Corruption stalling PNG wealth, says UN rep

8:18 pm on 27 March 2015

A United Nations representative says corruption is one of the reasons why Papua New Guinea's large wealth from its resources has not improved the country's human development.

Vanimo Harbour, West Sepik, Papua New Guinea.

Vanimo Harbour, West Sepik, Papua New Guinea. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

Jorg Shimmel, from the UNDP in PNG says that despite having one of the highest growth rates, PNG will not meet any of its 2015 Millennium Development goals.

A conference last week, hosted by the government and the UN, brought together experts and researchers, industry, civil society and government stakeholders to discuss the issue.

Mr Shimmel says PNG has joined the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and is looking into additional steps to increase transparency and accountability of public financial management.

"This was in fact confirmed by the Minister of Planning at last week's conference aswell. Corruption is definitely an issue in that regard but there are also very tremendable steps to actually address those issues. "

Jorg Shimmel says economic growth is good if the wealth trickles down and income is generated for the ordinary citizen.

"Overall the economic growth has been very strong and yet the millenium development goals will not be met. And of course, there are some concerning figures such as 25 percent of children are not attending school. You know almost 40 percent of the country's population lives on $1 a day. "