Papua New Guinea (PNG) needs to be strategic and proactive in its development aspirations, and it starts with the people, says PNG National Research Institute Acting Director Dr. Osborne Sanida.
In his Independence message to the PNG NRI staff while highlighting key global events to put into context PNG’s political independence and the road it has taken, Dr. Sanida reminded everyone, stressing, that “it is up to us to take action”.
“PNG is a part of the bigger global community and it needs to be strategic and proactive in its development aspirations; and the Preamble of our Constitution has set the foundation, it is up to us to take action,” he said.
Picking a part of the Preamble of the Constitution, Dr. Sanida further discussed its implications on contemporary PNG society and economy as a reminder that the power belongs to the people:
“That is, By authority of our inherent right as ancient, free and independent peoples WE, THE PEOPLE, do now establish this sovereign nation and declare ourselves, under the
guiding hand of God, to be the Independent State of Papua New Guinea.
“AND WE ASSERT, by virtue of that authority:
• that all power belongs to the people—acting through their duly elected representatives;
• that respect for the dignity of the individual and community interdependence are basic principles of our society;
• that we guard with our lives our national identity, integrity and self-respect;
• that we reject violence and seek consensus as a means of solving our common problems; and
• that our national wealth, won by honest, hard work be equitably shared by all” (Preamble of the constitution of PNG).
Dr. Sanida said “with a strategic approach, the Constitution and plans as a framework, and the guiding hand of the Almighty God, PNG can make much progress going forward into the future. I am very optimistic of this”.
Staff Representative to the PNG NRI Council Dr. Francis Odhuno, on the same token, said the positive contribution by every staff as individuals will show through the institution, overall, as contribution to the country.
“If we do it well, the journey won’t be wrong. We have to see progress. Take a step now and see in one year time the progress made.”
Dr. Odhuno also reminded staff to make a resolution to resolve matters through non-violent means and be good citizens, adding that harmony matters and everyone need to use diplomacy.
When giving views of the progress of women in PNG and how far they have come in the last 46 years, PNG NRI Senior Research Fellow Dr. Kilala Devette-Chee described it as slow but gradual in recent years.
“It took a very long time for women to get on par with men. But we need more women to reach the top,” she said in encouragement to the female staff of the Institute.
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Authorised for release by:
Dr. Osborne Sanida
PNG NRI Acting Director