Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA)

Maru clarifies DCA agreement

He made this statement during the parliament debating of DCA between Papua New Guinea (PNG) and the United States (US) on July 14, 2023.

“There is no need to talk about unnecessary fear about DCA stopping PNG from trading with other countries like China because the biggest trading partners of China are two of America’s strongest allies- Australia and New Zealand.

PM presents DCA for ratification

In addition, he also presented the Ship Rider Agreement signed between the United States and PNG to Parliament.

Following the presentations, a lively debate on both agreements ensued, with the majority of Members of Parliament expressing their full support, including outspoken Vanimo-Green MP and former soldier Belden Namah.

The debates on both agreements, which were signed by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defence Minister Win Daki in Port Moresby last month, have been adjourned to a subsequent session of Parliament.

MPs against US Agreement

Although the back-to-back Defence Agreement as well as Ship Rider Agreement was signed on the 22nd of May, 2023, several parliamentarians are against the idea.

Former Prime Minister and Member for Ialibu-Pangia, Peter O’Neill, for instance stated that there was nothing wrong with the agreement however not much value towards the country was seen in the agreement.

“These are very strong words were used in the agreement and they’ve got very specific meaning. He asked whether or not the agreement will build the Defense Force, Navy, and help build the Air force.”

Namah commends US Agreement

He stated it was the best agreement the country has ever signed.

“I’d like to highly commend Prime Minister James Marape for the partnership between PNG and USA agreement. While my committee the Permanent Parliament Committee for Foreign Affairs International Trade Immigration and Defence didn’t have a preview for this agreement by just looking at it and following Prime minister on the statement I believe this is the best agreement that our country has ever entered into.

DCA to save economy: PM

Prime Minister James Marape outlined this during a breakfast session with the Lae business community on Thursday, May 25th.

During that time, he gave a brief overview of his visit to the University of Technology the previous evening to address concerns regarding the PNG-US Defence Cooperation Agreement.

PNGTUC calls for transparent process

PNGTUC Secretary General, Anthon Sekum said they are not entirely against the DCA.

“It is the processes our government followed and the motivation behind fast tracking the processes with zero public consultation and Parliament debate opens up public debate to all sorts of conclusions,” Sekum said. “Any agreement that will have elements of intrusion into our sovereignty and may put the country in harm’s way must not be done without all citizens' consent.”

Defence pact signed

Yesterday evening US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and PNG’s Minister for Defence Win Daki put pen to paper, giving way to the US to increase military presence in the country and the Pacific, as China and the US compete for influence in the region.

Prime Minister James Marape assured Papua New Guineans that all aspects of the DCA will be made available to the public through a Parliamentary Statement that he will make.

“DCA does not affect sovereignty”

And he has assured Papua New Guineans that all aspects of the DCA will be made available to the public through a Parliamentary Statement that he will make.

“I am working to release the agreement for public knowledge, and on Thursday this week we will send the State Solicitor and Foreign Affairs and Defence Secretaries, to go through the DCA with students and interest groups to ensure they are informed correctly.”