4 Dec 2006

Bill Clinton made PNG chief

11:41 am on 4 December 2006

The former US President, Bill Clinton, has been made an honorary chief in Papua New Guinea on a visit to promote the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Mr Clinton was made a Grand Companion of the Order of Logohu after meeting PNG's Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare.

The AAP news agency says Logohu means bird of paradise in PNG's Motu language.

Mr Clinton and Sir Michael signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the PNG government and the former President's Clinton Foundation for it to provide assistance in combating HIV/AIDS in PNG.

PNG has the highest incidence of the disease in the Pacific region with about two per cent of the population estimated to be HIV positive.

The Clinton Foundation's work in PNG is largely funded by AusAid and includes provision of AIDS drugs, the training of doctors and nurses to administer drugs and other technical assistance.

Sir Michael said Mr Clinton was given the Logohu Award for his "outstanding leadership for the good of mankind during two terms as US President" and his commitment to the global fight against HIV/AIDS and other health challenges in developing countries.