PMO rebuffs media report

The Office of the Prime Minister has rejected the views carried on the article in Island Sun paper on Friday16th September 2016 carrying the headline ‘PM Ill-advised?.

The Prime Minister’s Office deem the piece a skewed and inaccurate perspective by a person who has not substantiated their claims, provided a balanced perspective and failed to offer readers enough evidence in the piece to warrant a news item.

Just by going through the article, the author got the facts all muddled up on the nature of meetings that were taking place.

There were in fact three meetings that the Hon Prime Minister attended.

  1. The Pacific Island Conference of Leaders (PICL)
  2. The Pacific Ocean Summit (POS), organized and funded by IUCN and

iii.        The Pacific Islands Coalition for West Papua Discussions with Pacific leaders

The Firstly, it is really unclear what was hoped to be achieved from such unbalanced reporting, let alone the whole intension of the article except to unnecessarily tarnish the reputation of the Hon. Prime Minister and his delegation.

Apart from exposing names of individuals who were supporting the Hon. Prime Minister, the author failed to substantiate and balance the article by failing to seek the views of the Prime Minister’s Office.

It is highly like that there was no access to, or any citation whatsoever of the presentation delivered by the Hon. Prime Minister used as the basis of the article.

Whoever the source of information was in Hawaii, it is obvious that the journalist did not make any attempt to verify the claims, opting instead to publish a story that lacks substance in its content yet veiled by a flashy front-page headline.

Secondly, it is also important that our good readers be properly informed that the Hon. Prime Minister did not make a presentation at the main IUCN Conservation Congress, but rather participated at the Pacific Ocean Summit (POS) organized by IUCN as a panelist on the first session of the POS, on reducing threats to the ocean.

Panelists were given 3 – 5 minutes presentation time by the Chairman of the session during which time the Hon. Prime Minister emphasized the importance of Ocean Governance in the Pacific within the given timeframe by selecting the main points of his presentation.

Obviously, the author lacks understanding of the summit setting which is crucial in understanding the subject matter.

Thirdly, to put records in order, Dr Kabutaulaka was supporting the team of advisors on the Pacific Island Conference of Leaders (PICL) and on West Papua and not on the IUCN organized POS as alleged in the article.

Whilst the media as the fourth estate, and by its very nature, plays the watchdog role concerning performance of government officials, it is equally important that journalists obtain views of all parties concerned to offer a balanced perspective on issues before ignorantly putting pen to paper.

Source: PM Press Secretariat