17 Jun 2003

PNG selected by UNHCR as model country for new refugee law

4:19 pm on 17 June 2003

Papua New Guinea has been chosen by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees as the model country in the Pacific to have a refugee law.

UNHCR liasion Johan Siffointe, says PNG has been chosen because it was the biggest and most advanced country in the Pacific.

Mr Siffointe says they had tried the law in Fiji but he says they were now concentrating their efforts in PNG because it was important the law succeeds there.

Mr Siffointe says the PNG government had good relations with the UNHCR.

He says PNG signed the refugee convention in 1986 which enabled them to have refugee law.

Mr Siffointe says the PNG government was seeking to help develop the law and had requested the UNHCR develop refugee legislation.