Welcome Remarks by PNG NRI Acting Director, Dr. Osborne Sanida, at the Seminar presentation by Mr. Simon Sinai, Acting Electoral Commissioner, PNG Electoral Commission, and Mr. Kora Nou, Managing Director, National Broadcasting Corporation.
PNG NRI is mandated to conduct applied social and economic research to contribute to finding solutions to the issues or problems faced by PNG in its development endeavours. Part of this mandate is to provide avenue for discussions and/or debate by key stakeholders to ensure important issues are debated or disseminated for informed decision-making to address PNG’s social and economic development.
The Institute is aware of the importance of the 2022 National Elections. Therefore, leading up to the Elections, the NRI Council has approved a program focusing on issues relating to election preparation, election observation and post-election governance matters. Considering this, I have invited key agencies that have a key role to play in the effective and efficient preparation for successful 2022 PNG National General Elections. These presentations provide much-needed information for the wider public in the interest of good governance and a free and fair election.
In the past two weeks, we have had presentations by the Department of Provincial and Local-level Government Affairs (DPLGA) and the Royal PNG Constabulary (RPNGC).
Today, we are privileged and honoured to have the Heads of two important organisations make the presentations: Mr Simon Sinai, Acting Electoral Commissioner, PNG Electoral Commission (PNGEC) and Mr Kora Nou, Managing Director (MD), National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC).
As we are all aware, the PNGEC is the primary mandated institution for preparing and conducting elections. I acknowledge the important role that the Commission plays and has played over the years since Independence in conducting not only the National and LLG Elections but also By-Elections. These have often been done in trying circumstances in light of different constraints affecting the conduct of elections. We are grateful to Mr Sinai for accepting our invitation to make his presentation on the very vital role that the PNGEC plays and in particular, the plans for the 2022 National General Elections. I also note that the Electoral Commissioner is also the Chairman of the Electoral Boundaries Commission (ECB) and so, some light on the work of the ECB would be welcome as well.
The Media plays a vital role in running successful elections, particularly in a democracy, where information should be shared for the benefit of all stakeholders. To represent the media, we invited the NBC to make a presentation on its role in the planning and delivery of the 2022 Elections. In particular, in light of its extensive national reach and coverage through radio and TV. Thank you MD, Mr. Nou, for accepting our invitation to make the presentation.
Finally, thank you all our invited guests and the media for making time available to attend this seminar. In keeping with the current measures on meetings in light of COVID-19, we have kept attendance within the allowable limit (20 maximum heads). Considering this we are providing the virtual or online attendance option, so I also welcome all who are with us virtually/online.