NEC to discuss APEC public holidays

The National Executive Council will be discussing proposed public holidays on November 15 and 16 in Port Moresby to cater for the movements of APEC leaders during the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in the city.

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Chief Executive Officer, Christopher Hawkins, when updating Port Moresby Business houses, made these remarks recently.

Amongst the hectic schedule of the Summit, there will be several periods in November where movement will be restricted due to high level security movements of leaders and delegations while the 21 economy leaders are attending the APEC Leaders’ Summit.

The days of high activity are from the 15th to 18th November, with 15th and 16th November being considered as public holidays. 

This proposal is now being discussed in consultation with stakeholders before being presented to the National Executive Council for consideration.

The shutdown periods are only for the National Capital District.

Hawkins clarified that in every country and city, when there is an APEC Meeting, there will be disputations to normal public routine, but the intention is to keep it to a minimum.

He added that certain routes in Port Moresby would be closed to the general public at various times during the APEC Leaders’ week in November to allow the movement of motorcades carrying leaders and delegations.

He said awareness will be carried out ahead of these plans being finalised and implemented.

This includes the Kumul Flyover, Sir John Guise Drive, Waigani Drive, Wards Road, Poreporena Freeway, Stanley Esplanade and Paga Hill ring road, particularly on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 November.

Hawkins said while there would not be a total traffic shutdown in the city, there would be minimal movements on secured roads and areas where there is high level of security for the APEC leaders.

“There will be movements of delegations around the city, we will not need to close down all roads, and these plans will be finalised after further awareness and final decisions made in consultation with security elements,” said Hawkins.

“APEC is the most significant foreign affairs series of events we have ever held in Papua New Guinea and the eyes of the world will be on the nation.

“Security is paramount and we will ensure this is an ongoing discussion so that any disruption is minimised and the summit proceeds smoothly.”

Freddy Mou