State Of Papua New Guinea

The President Shri Pranab Mukherjee and His Excellency Sir Michael Ogio, GCL GCMG, KST.J., Governor General of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea jointly addressed the Press at Papua New Guinea.

Joint Statement to the press on the occasion of the State Visit to
Papua New Guinea by the Honorable President of India Shri Pranab
The Honorable President of the Republic of India, Shri Pranab
Mukherjee, paid a two day State Visit to Papua New Guinea from 28- 30
April 2016, at the invitation of the Grand Chief, His Excellency Sir Michael
Ogio, GCL GCMG, KSt.J., Governor General of the Independent State of
Papua New Guinea.
His Excellency the Governor General received President Pranab
Mukherjee at Government House. Discussions between the two leaders
were marked by warmth and a shared desire to enhance the ties of
friendship and cooperation that define the relationship between the two
countries and their peoples.
During the talks, Minister for Sports, National Events and APEC
Hon'ble Justin Tkatchenko, Governor of West New Britain Province Hon'ble
Sasindran Muthuvel, Acting Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs, Mr.
William Dihm, Papua New Guinea's High Commissioner to Republic of
India H. E. Mr. Tarcisius Eri were present.
The Governor General, Sir Michael Ogio and President Pranab
Mukherjee exchanged views on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of
mutual interest. Both leaders underlined the close and friendly bilateral ties,
which are deep rooted in history and which hold great promise for the
future. The wide ranging and constructive discussions were held in a most
cordial atmosphere.
The Governor General, Grand Chief Sir Michael Ogio, reiterated his
Government's support for India's candidature for Permanent Membership of
the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), especially in light of the
constructive role played by India in different multilateral fora and in
recognition of India's continuous support for the issues that are central to
the concerns of Small Island Developing States.

Both leaders expressed confidence that Papua New Guinea with its
abundant natural resources and India with its managerial and technical
expertise presented complementarities which could be built upon for the
mutual benefit of the two countries.
They recognized that there exists great synergy and potential for
increased cooperation between the two countries. Papua New Guinea
looks forward to greater investments and larger trade volumes with India.
Both sides agreed to expedite the conclusion of a Bilateral Investment
Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA) to facilitate investments. Both
leaders agreed to enhance bilateral relations in the economic, security,
defence, education and health sectors.
Both leaders further agreed to establish a mechanism for regular
consultations between the Foreign Ministries of both countries aimed at
diversifying and further strengthening bilateral cooperation in areas of
shared interest.
In order to promote greater mutual understanding and to strengthen
people-to-people contacts, and India has extended visa-on-arrival facility
for the nationals of all Pacific Island Countries with effect from 2015. In a
gesture of reciprocity, the Government of Papua New Guinea announced
the facility of visa on arrival for Indian tourists travelling to Papua New
Guinea. Both leaders also witnessed signing of the Memorandums of
Understanding on Agriculture Research Cooperation between University of
Technology, Lae, Papua New Guinea and the Indian Council of Agricultural
The two sides finalised and signed a Memorandum of Understanding
(MOU) for broad ranging cooperation in the Health sector.
An MOU for an Indian line of credit of US$ 100 million for
development of infrastructure in PNG was also signed during the visit.
Both leaders welcomed the signing of another MoU under which India
will set up a Centre of Excellence in Information Technology in Papua New
The Honorable President of India announced that his Government
would provide retro-viral drugs and equipment for the treatment of 20,000

HIV patients in Papua New Guinea for one year. In response to this gesture
of goodwill, the Governor General thanked the President of India on behalf
of the people of Papua New Guinea.
The leaders agreed that the Forum for India and Pacific Islands
Cooperation (FIPIC) Summit has been highly successful in strengthening
the interaction between India and the Pacific region. They welcomed the
new intiatives and expressed satisfaction at the progress so far.
Both sides discussed bilateral cooperation in the area of maritime
security. Papua New Guinea welcomed India's offer of a coastal
surveillance radar system and coast guard patrol vessels .
Both sides further agreed to promote bilateral collaboration in disaster
management. In this regard, both leaders noted the endorsement by the
Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warnings Systems (RIMES)
Council in July 2015 of the establishment of the RIMES Sub-Regional Hub
for monitoring earthquake/tsunami and extreme weather patterns and
climatic conditions in Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Region in Papua
New Guinea with support from the Government of India.
The two leaders unequivocally condemned terrorism in all its forms
and manifestations and called upon all states to reject the use of terrorism
as an instrument of state policy.
Both leaders agreed to cooperate in building an international
consensus against support and financing of terrorist organisations. The two
sides agreed to strengthen cooperation in multilateral fora in combating
terrorism in all its manifestations and for the early adoption of India's
proposal for a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism in the
United Nations.

The Honourable President reiterated India's commitment to assist
Papua New Guinea in capacity building and human resource development.
India also offered to share its advanced techniques and technologies in the
agriculture sector. In this connection, the leaders welcomed the MoU
between the Indian Council for Agricultural Research and the Papua New
Guinea University of Technology, Lae.
Keeping in view India's desire to achieve energy security, Papua New
Guinea agreed to develop new avenues of cooperation with India in
exploration and development of Papua New Guinea's vast oil and gas
resources through joint ventures and Indian public and private sector
investment in new and existing projects.
Papua New Guinea welcomed the Government of India's initiative to
mobilise solar rich resource countries that lie between the Tropic of Cancer
and Tropic of Capricorn through the International Solar Alliance, which was
launched in Paris on the margins of COP21 last November.The Governor
General of Papua New Guinea reaffirmed Papua New Guinea's support
and expressed its desire to be a founding member of the International Solar
The leaders agreed that the visit of President Pranab Mukherjee to
the Independent State of Papua New Guinea has helped in strengthening
and deepening the bilateral relationship and opened new avenues and
sectors of cooperation for the benefit of the peoples of both countries.
President Pranab Mukherjee expressed his sincere gratitude to H.E.
Sir Michael Ogio for the warm welcome and gracious hospitality accorded
to him and his delegation. He invited the Governor General and the Prime
Minister to visit India at a mutually convenient date. The invitations were


President Pranab Mukherjee addressed the faculty and students of Papua New Guinea University today (29.4.2016).

Text of address by the Hon'ble President at the University of PNG
Distinguished members of the Faculty, Dear Students, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to be here amidst you this morning. I am touched by the warmth of the reception accorded to me and to my delegation since my arrival at your beautiful country. We bring to you the best wishes of the people of India.

As I make this historic visit – the first State Visit by a President of India to Papua New Guinea, I am accompanied by Dr. Sanjeev Kumar Balyan, Hon’ble Union Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare and senior Members of the Indian Parliament representing different political parties and different regions of India.

Just before entering this auditorium, I had the opportunity to pay my respects at the statue of Mahatma Gandhi that had been installed in 1997 by Late Hon'ble Bill Skate, the then Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea. Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Indian Nation continues, to this day, to be revered all over the world as a beacon of peace and apostle of non-violence. His vision and teachings remind humanity of the true values of harmonious co-existence and mutual respect and the need to work together for the equality and freedom of all individuals. In a world that is increasingly vexed by intolerance and extremism, the life and message of this great man remain an inspiring example of the power of truth and universal brotherhood.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have just had the honour of planting a sapling of a banyan tree to mark my visit to this University. The choice of the Banyan sapling is highly symbolic – as the Banyan is the national tree of the Republic of India and is considered by our people to be a sacred one and a symbol of eternal life. I have no doubt that as it grows and spreads its branches, this tree will signify the enduring friendship between people of India and people of Papua New Guinea.

Gandhiji had viewed education as an integrated approach to all round personality development. He was emphatic about the difference between ‘learning’ and true education, ‘knowledge’ and actual wisdom and between ‘literacy’ and the real lessons that we learn from life. We, in India, have tried to adhere to these principles as we pursue our goals in the education sector through our national planning and human resource development programmes.

As we succeed, India has always been happy to share her technical expertise with other developing countries. At the Second Summit of the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Co-operation held in Delhi and Jaipur in August last year, we had announced the doubling of the number of scholarships earmarked for students from the Pacific Island Countries under our Indian Technical and Economic Co-operation Programme. I invite more students from Papua New Guinea to take advantage of these schemes and attend our institutions of higher education and centres of excellence.

The Indian higher academic system was known the world over in past. There were some seats of higher learning like Nalanda, Takshashila, Vikramashila, Valabhi, Somapura and Odantapuri which dominated the world higher education system for almost eighteen hundred years from the beginning of the sixth century BC till 12th century AD. They attracted scholars from far and wide. University of Taxila was confluence of four civilizations. However, we can not claim that status today. That’s why we now focus on quality of education by establishing institutions of higher learning and technological institutions in different parts of India. There are 730 universities, 13500 colleges, 16 Indian Institute of Technologies and 30 National Institute of Technologies. Two Indian institutions are placed within the top 200 universities in the global ranking system. Two others are ranked within the top 20 young universities in the world.


Even though India is separated from this region by the oceans and continents, we attach high value to the close friendship that exists between India and the island countries of the Pacific Ocean. Our relationship is based on the strong foundation of our historical ties - forged by our cultural and economic exchanges over the centuries. These bonds have contributed to the mutual understanding between our Governments and our peoples and are at the root of our shared desire to collaborate in areas of our common interest.

The cooperation between our two countries at the United Nations and other multilateral fora has also been close and fruitful. India appreciates Papua New Guinea’s steadfast support for India’s candidature for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council and also the reforms of this world body which was established after the 2nd World war. At the present time, seven decades after the United Nations was created, we are agreed on the urgent need for reform of its organs to make them relevant and effective in the significantly altered world of the 21st century. We count on Papua New Guinea’s continued support and co-operation in the United Nations and other multilateral fora.

During the first Summit of the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Co-operation held at Fiji in November, 2014, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi had announced a number of initiatives for assisting the Pacific Island Countries. These were aimed at supporting their efforts towards their developmental goals and aspirations and addressing their specific concerns related to climate change and sustainable development. I am happy to note that my Government has delivered on these – through financial assistance, deputation of Indian experts to Papua New Guinea, training of your citizens in India and simplifying the visa process which has been reciprocated by Government of Papua New Guinea yesterday at the banquet hosted in my honour.

We believe that Papua New Guinea has a key role in India’s extended “Act East” policy and view this nation as a gateway to closer cooperation with the Pacific Island Countries. India stands ready to share other knowledge and experience in the field of renewable energy, sustainable agriculture and best practices for increasing food productivity. There are many complementarities between India and Papua New Guinea - on which our bilateral cooperation must be based. We are focussed on skills development and innovation with special emphasis on simple and cost effective technologies that are easily adapted to be locally relevant, efficient and successful. Our public sector enterprises and our private sector are keen to work with Papua New Guinea in harnessing its mineral, marine and hydrocarbon resources. As we identify the areas where we would both like to focus our joint efforts, I would say that in this area of cooperation the sky is the limit. We should waste no time in bringing the benefit of our cooperation to our peoples.

Before I conclude, young students, a few words for your success in future endeavours:

Your dreams will come true if you pursue them with courage; never hesitate to be an agent of positive change; judge your success not by your personal achievements alone - but by the harmony and advancement that it brings to the people around you.

With these words, I extend to you and, through you, to the people of Papua New Guinea, my heartfelt thanks for this memorable visit. May the friendship between our nations grow from strength to strength!

Thank you. 


Speech by Hon'ble President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee at the Banquet hosted in his honour by HE H.E. Sir Michael Ogio Governor General of Independent State of Papua New Guinea on 28 April, 2016

Your Excellency, Sir Michael Ogio,
Governor General of Papua New Guinea,
Your Excellency, Mr. Peter O’ Neill, Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

            It is a privilege for me to make this historic journey to Papua New Guinea - the first-ever State Visit by any Indian President to this beautiful country. Since we arrived, I have been struck by the splendour of Papua New Guinea’s pristine landscape.

            Excellency, let me begin by thanking you for the warm hospitality accorded to me and members of my delegation. I am accompanied by Dr. Sanjeev Kumar Balyan, Union Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare and senior Members of the Indian Parliament representing different political parties and different regions of India. I am deeply touched by the graciousness of your hospitality and the friendship of your people. We bring the good wishes of the people of India and a deep commitment to energising our relationship.

Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen, it was as early as the 8th Century AD that Indians first came to Papua. They were welcomed as friends. Over the centuries, they have continued to travel here - many families have settled here, working shoulder to shoulder with Papuans for development and growth. Today, the greater percentage of them are well educated professionals and businessmen whose contribution has been valued and appreciated. I take this opportunity to thank you and the successive generations of your people who have made them feel comfortable and secure in this beautiful land.
            Excellency, both our nations are bound by our common experience of colonial rule. Since independence, we have charted individual paths and traversed many hurdles to achieve economic progress. We now seek to work together as reliable partners to achieve our common aspirations of peace and security, prosperity and sustainable development in our regions.

            Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen, India has come a long way - from being a food-importing nation in the 1970s, to self-reliance in the production of grains and now a net exporter.  We have achieved this by developing high yielding varieties of seeds and improved methods and techniques of agriculture, dairy and poultry farming. Whether it is complex software and high precision equipment for our space and nuclear-power industry, or technology for harnessing renewable energy from the sun and wind, we have, today, developed advanced capabilities. These are cost effective, yet second to none in their efficacy – as our Missions to the Moon and Mars have proven. India would be happy to share experience and knowledge and expertise with the people of Papua New Guinea.

Excellency, you are blessed with fertile soil, lands rich in natural resources and abundant marine wealth.  Our public and private sector are keen to join you in exploring your gas and oil reserves, establishing downstream industries and developing the infrastructure that you require in the different sectors of your growing economy. We have much to offer. At this time - when both our nations have prioritised the sustainable use of ocean and marine resources, there are infinite opportunities that must be seized. The shifting of the centre of gravity of the global economy to this region is another compelling reason for our intensified co-operation in sectors of common interest. Let the universal values of 'Sulah-Kul' and 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' bind us closer as we determine to build on our complementarities.

Excellency, during his visit to this region in 2014, Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, had articulated the vision of my Government to build an enduring partnership between our nations and our peoples.  We consider our co-operation with the Islands of the Pacific to be a key component of our Act East Policy. A number of initiatives announced at the first FIPIC Summit have borne fruit and India remains committed to this process.

Excellency, I would once again like to thank you and say what a pleasure it is for me, personally, to be here. I take this opportunity to most cordially invite you to visit India and also to the Prime Minister for another visit to India. 

Thank you!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I invite you to join me in raising a toast:
·         To the health and well-being of Governor General Sir Michael Ogio;
·         To prosperity of the people of Papua New Guinea; and
·         To the enduring friendship between India and Papua New Guinea.


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