Geographic and Governmental Profile of Papua New Guinea

Background
The eastern half of the island of New Guinea - second largest in the world - was divided between Germany (north) and the UK (south) in 1885. The latter area was transferred to Australia in 1902, which occupied the northern portion during World War I and continued to administer the combined areas until independence in 1975. A nine-year secessionist revolt on the island of Bougainville ended in 1997 after claiming some 20,000 lives.
Location
Oceania, group of islands including the eastern half of the island of New Guinea between the Coral Sea and the South Pacific Ocean, east of Indonesia
Geographic coordinates
6 00 S, 147 00 E
Continent / Subcontinent
Oceania
Area
total:
462,840 sq km
rank:
55
land:
452,860 sq km
water:
9,980 sq km
Area - comparative
slightly larger than California
Land boundaries
total:
820 km
border countries:
Indonesia 820 km
Coastline
5,152 km
Maritime claims
measured from claimed archipelagic baselines
territorial sea:
12 nm
continental shelf:
200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive fishing zone:
200 nm
Climate
tropical; northwest monsoon (December to March), southeast monsoon (May to October); slight seasonal temperature variation
Terrain
mostly mountains with coastal lowlands and rolling foothills
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point:
Mount Wilhelm 4,509 m
Natural resources
gold, copper, silver, natural gas, timber, oil, fisheries
Land use
arable land:
0.49%
permanent crops:
1.4%
other:
98.11% (2005)
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Irrigated land
NA
Total renewable water resources
801 cu km (1987)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
total:
0.1 cu km/yr (56%/43%/1%)
per capita:
17 cu m/yr (1987)
Natural hazards
active volcanism; situated along the Pacific "Ring of Fire"; the country is subject to frequent and sometimes severe earthquakes; mud slides; tsunamis
volcanism:
severe volcanic activity; Ulawun (elev. 2,334 m), one of Papua New Guinea's potentially most dangerous volcanoes, has been deemed a "Decade Volcano" by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; Rabaul (elev. 688 m) destroyed the city of Rabaul in 1937 and 1994; Lamington erupted in 1951 killing 3,000 people; Manam's 2004 eruption forced the island's abandonment; other historically active volcanoes include Bam, Bagana, Garbuna, Karkar, Langila, Lolobau, Long Island, Pago, St. Andrew Strait, Victory, and Waiowa
Environment - current issues
rain forest subject to deforestation as a result of growing commercial demand for tropical timber; pollution from mining projects; severe drought
Environment - international agreements
party to:
Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified:
none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
shares island of New Guinea with Indonesia; one of world's largest swamps along southwest coast
Country name
conventional long form:
Independent State of Papua New Guinea
conventional short form:
Papua New Guinea
local short form:
Papuaniugini
former:
Territory of Papua and New Guinea
abbreviation:
PNG
Government type
constitutional parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm
Capital
name:
Port Moresby
geographic coordinates:
9 27 S, 147 11 E
time difference:
UTC+10 (15 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions
18 provinces, 1 autonomous region*, and 1 district**; Bougainville*, Central, Chimbu, Eastern Highlands, East New Britain, East Sepik, Enga, Gulf, Madang, Manus, Milne Bay, Morobe, National Capital**, New Ireland, Northern, Sandaun, Southern Highlands, Western, Western Highlands, West New Britain
Hela and Jiwaka were approved as separate provinces on 17 May 2012
Independence
16 September 1975 (from the Australian-administered UN trusteeship)
Constitution
16 September 1975
Legal system
mixed legal system of English common law and customary law
International law organization participation
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief of state:
Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor Michael OGIO (since 25 February 2011)
head of government:
Prime Minister Peter Paire O'NEILL (since 2 August 2011); Deputy Prime Minister Leo DION (since 9 August 2012)
cabinet:
National Executive Council appointed by the governor general on the recommendation of the prime minister
elections:
the monarchy is hereditary; the governor general nominated by parliament and appointed by the chief of state; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of the majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the governor general acting in accordance with a decision of the parliament; Peter Paire O'NEILL elected prime minister by parliament on 3 August 2012 by a vote of 94 to 12
Legislative branch
unicameral National Parliament (109 seats, 89 filled from open electorates and 20 from provinces and national capital district; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms); constitution allows up to 126 seats
elections:
last held from 23 June 2012 to 27 July 2012; (next to be held in June 2017)
election results:
percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - People's National Congress Party 27, Triumph Heritage Empowerment Party 12, PNG Party 8, National Alliance Party 7, United Resources Party 7, People's Party 6, People's Progess Party 6, other parties 22, independents 16
14 other parties won 3 or fewer seats; association with political parties is fluid
Judicial branch
Supreme Court (the chief justice is appointed by the governor general on the proposal of the National Executive Council after consultation with the minister responsible for justice; other judges are appointed by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission)
Political parties and leaders
National Alliance Party or NA [Michael SOMARE]; Papua New Guinea Party or PNGP [Beldan NEMAH]; People's National Congress Party or PNC [Peter O'NEILL]; People's Party or PP; People's Progress Party or PPP; Triumph Heritage Empowerment Party [Beldan NAMAH]; United Resources Party or URP [William DUMA]
as of 13 March 2012, 41 political parties were registered
Political pressure groups and leaders
Centre for Environment Law and Community Rights or Celcor [Damien ASE]; Community Coalition Against Corruption; National Council of Women; Transparency International PNG
International organization participation
ACP, ADB, AOSIS, APEC, ARF, ASEAN (observer), C, CP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OPCW, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Elias Rahuromo WOHENGU
chancery:
1779 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Suite 805, Washington, DC 20036
telephone:
[1] (202) 745-3680
FAX:
[1] (202) 745-3679
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Teddy B. TAYLOR
embassy:
Douglas Street, Port Moresby, N.C.D.
mailing address:
4240 Port Moresby PI, US Department of State, Washington DC 20521-4240
telephone:
[675] 321-1455
FAX:
[675] 321-3423
Flag description
divided diagonally from upper hoist-side corner; the upper triangle is red with a soaring yellow bird of paradise centered; the lower triangle is black with five, white, five-pointed stars of the Southern Cross constellation centered; red, black, and yellow are traditional colors of Papua New Guinea; the bird of paradise - endemic to the island of New Guinea - is an emblem of regional tribal culture and represents the emergence of Papua New Guinea as a nation; the Southern Cross, visible in the night sky, symbolizes Papua New Guinea's connection with Australia and several other countries in the South Pacific
National symbol(s)
bird of paradise
National anthem
name:
"O Arise All You Sons"
lyrics/music:
Thomas SHACKLADY
adopted 1975
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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