PAPUA New Guinea is heading for the right direction in having 20 appointed women representatives in parliament.
Former New Zealand Prime Minister and now United Nations Development Program Administrator Helen Clark gave this commendation at a gathering dominated by women on Monday in the Parliament State Function room.
However, on the contrary the country is not ready to meet the Millennium Development Goals.
Miss Clark said the appointment of women representatives and is going in line with the world's vision of having 30 per cent of the parliaments represented by women.
She said PNG may not be that close by 17 percent though that is good and the approach is one many countries in the world are taking to address the gender equality issue.
At the inauguration of the National Women's Forum on Equality and Participation for Women; a better Future for Papua New Guinea, which Miss Clark co-chaired with the Minister for Community Development, Dame Carl Kidu, the discussion focused on the need to increase women's voice and participation in politics as a critical means to promote democracy, advocate gender equality and achieve sustainable and inclusive development.
She said women in decision-making has been a critical issue in PNG against a backdrop of high level of gender-based violence, coupled with high rates of HIV among women and girls between the ages of 15-29.
PNG has only one woman parliamentarian and efforts are underway to reserve 22 seats for women in Parliament.
Meanwhile, on the MDG's the United Nations general assembly will host the World Summit on the MDGs this September. PNG would not be on track to achieve any of them.
Ms Clark said said with the resource development in the country, PNG can make huge changes in human development.
She told the gathering that the UN Development program could assist where possible.
Miss Clark and her delegation left Monday afternoon.