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Sir Michael: PoS CHOGM one of the best

Monday, November 30 2009

PAPUA New Guinea Prime Minister, Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare yesterday hailed the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Port-of-Spain as one of the best he has ever attended, as he hailed its assurances to small States vulnerable to climate- change.

Sir Michael gave a statement at the closing media conference of CHOGM at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. “Today’s conference has an outcome listening to the voices of the smaller island States of the Pacific, of the Caribbean, of West Africa and East Africa, and South East Asia.

“There are nations of the world which may not be serious about what is happening to the rest of us — the small island States. Papua New Guinea is a good example. Kiribati, Tuvalu, all these islands are coming under the water, which gives us an impression there is something wrong. We need the world’s attention, and this conference made it possible for our voice to be heard...”

He was glad the Commonwealth has taken up the issue ahead of next month’s United Nations Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen.

“The Port-of-Spain Declaration will go down in history as when the voice of the smallest, and the other big nations was heard, and it will be taken to a big conference in Denmark in December,” said Sir Michael.

Thanking Manning, he said, “It’s one of the best CHOGMs we’ve ever had. It’s very far for most of us, but we enjoyed the hospitality of your people and you made us very comfortable and made some of us feel not to leave too early”.

Malaysian Prime Minister Dato Abdul Razak said the Commonwealth is still a very relevant organisation in meeting today’s challenges. He hailed the spirit of camaraderie and friendship between Commonwealth nations.

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