9 May 2006

PNG leader attacks UN body for suggesting his country declare itself an LDC

8:32 pm on 9 May 2006

The Papua New Guinea prime minister, Sir Michael Somare, is questioning why a UN body is recommending that PNG should lower its status to that of a Least Developed Country, or LDC.

The call was based on PNG falling below three thresholds - per capita income of less than 750 US dollars and poor figures in the Human Assets and Economic Vulnerability Indices.

But Sir Michael says PNG is not an LDC.

He says the call is in conflict with the country's performance over the last four years.

Sir Michael says PNG has beeen called a failed state, a failing State, and a weak state.

He says these definitions had used the same spurious arguments now employed by the U.N. to justify their claims.

Sir Michael says the country has never defaulted on its loan repayments and his current government can point to three years of positive economic growth.