New law to boost APEC security

PORT MORESBY, 09 OCTOBER 2018 (THE NATIONAL) – A new law will be in force for 10 days next month to address any security breach during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders Summit in Papua New Guinea, it has been revealed.

APEC Minister Justin Tkatchenko, pictured, said the APEC Security Act would be in force from Nov 9 to 19 “within the period of the leader’s summit”.

He said security preparations had been taken to another level.

“Anybody who wants to think about or even consider to do any terrorist act or harm or criminal activity or stupidity will be dealt with not only under the governing laws of our country but under the new Security Act in those 10 days,” he said.

He said the legislation had “harsher penalties that allow foreign forces and our forces to take total control of the situation”.

“I would advise totally against anyone thinking any stupid, ridiculous ideas because the APEC Act will take full effect. Those people who want to do something criminal in nature will have the full force of the law upon them.

“We are not going to tolerate any criminal activity or stupidity during Apec. Our country deserves better. We want our country to shine. We want this event to be a success. We want everybody to be a part of it, to put PNG on the map.

“We won’t allow selfish individuals trying to spoil it for their own political gain or personal gain. I would advise totally against them doing anything silly.”

On what action could be taken against someone breaching security, Tkatchenko said if someone threatened a “leader”, he could be shot by foreign close protection officers protecting that leader.

“It’s a straight forward situation. They have a right to protect their leader and use whatever force they have to do so,” he said.

“The same laws apply now in PNG. But we’ve allowed the foreign close protection officers and the security that are protecting their leaders to use force when necessary if their leader is threatened.

“The sunset clause of 10 days is allowing foreign close protection security to use force if anybody tries to threaten their leaders. That’s been implemented and applied in every APEC leaders’ meeting throughout the world.

“I see nothing happening here. Our people are good but prevention is better than cure,” he said.