There are many risks factors to stability in Papua New Guinea (PNG), requiring a holistic approach to addressing its fragility and building resilience. Exacerbating these risk factors is a deficit of trust between the state and its citizens. As the United States implements a new strategy to advance peace and security in PNG, it will be critical to repair the citizen-state relationship. Laura Bailey, a senior development specialist and a retired global lead for stability, peace and security at the World Bank, analyzes the risks to stability in PNG, what the United States and international should prioritize in PNG and what aid agencies can do to better mitigate conflict on the island nation.

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Why Are Papua New Guinea’s Elections Plagued with Problems?

Why Are Papua New Guinea’s Elections Plagued with Problems?

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

By: Terence Wood

Papua New Guinea’s 2022 elections suffered from a host of problems, following a pattern plaguing the country’s polls for years. At least 50 people died in election-related violence. Post-election fighting in the country’s Highlands region contributed to a rapid rise in internally displaced people. Election observers estimated that in some places as many as half of all voters could not vote owing to problems with the roll. Voting was disrupted and ballot boxes hijacked in places, and violence prevented vote counting from being completed in at least two national electorates. There is now an urgent need for the international community to intensify their work with the government of Papua New Guinea to ensure that future elections improve and that the country’s democracy is preserved.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & GovernanceGlobal Policy

Ask the Experts: What Drives Papua New Guinea’s Fragility?

Ask the Experts: What Drives Papua New Guinea’s Fragility?

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

By: Andrew Cheatham

The island nation of Papua New Guinea (PNG) struggles from a range of factors that exacerbate its fragility, from intercommunal violence to the potential secession of the autonomous Bougainville region to its inability to hold safe and credible elections. Sexual- and gender-based violence against women also runs rampant in the country. While the PNG state is weak and garners little trust from the people, there are critical civil society actors working to address the country’s instability and mitigate violence.

Type: Blog

Fragility & Resilience

In Papua New Guinea, Homegrown Solutions Should Guide U.S. Aid

In Papua New Guinea, Homegrown Solutions Should Guide U.S. Aid

Monday, October 3, 2022

By: Jessica Collins

“The world stands today at the dawn of a decisive decade — a moment of consequence and peril, of profound pain and extraordinary possibility,” President Biden declared in April. These words came just two months into Russia’s war on Ukraine and during a time of concern for Western countries as China flexed its muscular diplomacy in the Pacific Islands region. Biden’s statement also sets the scene for the U.S. administration’s new approach to peacebuilding, which aims to prevent conflict from erupting in fragile states by disrupting drivers of instability.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Fragility & ResilienceGender

A Framework for U.S. Engagement with Papua New Guinea

A Framework for U.S. Engagement with Papua New Guinea

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

By: C. Steven McGann

Papua New Guinea (PNG) has become a key focal point for the United States as it aggressively renews ties with Pacific Island countries. U.S. engagement with PNG will require a comprehensive approach that incorporates cross-nation security cooperation and development assistance. Traditional approaches are insufficient to meet these goals. The United States should envision a framework beyond sole reliance on its military and civilian agencies. This new framework would serve to address PNG’s unique challenges, counter China’s regional activism and undergird U.S. leadership in the Pacific.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Fragility & ResilienceGlobal Policy

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