The new year began on a solemn note for the people of Papua New Guinea, who spent the first week of January paying respects and tributes to former prime Minister the late Sir Mekere Morauta, who was laid to rest on Independence Hill, Port Moresby on January 8th, 2021. As part of their coverage, PNG's first TV station EMTV did tribute interviews remembering 'Sir Mek' --amongst them, Online Editor Ruth Rungula spoke to Forum Secretary General, Dame Meg Taylor. Listen to the interview, transcript below.
Ruth Rungula EMTV --Dame Meg- we know Mekere contributed, (as ) the chair of the Pacific plan review and with you at the helm of the Pacific Island forum now, what regional legacy will Sir Mekere Morauta be most remembered for?
Dame Meg --I believe that the reform of the Pacific plan and the inception of the framework for Pacific regionalism, which I was asked to implement, this came from the work that Sir Mekere Morauta did, in consultation with people through the Pacific and governments. That will be his legacy here in this region, that what he emphasized was that it was important that the conversations and deep conversation about regionalism continued, that politics be brought back into the region, and that the voice of the people be heard-- that their concerns be listened to, by leaders and by governments...
The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat conveys its deepest condolences to the people of Papua New Guinea on the recent passing of Sir Mekere Morauta, former Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, on Saturday 19th December 2020.
“A formidable individual, Sir Mekere led and was instrumental in the comprehensive regional review, the 2013 Review of the Pacific Plan, which birthed the Framework for Pacific Regionalism – a visionary mandate for regional cooperation, political settlement and inclusive regional policy development,” said Dame Meg Taylor, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum.
“It is important that we continue to reflect on Sir Mekere’s review, because the concerns he raised in relation to the region’s vulnerabilities and dependencies - and the need for us to work together to overcome these – are as urgent today as they were at the time of writing.”
The first ever Economics graduate from the University of Papua New Guinea, Sir Mekere served as PNG’s 7th Prime Minister from 1999 to 2002.
MESSAGE FROM THE PACIFIC ISLANDS FORUM SECRETARY GENERAL, DAME MEG TAYLOR
This is to advise that the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat will be closed today and tomorrow, Thursday and Friday 17 - 18 December 2020 due to Tropical Cyclone Yasa ( Image from www.met.gov.fj on Thursday 17 December ) which is tracking towards Fiji over the next 12 - 36 hours.
Should you require any urgent assistance, please note the following contact points who will have continued access to power will therefore be available and online to assist with any urgent queries and clarifications:
Dame Meg Taylor, Secretary General: email@example.com
Sione Tekiteki, Director Governance and Engagement: firstname.lastname@example.org
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