In 1973, the Constitutional Planning Committee presented a report to the House of Assembly. They also wrote Papua New Guinea’s National Goals and Directive Principles. It remains a blueprint of how our country should be run. Below is a summarized 10 point version of one Goal – INTEGRAL HUMAN DEVELOPMENT.
1. Human development is priority and is not the same as material progress
We do not take development to be synonymous with material progress. For us the only authentic development is integral human development. This means that we use the term development to mean nothing less than the unending process of improvement of every man and woman as a whole person. We take our stand on the dignity and worth of each Papua New Guinean man, woman and child. In effect, this means that integral human development must reach out to and enrich Papua New Guineans in every part of the country.
2. Freedom and Liberation of the mind
All Papua New Guineans have an inalienable right to liberation and fulfilment through this process of development. This right does not depend on our Constitution. The Constitution is merely restating the right and explicitly confirming it.
3. Equal development for all Papua New Guineans
No particular area or grouping of people should be developed at the expense of another, materially or in other ways. There should always be an equitable distribution and balanced sharing of all the benefits and opportunities the national has to offer. For this type of development to come into being, it is necessary for such conditions to be created and to obtain throughout the nation at all times as to be conducive to that development.
4. Selfishness has no place in our development and we need genuine people who care to run our country
These conditions can only be brought about when the running of the country is in the hands of Papua New Guineans who cherish a genuine respect for the traditions of our country, and our people; who can distinguish those features of the peoples’ traditions that should be retained from those that should be allowed to lapse; and who know how to discern what is good in what other nations and people have to offer to Papua New Guinean.
5. Papua New Guineans are the best judges of what is beneficial to us
The best judges, therefore, of what contributes to the full human well-being of the people of Papua New Guinea are to be found among Papua New Guineans themselves. In probably no other matter is self-reliance more necessary. The Government will always have its proper and key role to play in helping to create the conditions in which Papua New Guineans can thrive and enthusiastically pursue their own full human development.
6. Our cultural roots and the spiritual development of our people is key
By tradition, Papua New Guineans are a spiritual people. This fundamental tradition must always be respected and given the conditions of freedom to develop and to be enriched. Closely tied with the spiritual and religious features of Papua New Guinea’s traditions are the cultural elements of the nation. Here we are in touch with the spirit of the people, with their roots and with their authentic creative genius, the nurture of which will ensure our true national identity.
7. Political and Economic progress must be for the benefit of our people
Although social progress is not synonymous with economic progress, economic development has meaning insofar as it promotes the well-being of the people in many of the important aspects of their lives as members of a community. Without political development of the people of Papua New Guinea, the genuine progress of the nation will be seriously hindered. What is at stake is human freedom. One main key to political progress is the increasing participation of Papua New Guineans at all levels of political activity. This promotes human responsibility and enhances personal dignity as well as helping to safeguard personal freedom.
8. Our children must not be alienated from their culture through education
We are concerned by the way in which in the past development and modern institutions have alienated our people from one another. Our schools have tended to make children strangers to their parents and their villages. Universities have furthered this process of alienation. At least until recently the whole education process was leading towards social stratification, increased difficulty in communication among members of a single social group, and a decline in the level of tolerance and inter-personal respect among our people.
9. Education should be liberating and should promote dialogue and cooperation
Education should be based on and should promote dialogue and co-operation. It should foster integral human development and tolerance among our people, awaken their social conscience, their awareness of the essential dignity of man, and their appreciation of the need to stand up for their rights, both as members of the community and as individuals, in the face of pressures from foreign interests and arbitrary government. It should help to develop a spirit of solidarity of one with another, and an appreciation of our inter-dependence. We cannot build a democratic, just society unless our children’s education and all educational institutions are geared to achieving these objectives.
10. Literacy in Tok Pisin, Motu and English is vital and literacy in local languages should not be discouraged.
Literacy in these languages should be actively promoted to encourage better communication between many different groups of our people, and enable them to participate more fully in the affairs of the country. Literacy in local languages should not, however, be discouraged as they should be safeguarded from falling into disuse. Thus we envisage that as many as possible of our people will be multi-lingual.