A photo essay of POM’s markets
PNG’S HIGH COMMISSIONER TO THE UNITED KINGDOM
Winnie Kiap took up the post of Papua New Guinea’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom in 2011, with accreditation to Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Kiap, from Baluan Island in Manus Province, recounts some of her most memorable moments mixing in diplomatic circles and with royalty.
01 MEETING HEADS OF STATE
On taking up duties in London in 2011, I introduced myself to Queen Elizabeth II as her High Commissioner and Ambassador to the UK. At an event at the Vatican, I was introduced to Pope Francis. From humble beginnings in Manus to palaces to exchanging small talk with rulers makes me feel that ‘I have arrived’.
02 ATTENDING MAJOR EVENTS
I feel privileged to have attended the major events commemorating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, as well as the London Olympics. I was also very privileged to have attended the funeral service of President Nelson Mandela, who fought apartheid.
03 THE BIG DEBATE
I was invited to take part in the Oxford Union debate in March and was teamed up with the former first female Prime Minister of New Zealand, Dame Jenny Shipley, and Premier David Banks of Anguilla. We were the winning team.
04 PUBLIC SPEAKING
In the nine years I have been in London, I have given over 30 speeches to organisations including the Rotary Club of London, universities, the annual Commonwealth Diplomats Induction Program, and the annual London Pacific Fashion Week. Perhaps the Everest of these were two or three speaking panels at the House of Lords. All of these bring visibility to PNG.
05 DIPLOMAT OF THE YEAR
It was truly humbling to be awarded Diplomat of the
Year in 2018 for Outstanding Contributions to the Commonwealth. The award was in recognition of my having chaired the Accreditation Committee and the Board of Governors of the Commonwealth Secretariat, as well as chairing the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Foundation Board of Governors.