Minister for Defence highlights focus areas

The Minister for Defence, Dr Billy Joseph has thanked Prime Minister James Marape for having confidence in the people of Nipa Kutubu and appointing him as the Minister for Defence.

“On behalf of the good people of Nipa Kutubu, and the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

“I am honoured to be appointed as the Minister of our PNG Defence Force.

“The Defence of our Sovereignty is an important National Ministry and I thank God for this opportunity to serve, and I thank Prime Minister James Marape for the appointment.

“As a Medical Officer, I have worked in my previous career to save lives; and in the same vein, I look forward to working with the Marape-Rosso Government, in this new role, to keep PNG Safe and also be ready to respond to national and regional emergency and disaster contingencies.”

Dr Billy thanked the outgoing Minister for Defence, Win Daki for his contributions to the organisation.

“As the new Minister for the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF), I shall immediately meet with the senior leadership of the PNGDF to understand the current state of affairs and identify key strategic priorities moving forward.”

Dr Billy also pointed out some critical priorities that he will be focusing on which include:

  1. Leadership Stability at the PNG Defence Force. 
  2. Ensuring the welfare and well-being of the soldiers
  3. Addressing security threats: Papua New Guinea faces significant security threats that must be addressed urgently.
  4. Strengthening partnerships and regional cooperation.
  5. Building Military Capability: Building military capacity, including the expansion of personnel and infrastructure, will be a priority. This will require investment in new equipment and technology to make the PNGDF more effective.
  6. Ensuring transparency and accountability:

The PNGDF must operate with transparency and accountability to maintain the trust of the people of Papua New Guinea. It is essential to ensure that the PNGDF maintains high ethical standards and is accountable to the government through regular reporting and financial audits.

  1. Emergency Preparedness and Response Capability.

PNG is on the Pacific Rim of Fire and is prone to many natural disasters. I will ensure our Defence Force leads a multi-agency team of trained experts that is well-resourced and equipped to be always prepared to respond to any national emergencies.

  1. Status of the 2013 Defence White Paper:

“I am aware that the document existed since 2013 and it underpins the PNG Government’s 4 strategic core tasks and 3 strategic development plans. One of the latter talks about building a National Reserve Force through a School Cadet Program and a National Service Scheme; which will help assist the country with the national youth bulge problem.

“I am determined to realise this immediately after all stakeholders are consulted.”

Dr Billy said he will be keenly focused on building a military that is ready and well-placed to face current and future security challenges, whilst maintaining the confidence and trust of the people of Papua New Guinea.

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