24 May 2012
Responding to events this week in Papua New Guinea, Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma today strongly reiterated his call for respect of the rule of law in that country.
He urged all parties to exercise restraint in their actions and to ensure a peaceful and constructive resolution to the present situation through democratic and lawful processes.
The Secretary-General said that the rule of law, the independence and impartiality of the judiciary, and constitutional, democratic governance are core Commonwealth values, which must be preserved in Papua New Guinea.
Noting that the 2012 national election process has now formally commenced, Mr Sharma said it was especially important that the people of Papua New Guinea be able to exercise their democratic rights freely and fully, in order to elect representatives who will govern the nation in future.
Mr Sharma called on the government, judiciary, and all parties and candidates to play their part in seeking a constructive, peaceful and lawful path that will ensure the successful conduct of national elections.
The Commonwealth Secretariat also continues to support the rule of law in Papua New Guinea by strengthening the judiciary. It recently reiterated to the Government of Papua New Guinea its willingness, upon request, to further assist the country in ensuring full adherence to Commonwealth values.