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ASEAN, Papua New Guinea

Negative perceptions hindering PNG’s ASEAN membership

A writer in The Diplomat says Papua New Guinea’s isolation from the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) is likely due to the  ”behaviour of its people.”

PNG would like to become the 11th member of ASEAN. It has held special observer status since 1976.

Diplomat writer Luke Hunt says ASEAN has had its hands full with difficult countries for more than a decade, and the inclusion of Papua New Guinea… was simply seen as “too much.”

He suggests that while ASEAN might consider re-visiting Papua New Guinea’s application, “the problem remains the country itself. Its taste for violence is notorious, though difficult to quantify.”

In the 2011 United Nations Human Development Index released last week, Papua New Guinea sits at 153, three spots below Burma and 14 places behind Cambodia and Laos””.

These results, coupled with the latest round of violence in Lae, simply reinforce stereotypes and perceptions that Papua New Guinea must break with the past if it is to join the Southeast Asian trading bloc,” Hunt writes.


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About Samantha Magick

Journalist and editor

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