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Highlights of PM Narendra Modi’s Visit to Papua New Guinea and Australia – May 2023

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made official visit to Papua New Guinea and Australia from May 21 to 24,2023.

Visit to Papua New Guinea:

PM Modi travelled to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. It was his first visit, and it also marks the first-ever visit by any Indian Prime Minister, to Papua New Guinea.

Release of ‘Thirukkural’ in Tok Pisin language:

On May 22, 2023, PM Narendra Modi along with PM of Papua New Guinea James Marape released translation of the Tamil classic ‘Thirukkural’ in the Tok Pisin language to bring the Indian thought and culture closer to the people of this southwestern Pacific nation.

  • Tok Pisin is the official language of Papua New Guinea. The translation was Co-authored by Subha Sasindran and Governor Sasindran Muthuvel of West New Britain Province

Note – Incumbent Governor of West New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea, Sasindran Muthuvel made history when he became the first person of Indian origin to be elected to the Parliament of Papua New Guinea in 2012.

PM Modi Honoured PNG’s highest civilian award – GCL:

H.E. Sir Bob Dadae, Governor-General of Papua New Guinea (PNG) honoured PM Narendra Modi with the Grand Companion of the Order of Logohu (GCL), the highest civilian award of Papua New Guinea. The recipients of the award are titled “Chief”.

PM Modi Honoured with Fiji’s Highest Civilian Award – CF:

On behalf of the Fijian President, Ratu Wiliame Maivalili Katonivere, Fijian PM Rabuka bestowed PM Modi with the highest honour of the Republic of Fiji “The Companion of the Order of Fiji (CF)”.

  • The medallion was presented to PM Modi in recognition of his global leadership, a rare honour for a non-Fijian.

i.The Companion is conferred upon citizens, or other foreigners by an Honorary Award, in recognition of outstanding achievement or the highest degree of meritorious service to Fiji or humanity.
ii.Fiji, is an island country in Melanesia, part of Oceania in the South Pacific Ocean.

PM Jointly Hosted FIPIC III Summit 2023

PM Modi jointly hosted the 3rd Summit of the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC III Summit) with James Marape on May 22, 2023. FIPIC had been launched during PM Modi’s visit to Fiji in 2014.

  • The summit intends to strengthen India’s engagement with Pacific Island countries and promotes cooperation in various sectors.
  • The third FIPIC summit was to be held in early 2020 but was postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • PM Modi also have bilateral interactions with Papua New Guinea Governor General Sir Bob Dadae, James Marape and some of the other PIC Leaders participating in the Summit.

India’s Initiatives

  • PM Modi unveiled a comprehensive 12-step initiative aimed at advancing India’s collaborations with the countries in the Pacific region including FIPIC SME Development Project, Solar project for Government buildings, Provide desalination units for drinking water, Supply sea ambulances, Set up dialysis units, Set up of 24×7 emergency helpline, Set up of Jan Aushadi Kendras, Set up Yoga centres.
  • Establishment of a super-specialty cardiology hospital in Fiji .The Indian government will bear the full cost of this mega greenfield project.
  • In 2022, an initiative called the Jaipur Foot Camp was held in Fiji, offering free prosthetic limbs to more than 600 individuals. The Prime Minister announced plans to establish a similar camp in Papua New Guinea this year, and starting from 2024, the intention is to organize two such camps every year in the Pacific island nations.

FIPIC includes 14 island countries

Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu – that are located in the Pacific Ocean, to the northeast of Australia.

  • India’s involvement with these 14 nations aligns with its Act East Policy, and the country has primarily fostered its relationships with them through developmental aid as part of South-South Cooperation.

Visit to Australia:

Prime Minister Modi made his official to Australia from May 22 to 24 ,2023 and his visit to Australia builds on the Australia-India Annual Leaders’ Summit in New Delhi in March 2023.

Note – India set to host the G20 Leaders’ Summit 2023 ,the world’s premier forum for economic cooperation in September 2023 in New Delhi. The India’s G20 Presidency would guide the work of the G20 under the theme of – “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” or “One Earth · One Family · One Future”.

Bilateral Meeting with Australian PM:

PM Narendra Modi had a bilateral meeting with the Australian PM Anthony Albanese. While at the meeting he raised India’s concerns over incidents of attacks on temples and activities of pro-Khalistani elements in Australia.

  • They also had a constructive discussion on strengthening strategic cooperation in mining and critical minerals.
  • Agreements were signed between India and Australia in the field of migration and mobility partnership and on the Green Hydrogen task force and the Memorandum of Understandings were also exchanged
  • PM Modi also announced the establishment of a new Australian Consulate General in Bengaluru (Karnataka) which will help connect Australian businesses to India’s digital and innovation ecosystem.
  • PM Modi shared the stage with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney Olympic Park,Australia.

Note – PM Modi invited Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and all Australian cricket fans to India for the Cricket World Cup in 2023.

Laid Foundation Stone for ‘Little India’ gateway

On May 23, 2023, PM Narendra Modi and Australian PM Anthony Albanese jointly laid the foundation stone of the ‘Little India’ gateway to be built in Harris Park in Western Sydney as a symbol of the friendship between the two nations and to recognise the diaspora’s immense contribution.

  • Harris Park is a hub in Western Sydney where the Indian community celebrates festivals and events such as Diwali and Australia Day.

A street in Western Sydney, Australia was officially renamed as “Little India” by PM Narendra Modi.

Note – The first proposal for officially naming the area ‘Little India’ was made in 2015.

Promotion of tribal art and culture via Gifting:

During his visit to the three nations, PM Modi Gifted Tribal artworks to leaders of different countries:

i.Dokra art was given to the leaders of Australia, Brazil, Cook Islands and Tonga.

  • Dokra art is the dancing girl artefact found in Mohenjo-Daro and Harappan excavations.
  • The common themes of Dokra art revolve around figurines of Hindu gods, goddesses and different animals.

ii.PM Modi gifted Gond paintings, one of the most admired tribal art form, for Canadian PM Justin Trudeau.

  • These paintings are created by dots and lines, with locally available natural colours and materials like charcoal, coloured soil, plant sap, leaves, cow dung and lime stone powder.

iii.A Pithora was gifted to Niue, a Pacific island country leader. It is a ritualistic tribal folk art by the Rathwa artisans from Chhota Udaipur in Gujarat and is considered a living testament of an ever-changing ethos exemplifying the highly enriched folk and tribal art culture of Gujarat.

About :- Papua New Guinea
Capital – Port Moresby
Currency – Kina
Prime Minister – James Marape

About Australia:

Capital – Canberra
Currency – Australian dollar (AUD)
Prime Minister  – Anthony Albanese