In a press conference, he highlighted the successful hosting of the event and discussed crucial bilateral meetings held during his visit.
Marape revealed that before his departure, he engaged in significant bilateral discussions with the President of Palau and Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare. These discussions focused on reinforcing mutual support and cooperation between the nations.
Solomon Islands, hosting the Pacific Games for the first time, showcased a remarkable opening ceremony with enthusiasm and flair. Marape commended the host country, emphasizing the shared interests between Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands as neighbouring Melanesian nations.
In his statement, Marape underscored the importance of sports as a unifying force, bringing together diverse nations in the Pacific region. He expressed the need for solidarity among Pacific nations, including Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Australia, and other island nations, especially in the face of global challenges.
“Sports is a unifier, amid many diversities sports unite the nation that they represent and sports unite the region you all are living in. And in the middle of many contests happening, globally speaking, the Pacific has always been a region of peace and serenity.”
The Prime Minister reported agreements reached during the bilateral meetings, including ongoing support for the Solomon Islands in various capacities, such as financial aid, technology, and immigration assistance. He highlighted Papua New Guinea's contribution to the Pacific Games, including a financial investment of close to K40 million, primarily used to enhance sports facilities.
“My presence there was noted but more importantly the bilateral this morning we agreed on certain things, our continuous support to them not just nationally in cash but our support in capacities, our support in technologies in whatever we may have. For instance, in this Pacific games that is happening, the immigrations were able to use our help and the systems we have to ensure each person has access to the games in Honiara right now.”
“I report to the country that SI passed appreciation to the fact that PNG did sport if my memory is not wrong, close to K40million in assisting the games to be hosted, our investment was spent in sports excellent centre. Prime Minister Sogavare made a mention last night in his opening remarks that PNG was part of the seven or eight who had a hand in ensuring that the games kicked off.”
Additionally, Marape disclosed the presence of a contingent of 100 Papua New Guinean police officers currently operating in the Solomon Islands, working under the command structure of the Solomon Islands Police Commissioner.