Washington, DC - Secretary of State John Kerry: "On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I wish you and the people of Papua New Guinea a happy Independence Day.  In its 40 years of independence Papua New Guinea has made incredible strides towards a more prosperous future.  We extend our heartiest congratulations for the remarkable accomplishments you have achieved.

"Our bilateral relationship continues to grow.  The United States and Papua New Guinea cooperate on a range of critical issues such as sustainable fisheries and reducing carbon emissions.  Papua New Guinea’s efforts to bring together its diverse quilt of ethnic groups can serve as an example for other developing nations.  The country continues to make progress on gender equality.  Since its last Independence Day, Papua New Guinea successfully hosted the 15th Pacific Games in Port Moresby, a world-class event that burnished both local and international perceptions.  The Pacific Islands Forum further demonstrates your strong leadership and desire to advance important measures for the benefit of the region and the world.  In the years ahead, the United States looks forward to enhanced collaboration to fortify the growth Papua New Guinea has already achieved.

"As you celebrate this milestone, know that the American people and I support you.  We wish all citizens of Papua New Guinea a joyful day of festivities and many more years of strong friendship and goodwill."