The recently signed Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) with the United States (US) government is not in force yet until it gets past parliament in the June sitting.
The Secretary for Foreign Affairs Elias Wohengu said that there is still time for debate on the DCA and that the public should allow the process to take place on whether to fully approve the signed agreement, or not. “What I would like to inform the nation is that signature does not for PNG, signal the entry into force of the agreement.
The signature signals that it is an authentic text between the parties,” said Secretary Wohengu.
“It (DCA) will now go before our national parliament and it is a parliament property, and after parliament has debated it and in the wisdom of parliament that it should be ratified, the agreement will enter into force formally, after the certificate of instrumental ratification has been issued. This is still a process of consultation going on.”
On that note, Secretary Wohengu said it was concerning that some citizens have jumped quickly to the end process, claiming that the state has signed away the nation.
“Some of the statements are not wise, fairly provocative, speaking to emotion, and that is something that we should be very careful with.”
The DCA and the Ship Rider Agreement were signed by US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Defence Minister Win Daki on Monday 22nd May, during the Forum for India- Pacific Island Cooperation (FIPIC) Summit in Port Moresby.
Meanwhile, the next parliament sitting will be take place next month where it will start on the 6th of June, meaning that the DCA has 13 more days before it goes before the national parliament for debate by members.