17 Mar 2003

Forum secretary general criticises think tank report on PNG

10:36 am on 17 March 2003

The Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum has added his voice to criticisms of an Australian report claiming Papua New Guinea is struggling to survive financially and socially and could collapse.

In a report called "Papua New Guinea on the Brink" the Sydney based Centre for Independent Studies paints a picture of a nation wracked with corruption, crime and a disintegrating infrastructure.

The report was co authored by Australian Sue Windybank and Mike Manning

But Noel Levi, who was a senior PNG government official before heading the Forum, says studies by so called think tanks are often undertaken with extreme prejudice, with the authors driven to reach findings that appease their sponsors.

He says biased and poorly balanced studies can hurt nation building and stifle confidence in governments that are doing their best with limited resources to get their countries moving ahead.