Rimbink Pato

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Hon. Rimbink Pato OBE LLB MP, born 4 May 1961, is the longest serving Foreign Minister in the history of Papua New Guinea.

The Honourable

Rimbink Pato

Hon. Rimbink Pato OBE MP.jpg
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade
Assumed office
9 August 2012
MonarchQueen Elizabeth II
Prime MinisterPeter O'Neill
Member of Parliament
for Wapenamanda Open
Assumed office
23 July 2012
Personal details
Political partyUnited Party
Alma materThe University of Papua New Guinea

He is a Papua New Guinean constitutional lawyer[1] and politician.[2] He is Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade in the government of Peter O'Neill.


Pato was elected to Parliament in the 2012 general election, as MP for Wapenamanda, representing the United Party. Despite being a first time MP, Prime Minister Peter O'Neill appointed him Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration.[3][4] Pato now represents the portfolio of Foreign Affairs and Trade, since a reshuffle following the 2017 General election.

Political career[edit]

Elected as a Member of Parliament in 2012, Pato was immediately appointed Foreign Minister, and has since played prominent roles, often as chairman, in the Pacific Islands Forum (including representing the Prime Minister at the Leaders' meeting), the Melanesian Spearhead Group, and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States.

Pato has also chaired and co-chaired high-level sessions at the United Nations. Pato has conducted many significant negotiations on behalf of Papua New Guinea, including on delicate topics such as the Manus Island refugee arrangements. He has met in bilateral and multilateral meetings, as well as on social occasions, with his counterpart foreign ministers and national leaders of other countries.

As an envoy of Prime Minister O’Neill, Pato has delivered the Country Statement for Papua New Guinea on several occasions at the United Nations General Assembly, most recently on 29 September 2018.

Pato held the Immigration portfolio 2012-2017.  In 2017, he was reappointed as Minister for Foreign Affairs and in addition was assigned the trade Portfolio.

Political party[edit]

Pato is the head of the United Party and its sole MP.

APEC 2018[edit]

Pato will Chair the Ministerial Session of the 2018 APEC Economic Leaders Summit in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. The event is the largest and most significant event hosted by the country in its history.

Legal and Business Career[edit]

Prior to becoming a politician in 2012, Pato was a prominent practising lawyer in PNG, and was involved in significant cases. He was Managing Partner, Steeles Lawyers, which later re-established as Pato Lawyers, with Pato remaining as Managing Partner.

From 1999 to 2001 Pato was Executive Chairman and CEO, Finance Pacific Group of Companies which included Papua New Guinea Banking Corporation Ltd, Rural Development Bank Ltd, MMI Pacific Insurance Ltd, Motor Vehicle Insurance Trust Limited.

Home village[edit]

Kopya, Pausa Village, Wapenamanda Enga Province


Minister Pato is married to Mrs. Joyce Pato, and has three children.

Honours & Awards[edit]


Pato was awarded an Order of British Empire (OBE) by, Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of services to the community and law

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Fresh talent and new faces in PNG cabinet line up", Radio Australia, 8 August 2012
  2. ^ "Nominations By Electorate" (PDF). PNG Electoral Commission. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 June 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  3. ^ "MPs of the new parliament: members of the Enga Province", PNG Attitude, 10 August 2012
  4. ^ Bio sheet, Parliament of Papua New Guinea