Consular Services


Bilateral Relations


PAPUA NEW GUINEA/UNITED STATES RELATIONS

Papua New Guinea and the United States of America (USA) first made contact during World War II. Both countries formally established diplomatic relations in September 1975, and have resident Missions established in each other's capital at ambassadorial level. Currently, Mr. Robert W. Fitts is the US resident Ambassador in Port Moresby and Mr. Evan Jeremy Paki is the PNG Ambassador to the United States.

Bilateral relations between Papua New Guinea and the United States of America have been friendly and constructive, and has enormously expanded in the areas of trade, investment, development & technical assistance, services of the US Peace Corps and defense cooperation. There has also been an increase in the exchange of visits by politicians and government officials that continue to foster inter-personal contact and dialogue. But overall, PNG/USA relations has been focused multilaterally via various regional bodies of the Pacific with other Island countries and international organizations.

Both Papua New Guinea and the United States of America have recognized the need to focus on expanding and consolidating relations at the bilateral level. Papua New Guinea for instance, feels that there is a need for an Investment Promotion & Protection Agreement, Double Taxation Treaty, an Air Services Agreement, direct shipping link and the revival of the aid assistance program.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA/CANADA RELATIONS

Papua New Guinea and Canada established diplomatic relations in 1976 at High Commissioner level. Canada concurrently accredits its High Commissioner based in Canberra, Australia to Papua New Guinea. Canada also has an Honorary Consul in Papua New Guinea. Papua New Guinea's Ambassador to the United States, resident in Washington, D.C. is concurrently accredited as Papua New Guinea's High Commissioner to Canada.

Relations between both countries have been cordial and mutually beneficial. The two countries have entered into a number of economic arrangements that has greatly improved and expanded relations on that level. These include an Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement signed in 1981 and a Double Taxation Treaty signed in 1987. Since the establishment of these arrangements, the level of capital investment from Canada to Papua New Guinea has increased. Trade flows have also increased, although significantly in favor of Canada.

Consistent with the National Government's policy to expand and strengthen its economic ties with other countries, Papua New Guinea considers and recognizes the need to enter into a Development Co-operation Agreement with Canada. In recognizing this need, a proposal was submitted in 1988 by the PNG Government and is still pending. Papua New Guinea however, has since 1978 benefited greatly from services provided by the Canadian University Services Organization (CUSO) in the areas of social and cultural development.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA/MEXICO RELATIONS

Papua New Guinea and Mexico formalized diplomatic relations on 19th May, 1976. In a Joint Communiqué announced during the establishment of diplomatic relations, both countries agreed that the Ambassador of Mexico in Jakarta, Indonesia be concurrently accredited to Papua New Guinea, whilst Papua New Guinea's Ambassador to the United States be concurrently accredited to Mexico.

Subsequently, both Papua New Guinea and Mexico exchanged their first Ambassadors on 22nd February 1978 and August 1978 respectively. Since then, their respective Ambassadors have confined bilateral relations between both countries to purely visits to each other's country.

Papua New Guinea and Mexico do not have a formal bilateral economic co-operation arrangement. Both countries however, are members of a number of multilateral economic and commercial arrangements such as cocoa, coffee and other International Commodity agreements. In the absence of such an arrangement, relations between the two countries in this area have been conducted under international trade practices and regulations. So far, relations have been confined to trade alone, on a relatively small scale.

Multilateral Relations

Since independence in 1975, Papua New Guinea has enjoyed cordial relationships with various countries and international institutions on a bilateral and multilateral basis.

As a member of the Commonwealth, Papua New Guinea enjoys the privileges of being a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. Its membership of the United Nations has allowed the country to benefit from financial and technical assistance from specialised United Nations agencies such as the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

Membership to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the various World Bank organisations gives Papua New Guinea access to development finance through the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Agency (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). Papua New Guinea is also a recipient of concessional loans from the Asian Development Bank (ADB)

As a signatory to the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), Papua New Guinea is guaranteed access to the centre to have relevant investment disputes adjudicated. Membership of the Lome Convention provides duty free access for Papua New Guinean originating goods into the EC markets.

The membership that Papua New Guinea enjoys in international commodity organisations ensures that its raw commodities such as coffee, cocoa and sugar, are sold in preference to non-member countries on a quota basis.

Papua New Guinea is a member of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), thereby acceding to the Chicago Convention. This allows its national carrier, Air Niugini, to operate to a number of international destinations in the Asia Pacific region, such as Australia, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, New Zealand, and Hong Kong.

Recent Developments

The Papua New Guinea initiative on Opportunities and Participation, applauded by other members of the United Nations, demonstrates the country's status in the global community. The appointment of one of its leading politicians as one of the eminent persons to lead discussion on this issue demonstrates the Government's recognition in addressing, at the highest international forum, the lopsidedness of development between developed and developing countries.

The initiative has been adopted by the United Nations General Assembly and is now in the implementation stage.

Papua New Guinea's trade policies are being reformed to be consistent with international requirements like those under the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Asia Region Relationships

In the Asia Pacific region, Papua New Guinea's representation at the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), as an observer has given the country a privileged position from which to trade with member countries of this fast-growing region.

Papua New Guinea is a fully fledged member of the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) which includes the United States, China, Japan and South Korea, etc, participated as a full member at the 1994 meeting. The free and open trade policy endorsed by APEC, and consistent with WTO principles, is expected to be of benefit to PNG in the long run.

Pacific Region Relationships

Papua New Guinea, as the largest country of the South Pacific, continues to play a prominent role in shaping the future of the region and does so in close consultation with other major island countries, such as Fiji, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

It is a member of the South Pacific Forum, giving it a voice in collective response concerning regional issues such as trade, economic development, civil aviation and maritime, telecommunications, energy, political and security matters. In recent years, environmental issues have featured strongly in the annual summit of the heads of governments of participating South Pacific countries. The South Pacific Bureau for Economic Co-operation (SPEC) is a secretariat servicing the needs of the South Pacific Forum of which Papua New Guinea is a significant contributor.

The Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), was established specifically to service members' needs in respect to managing their vast fisheries and marine resources. As all the South Pacific countries have limited resources to effectively police their large Exclusive Economic Zones, the member states, under a collective effort, can effectively contribute to surveillance and other policing efforts to control illegal fishing in the region which will in turn result in increased benefits to the region.

On intra-regional trade matters, the Melanesian Spearhead Group is an initiative of Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, to promote tripartite trade among themselves.

Technology and Standards Agreements

The Papua New Guinea National Institute of Standards and Industrial Technology (NISIT) has membership of a number of international and regional standards organisations. These include the Asia Pacific Metrology Programme (APMP), a regional collaboration aimed at improving measurement capabilities of the countries in the Asia-Pacific region by sharing facilities and experience of metrology laboratories in the region.

Through NISIT, Papua New Guinea is also a member of Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC), responsible for implementing the joint FAO-WHO food standards programme. It promotes the co-ordination of all food standards work undertaken by international government and non-government organisations in Papua New Guinea.

NISIT is also a member of the General Conference of Weights and Measures (CGPM), which aims to prepare and promote the decisions necessary to perfect and extend the use of an international system of units and standards of measurements; and the International Committee of Weights and Measures (CIPM), placed under the General Conference to direct and supervise the work of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM).

The Institute also belongs to the International Laboratory Accreditation Conference (ILAC), the Pacific Asia Standards Congress (PASC) and the Pacific Accreditation Corporation (PAC). Papua New Guinea joined the International Organisation for Standardisation in 1985. It is a member of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), which facilitates the co-ordination and unification of national electrotechnical standards.


CITIZENSHIP ACT:

(HCE) Citizenship is based upon the Citizenship Act, dated February 13, 1976 and the Constitution dated September 16, 1975. Papua New Guinea shares certain ties with Australia since 1948.

BY BIRTH:

Persons Born Before 9/16/75: Person born in the country, whose maternal and paternal grandparents were also born in the country. At all times, children of unknown or stateless parents are granted citizenship.

BY DESCENT:

Person Born before 9/16/75: Person born abroad, whose maternal and paternal grandparents were born in the country. Person must also have been registered and, if over 19, have renounced any other citizenship.

Person Born On or After 9/16/75: Child, at least one of whose parents is a citizen, regardless of the country of birth. Child born abroad must be registered no later than one year after birth.

BY NATURALIZATION:

Papua New Guinean citizenship may be acquired upon fulfillment of the following conditions: Person has resided for eight years in country, has renounced previous citizenship, intends to remain in the country, is of good character, respects the local customs and culture, can speak the local language and has a reliable source of income or support.

DUAL CITIZENSHIP: NOT RECOGNIZED

Exception: Child born abroad, who obtains the citizenship of the country of birth, may retain dual citizenship until the age of 18. Then the person has one year to renounce the foreign citizenship or Papua New Guinean citizenship will be revoked.

LOSS OF CITIZENSHIP:

VOLUNTARY: Voluntary renunciation of Papua New Guinean citizenship is permitted by law. Contact the Embassy for details and paperwork. Person must be at least 19 years old and plans to obtain a new citizenship.

INVOLUNTARY: The following are grounds for involuntary loss of Papua New Guinean citizenship.

- Person voluntarily obtains foreign citizenship, except through marriage.
- Person exercises the rights of a citizen of a foreign country.
- Person takes an oath of allegiance to another country.
- Person joins a foreign army without government permission.
- Person travels under the passport of another country.
- Naturalized citizenship was obtained through fraud.

The rules listed above do not apply when the action was done under the compulsion of another country's laws.

ANY QUESTIONS concerning citizenship, or requests for renunciation of citizenship, should be sent to the address below:

Embassy of Papua New Guinea
1779 Massachusetts Ave., NW, #805
Washington, D.C. 20036 Phone No: 202-745-3680
Fax No: 202-745-3679

OR:

The Secretary
Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade
P.O. Box 422
WAIGANI, NCD
Papua New Guinea Phone No: 011-675-301-4147
Fax No: 011-675-325-4886




Copyright © 2004 Embassy of Papua New Guinea to the Americas and Globescope, Inc.
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