Bougainville Autonomy Arrangements Joint Review : Download the 116 page report here

Review

 

The attached 116 page review contains a significant level of background material. The Review will be read by people who may not have access to essential information about Bougainville. We hope that this information will contribute to greater understanding of the broader context for the Joint Resolutions

It is now a public document having been tabled in the ABG House in March 2014 and the National Parliament in February 2015.

DOWNLOAD HERE

Joint Review of Autonomy Arrangements (JSB and RC approved Joint Resolutions)

This is a joint review by both governments of Bougainville’s autonomy arrangements as required under the constitutional laws. The review was due in 2010 and was not initiated until 2013.

This report, the Review, is the joint report of both governments. It is informed by six separate reports prepared by independent experts appointed by both governments. Their reports are contained in a supplementary volume. The views expressed in those reports are the views and opinions of those experts and they do not necessarily represent the views of either or both governments.

Both governments have decided to be forward looking and practical in accepting this joint report. Establishing Bougainville’s autonomy is a new journey for all parties to the Bougainville Peace Agreement. It was to be expected that there would be blockages, stumbles and some disagreements. Nonetheless, considerable progress has been made since the signing of the Peace Agreement.

The Review sets us on a joint path to remedy some of the major weaknesses while at the same time preparing for the Referendum which is due in the period May 2015 to May 2020.

The Review contains Joint Resolutions – actions by both governments at the JSB held at Kokopo on 18 October 2013 and refined at the Referendum Committee 26 October 2013. The governments will agree an implementation plan against which we will monitor progress and report to the JSB, and the respective parliaments.

The Review contains a significant level of background material. The Review will be read by people who may not have access to essential information about Bougainville. We hope that this information will contribute to greater understanding of the broader context for the Joint Resolutions.

As required by the constitutional laws the Review will be tabled in both parliaments through the National Executive Council and the Bougainville Executive Council respectively.

Below are the first few pages FYI

The Referendum Committee directed that these Joint Resolution be referred immediately to the respective Cabinets for endorsement and tabling in the respective Parliaments with the Joint Review and the Reports of the Independent experts as provided under Section 337 of the Papua New Guinea Constitution.

Planning for 2015 Autonomy Review

1.1 Joint planning for the next review of the autonomy arrangements will commence in late 2014 with the review to be conducted in the first quarter of 2015.

Review of Bougainville Constitution

2.1 The Bougainville Constitution will be reviewed by the ABG in 2014.

2.2 The recommendations from the constitutional review will be made available to the independent experts who conduct the analysis that contributes to the 2015 joint review by the National Government and ABG of Bougainville’s autonomy arrangements.

Greater awareness of Bougainville’s vision and autonomy

3.1 The ABG needs to articulate in a brief accessible document the kind of society Bougainville desires to be in the long term (not just political independence) and formulate a long term higher level strategic vision and plan for realizing the espoused vision based around the aspirations of the Bougainville Peace Agreement and the people. All other planning and service delivery functions should take their cues and direction from the strategic vision.

3.2 The Bougainville Awareness Framework will be the basis for a comprehensive (region-wide, multimedia and direct face-to-face dialogue) awareness campaign be undertaken to inform the people and leaders of the strategic vision, the meaning of autonomy, how it is being implemented and its benefits, and the context and process for the impending referendum.

3.3 The ABG will take responsibility, with the National Government, for initiating a regular series of briefings with local and key national political and public service leaders to seek to significantly increase their awareness and understanding of Bougainville’s vision and entitlements.

Draw down of functions and powers to be consolidated

4.1 The governments will:

  1. jointly review the current Framework for the Draw Down of Functions and Powers;
  2. jointly take stock of and review the progress of the draw-down of functions and powers by all sectors operating in Bougainville. In 2014 the focus will be on completing and consolidating the transfer of the functions listed in Table 2 of the Joint Review;
  3. provide guidance to ensure that all future requests for the draw down of powers and functions, commencing with environment and health, comply with Sections 3 and 4 of the Organic Law and where applicable Section 43 of the Bougainville Constitution.

4.2 The drawdown of powers and functions process will be coordinated by the Chief Secretary and Chief Administrator respectively to expedite the evolutionary and smooth drawdown of functions and powers through the preparation of legislation for consideration by the Bougainville House of Representatives.

4.3 Greater attention will be given to calculating, negotiating and agreeing the on-going funding arrangements for each function and power to be drawn down by the ABG according to the provisions of the Organic Law.

4.4 The governments will work together to seek additional expert resources (including from development partners) to strengthen the ABG to manage the orderly draw down of powers and functions, and their subsequent implementation, particularly to contribute to analysis and policy development in legal, staffing, planning, financial and organisational aspects.

Social and Economic Development

5.1 Law and order – that priority be given to strengthening law and order (weapons, police and community justice) and resolving key existing conflicts that continue to hinder return to normalcy, peace and development in parts of Bougainville (e.g. Konnou and Siuwai crises).

5.2 Economy – a broad based and integrated economic strategy be designed and implemented that would include:

  1. high impact projects, down-stream processing of coca and copra and small to medium enterprises; and
  2. Support be extended to strengthening economic institutions for growth of private enterprise. A specific initiative in exploration of impact projects needs to be investigated with a view to creating much needed employment.

5.3 Infrastructure investments be coordinated through the Joint Project Management Unit such that all of the Region is connected via transportation and communications links in the shortest possible time.

5.4 Education and Health –ABG continue to expand the delivery of education and health services, especially to inland areas of North, Central and South Bougainville and at the same time orientate education and health service delivery to be in line with the strategic visioning above. Specific attention will be given to:

  1. Lost generation – that Education Division (in collaboration with relevant divisions such as Community Development, Veterans Affairs, development partners and NGOs) design and implement a specific education program targeting the lost generation.
  2. Certification and Accreditation of artisans – that ABG through a relevant division, design and implement a Trade Testing, Certification and Accreditation program for skilled village artisans in anticipation for the vocational employment when mining and other economic opportunities commence.
  3. Opportunities for the provision of vocational and technical education must be explored as a matter of urgency with reforms to entry requirements into vocational and technical schools to be started.

5.5 Strategy for Less Developed Areas – all three regions in Bougainville have pockets of isolated communities facing severe under-development. Examples include Visai in the Buin district, Rataiku in Siuwai district; Marau in Bana; Torokina; Kunua; Rotokas; and West Coast of Buka. The ABG will formulate a strategy for progressively linking and opening up these areas to social and economic development.

5.6 The governments will contribute to the immediate expansion of the reach of radio throughout the Region by ensuring current projects are implemented expeditiously.

Grants

4.5 The governments agree to discuss and negotiate a solution to the payment of outstanding Restoration and Development Grant calculated according to law and to ensure that it is then properly calculated, appropriated and paid annually to the ABG in a timely manner.

4.6 The ABG will prepare detailed budget submissions for each new function and power delegated or transferred to the ABG detailing staffing and goods and services budgetary requirements for the first and subsequent three years of implementation in Bougainville of that function or power. These submissions will be endorsed by the BEC, and where required by the Bougainville Constitution, the House of Representatives.

Audit Functions in Bougainville

7.1 The ABG will establish an internal audit function within the Administration before 1 January 2015 to be funded under the Recurrent Grant arrangements.

7.2 The PNG Auditor General will establish an office in Buka before 31 March 2014 with ABG assistance for housing and office space.

ABG Budget

8.1 The ABG will, with National Government assistance, seek to develop and implement a four-year rolling program budget for development and recurrent expenditure with the intention of giving greater certainty to the planning, budgeting and financing of all government plans and service delivery activities. This will be closely linked to the estimates prepared under Joint Resolution 4.3 (Budgets for powers and functions to be drawn down.)

8.2 The ABG will seek to capture in PGAS greater detail on the geographical spend for all development activities.

8.3 The ABG will seek partner support to undertake detailed annual expenditure analysis to contribute to the development of future budgets and assist in the prioritisation of expenditure for service delivery and enhancing autonomy.

8.4 The ABG will work with all development partners to seek to have their contributions recorded in the ABG annual budget.

Medium term economic and fiscal analysis

9.1 The ABG will commission expert assistance to undertake economic and financial analysis on the cost of various options to implement the BEC’s vision for Bougainville taking into account various development scenarios over the next five to ten years.

Financial Reporting and Capacity Improvements

10.1 The ABG will significantly improve the level of reporting on financial matters and projects to the BEC, indivicual ministers, the Bougainville House of Representatives, the National Government, development partners and the community.

10.2 The ABG will develop and then implement a comprehensive capacity development strategy to build the competencies and capabilities of the new ABG Finance and Treasury Department from January 2014.

Taxation

11.1 The ABG will host a Taxation and Revenue Summit in early 2014 to educate the political leadership and the public service of both governments about the tax and revenue arrangements and issues available to Bougainville under the existing Organic Law. Its objective will be (a) to achieve a consensus on a broad strategy, and priorities, to secure improved efficiency and effectiveness in administering the taxation and other revenue entitlements and (b) to contribute to future revenue policy development being properly informed particularly when it seeks to improve the ABG’s ability to achieve the fiscal objectives of the Peace Agreement.

11.2 Based upon the outcome of the Revenue Summit ABG will review its Office of the Chief Bougainville Collector of Taxes to assess future staffing and capacity needs.

11.3 The ABG will activate arrangements to establish the audit function provided in the Organic Law to monitor the collection of revenues by the IRC.

11.4 The IRC will be provided with additional resources in Port Moresby, the regional office and in Buka to undertake its role including an increased awareness program across the region.

Public Administration

12.1 An immediate joint review be carried out on NCOBA to determine its continued relevance and its future roles and responsibilities. The ABG and the National Government should give serious consideration setting up the ABG to manage coordination with the National Government on its own with current NCOBA resources shared between an ABG representative office and the ministry.

12.2 The ABG with the assistance of the National Government will take immediate steps to put in place a weapons disposal plan and set a concrete time to implement weapons disposal prior to 2015. It then should move quickly to implement this plan.

12.3 The ABG take immediate steps to put in place a peace and reconciliation plan and that this plan be immediately implemented before 2015.

12.4 The new structure and operations of the Bougainville Public Service will strengthen and enhance reporting and accountability arrangements including enhancing the roles of ministers and the BEC in setting policy and monitoring the performance of the Administration.

12.5 The ABG will develop and implement a capacity building programme, based around the White Paper on Councils of Elders to resuscitate the capacity of Councils of Elders and Village Assemblies to ensure that they are operational and remain sustainable as the second tier of government in Bougainville.

Good governance

13.1 The governments note the expert’s view that when all the reports are read together and a number of indicators are looked at it is doubtful if it could be said that the ABG was achieving the required standard of good governance in public administration as at mid-2013.

13.2 The governments agree that for future joint reviews greater clarity is needed on the set of indicators (having reference to the constitutional definition) against which good governance is to be assessed taking into account the available sources of quality data.

13.3 In early 2014, with Department of Provincial and Local Government Affairs’ assistance, the ABG will complete a joint organisational assessment using an agreed set of Key Result Areas and indicators based upon the Provincial Performance Improvement Initiative, to be repeated in early 2015 to feed into the 2015 joint review of the autonomy arrangements. ABG and Department of Provincial and Local Government Affairs will seek to involve a representative from East New Britain Province (and/or Milne Bay Province) in the assessments given those provinces’ above average performance in service delivery.

13.4 The ABG will complete its 2014-2016 Corporate Plan by 31 March 2014.

Capacity Development

14.1 The governments agree that they will apply significant resources, with the support of development partners, to implement the BEC approved Capacity Development Strategy for the Autonomous Bougainville Government (November 2012).

House of Representatives and Principal Legal Officer

15.1 The governments will engage, when appropriate, in collaborative efforts to consider the issues of construction of a permanent Parliament building for the House. [This is dependent upon the ABG and its people determining the location of the seat of government.]

15.2 The ABG will undertake a review to assess the required level of resources for the House for the next five years, including recruitment of its necessary administrative support staff, build office capacity and fund resources necessary.

15.3 The ABG will expand programs for induction (after 2015 elections) and ongoing training of Members of the House of Representatives so they understand their roles and the parliamentary procedures and processes. [This should be alongside the AusAID funded mentoring of the House by the NSW Parliament.]

15.4 The ABG will immediately recruit the Bougainville Principal Legal Officer, the principal adviser to the BEC, through an open and transparent process and support the office with lawyers, support staff and resources.

Law and Justice

16.1 Recognising that improving law and order is the people’s highest priority, the governments agree that there is a need to develop and implement, as soon as possible, a clear implementation plan for the transfer of police and correction services functions and powers to the ABG based upon the specific constitutional provisions

16.2 As part of and under the recently launched police modernisation program, GoPNG will give special attention to infrastructure capacity development, funding of resources and police manpower in Bougainville to bring police service to at least pre-crisis level.

16.3 The Police Service, Correctional Service, the Courts and the other law and justice constitutional offices are an integral part of law enforcement, maintaining peace and order and for public security. Both governments will give attention to building the capacity of all aspects of the law and justice system in order to prepare the ABG to be able to enact its own laws to transfer of related powers and functions when appropriate and affordable.

16.4 Given the importance of establishing and maintaining law and order in Bougainville both governments will support the police and correctional services special working groups to analyse and develop appropriate short and medium term funding proposals for the police and correctional services in Bougainville based upon an optimal configuration of staff and facilities.

Mining

17.1 The governments will review the 15-step strategy and seek to implement it in full consultation with each other.

17.2 The governments will as a matter of urgency meet in the Joint Consultative Coordinating Committee on Panguna Negotiations and agree the budget and potential sources of support for a comprehensive program of consultation, analysis and information-sharing so that the ABG, the landowners and the National Government are fully prepared to advocate and negotiate among each other and with BCL the new terms and conditions for mining and exploration leases associated with Panguna Mine.

17.3 Both governments will continue to support building staff capacity of the ABG Mining Department and other departments in order for them to be fully prepared to administer, implement and monitor mining (including issuing, managing and monitoring of mining tenements) and other legislation associated with the possible re-opening Panguna Mine, other mining operations (if any).

17.4 The ABG will continue to consult the National Government through the Department of Mining Policy and the Mineral Resources Authority on the ABG’s proposed transitional law in accordance with the Alotau Agreement, prior to the House enacting the law. The ABG to continue wider consultation of all stakeholders in the ARB in formulating its mining legislation and the Panguna negotiations.

The Referendum

18.1 The governments will meet quarterly in the Referendum Committee, and then at the Joint Supervisory Board, to monitor and discuss the preparations for the Referendum.

18.2 The governments agree that the Referendum will be conducted by an independent agency established for that purpose under Section 58 of the Organic Law on Peace -Building in Bougainville-Autonomous Bougainville Government and Bougainville Referendum 2002.

18.3 The governments agree that by 31 March 2014 the work plan for establishing the arrangements to conduct the Referendum will be completed including specifics on the roles, responsibilities and resources needed for:

  1. the administrative arrangements including establishing the independent agency to conduct a free and fair Referendum in Bougainville;
  2. engaging with international partners to obtain support for the independent agency and the conduct of the Referendum;c. seeking secure sources of funding for the agency to conduct a free and fair Referendum;d. maintaining and supporting regular fora for officials (Referendum Committee) and political leaders;

    e. establishing a Bipartisan Parliamentary Committee of the National Parliament on Bougainville Affairs and a similar committee of the Bougainville House of Representatives so as to provide oversight, direction and monitoring of progress towards the Referendum;

    f. establishing a process of consultation with Bougainvilleans, and others, determine the link or links a person has to have to Bougainville, including those of non-residents, to vote in the Referendum [See Peace Agreement Article 315 and Organic Law Section 55];

    g. reviewing the legal and administrative Rules for the Conduct of the Referendum as contained in the First Schedule to the Organic Law taking into account issues and experiences arising from two Bougainville elections and any other relevant matter.

    h. establishing a process of consultation with Bougainvilleans and others, to seek agreement on the options to be voted on in the Referendum, including independence [PNG Constitution Section 338];

    i. developing and implementing a generalised awareness campaign within Bougainville on the process and arrangements for Referendum. [Awareness on the Referendum itself will be conducted impartially by the independent agency established to conduct the Referendum.]; and

    j. complying with the Bougainville Constitution’s general and specific provisions for consultation within the Region including with traditional leaders and others.

    Feedback to the People

    19.1 The government will support the independent experts to meet with the people of Bougainville through a series of public consultations to close the consultation loop through feedback and deliver the Joint Review to the communities. These sessions will include representatives of both governments.

    .

Bougainville JSB Outcomes : PNG Prime Minister assures ABG of support at Arawa summit

Outcomes

 

The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea Hon Peter O’Neil assured the Autonomous Bougainville Government President Chief Dr John Momis and the people of Bougainville that any outstanding issues presented by the Autonomous Bougainville Government at the Joint Supervisory Body (JSB) meeting will be addressed and effectively resolved.

Hon Peter O’neil assured that the issues were to be resolved during the JSB meeting held on Friday March 13th 2015. Prime Minister Peter O’Neil reassured that other outstanding issues would be addressed effectively before the next JSB meeting.

By Tanya Lahies from the Bureau of Media and Communications

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PM Peter O’Neil assures ABG to resolve issues of transfer of powers

Prime Minister Peter O’neil responded:“I want to assure you, issues about transferring of powers will be effectively resolved before the next JSB meeting.”

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PM Peter O’Neil assures ABG to resolve issues of funding

Prime Minister Peter O’Neil said: “I want to assure you that our national government will honor every commitment prior to the peace agreement. That includes the Special Intervention Funds (SIF); ongoing recurrent expenditures; funding will be provided for recurrent expenditures. I want to assure the people of Bougainville that we will expand the LLGSIP funds.”
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PM Peter O’Neil assures ABG of support to the ABG 2015 National Elections

Prime Minister Peter O’Neil said: “We will transfer K1million to assisting with the elections. The transfer was made this week.”
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PM Peter O’Neil assures ABG for referendum

Prime Minister Peter O’Neil said: “As I have publicly said before, there are conditions which are attached to the referendum that we all have agreed to.”

“We must follow the conditions so that the people have the rights to make a free choice. “

“We are committed as a national government to the referendum process and as governments before, we assure you that we will work closely with you to ensure that –a referendum committee is established and it is working so that we can be able to address many outstanding issues.”
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PM Peter O’Neil assures of commitment to Bougainville

Prime Minister Peter O’Neil said: “I explained publicly during my visits to Arawa, Buin and Panguna that I am committed to making sure that we provide the level of services that our people expect and I’m pleased to see that our Joint Programme Management Unit (PMU) is working closely together to making sure that many of the key infrastructure challenges that we have are been addressed.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neil announced that preparations are under way for the major road network from Kieta to Kangu wharf. “A tender for the major road network between Kieta to Kangu wharf has been now forwarded to the general suppliers for tenders board for awarding of contracts.
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PM Peter O’Neil assures of commitment to working with PMU

Prime Minister Peter O’Neil said: “We will work closely with the Programme Management Unit (PMU) again in making sure that the services are to be delivered in a more kindly manner as well.”
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PM Peter O’Neil’s remark on JSB Meeting

Prime Minister Peter O’Neil said: “Today the joint supervisory body meeting now marks a new level of government. It is important that we continue that we work together- the rest to assure that we show our government support- our top priority of restoring basic services. “

Prime Minister Peter O’Neil reassured that commitment to the ABG has always been strong. “We will continue to work with you till we implement many of our programmes. I want to reassure that our government will continue to support your government to ensuring the best outcomes to achieving the best standard of living.

Bougainville Elections News: United Nations to support Bougainville Government carrying out elections

 

UN

The United Nations through the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Papua New Guinea will support the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) in carrying out the upcoming elections through “Support of the 2015 Bougainville General Elections” initiative.

The new initiative launched in March 2015 is a follow-up to the request of the Government of PNG and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for UN-backed electoral support to the general elections in Bougainville scheduled to take place in May-June 2015.

The project will provide short-term – 5 month – support to the electoral process in the following six areas: (1) coordination of the observer effort, (2) support to the establishment of electoral dispute resolution mechanisms (3) training support to women candidates; (4) training of candidates and scrutineers; (5) training of media representatives, and (6) support to a post-elections lessons learnt exercise.

“The ABG welcomes the support provided by the UN family for the conduct of transparent and credible 2015 elections in Autonomous Region of Bougainville. This support is timely and will go a long way in providing a safe and enabling environment for the pathway to peace and development in Bougainville and creating a credible road map for the referendum to take place within the next five years”, – said Monovi Amani, Chief Secretary of ABG.

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“This work aims to assist Bougainville to move towards a long-standing peace based on a democratic process so that the people of Bougainville can build a better future for all. As the UN team in Papua New Guinea, we are committed to support the Government of Bougainville to conduct credible, transparent and inclusive elections” – said Mr. Roy Trivedy, UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative.

The upcoming elections are seen as crucial as they will mark the start of the referendum period agreed upon in the Bougainville Peace Agreement with the new leadership leading Autonomous Region of Bougainville and its people towards referendum. In this context the need for transparent, credible and well-administered elections is critical.

The project is implemented by UNDP in partnership with its sister agencies and will run from March to July 2015. While the project focuses on immediate support to the General Elections, opportunities for a wider long-term initiative on development support to the Office of the Bougainville Electoral Commissioner are being seized.

Some of the upcoming activities of the project include:

  • Training of international and domestic observers, providing them with materials on political context of the elections, the electoral operation plan, procedures used in the polling and counting centers and etc.
  • Support to the establishment of electoral dispute resolution mechanisms that will enhance the legitimacy of the elections and provide voters with an official outlet for electoral complaints.
  • Supporting female candidates to participate in the elections. The project will support women candidates by providing information on legal and institutional framework, relevant advocacy and lobbying tools and more.
  • Training of scrutineers to ensure the credible counting of ballots. Series of trainings will be carried out in the North, Central and South Bougainville. Training will include detailed information on the tabulation and announcement of result process.
  • Training of media representatives to ensure fair and informed reporting. The project will work with media to equip them with necessary skills and knowledge to cover electoral processes.

A lessons-learnt exercise will be conducted at the end of the project and the elections to identify areas for support in future elections.

UNDP is the largest provider of electoral assistance in the UN system. It has been involved in supporting the electoral cycle in more than 58 countries, and in most cases its assistance has been instrumental to the holding of credible elections, bringing more professional electoral management, more inclusive electoral processes, and more credible elections than would have been the case without it’s support.

“The UN has supervised and observed elections and referendums worldwide and increasingly focuses its electoral efforts on providing technical assistance to help countries build credible and sustainable national electoral systems. We will use the best of this knowledge and expertise for the benefit of Bougainville and the whole country” – added Mr. Roy Trivedy.

Australia investing AU$14 million over 5 years for Bougainville gender equality programs

AHC 2

The Australian Government is providing PGK 3.5m to support the work of the Bougainville Women’s Human Rights Defenders and to develop advocacy programs aimed at changing behaviours around gender-based violence.
The Nazareth Centre for Healing will deliver the new program of support, ‘From Gender Based Violence to Gender Justice and Healing’, with the assistance of the International Women’s Development Agency. The support package was announced at the International Women’s Day breakfast hosted by the Bougainville Women’s Federation in Buka on 12 March.
In partnership with the Autonomous Bougainville Government, Australia is investing AU$14 million over five years for more programs to improve gender equality in Bougainville.

Bougainville Election News : Bougainville to go to polls 11 May to decide future

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Counting will commence immediately after the polling period (May 11 and May 25) from May 26 to June 7 and the writs will be returned the next day, June 8, 2015.

BY JENNIFER NKUI

The acting electoral commissioner for Bougainville George Manu has finally made the announcement that the people of Bougainville have been waiting to hear and that is the election dates.

He made this announcement in a press conference today saying this is the announcement that Bougainvilleans have been waiting to hear.

After giving updates on the enrolment of Bougainvilleans living outside of Bougainville and the preliminary roll that will be sent back to the districts and COE’s for public display, the acting electoral commissioner finally revealed the election dates.

He said the issue of writs will take place on March 27, next week Friday and nominations will commence on March 30 to April 1.

He explained that nominations will take place in these three days while the polling period will fall between May 11 and May 25.

Mr. Manu who was happy to make this announcement on the election dates said counting will commence immediately after the polling period from May 26 to June 7 and the writs will be returned the next day, June 8, 2015.

The acting electoral commissioner added that he is satisfied because funding is available and he would like to thank the ABG for making funding available to conduct the election.

He then stressed that this election is crucial and they will do their best to ensure that all eligible voters are able to cast their votes in the election.

Mr. Manu concluded that they will be following the election calendar to conduct the 2015 ABG general election.

United Nations awards Bougainville for resettling the worlds first climate change refugees

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By Aloysius Laukai
The head of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Papua New Guinea, ROY TRIVEDY last Saturday presented the EQUATOR AWARD to a local Bougainville NGO, TULELE PEISA at the Arawa Independence oval.

Award

The Equator Prize was for their community driven resettlement project for the Carteret’s islanders.

The prize also included cash totalling US $5,000

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In his speech at the ceremony in Arawa, MR. TRIVEDY praised TULELE PEISA INC for their outstanding efforts in resettling the first Climate Change refugees in the world voluntarily.

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He said that since the UN created the award over 187 recipients have been awarded the prize and the 2014 Equator award had 1,200 nominations from over 121 countries of which two organizations in Papua New Guinea have been successful. The other group is from the Morobe Province. MR. TRIVEDY said that Climate change is impacting the whole world with sea level rise and soil erosions and this TULELE PEISA Project can be a model the whole world can learn something from

Award 5

Bougainville Political News : Speech by ABG President Chief Dr John Momis at JSB meeting Arawa

PM 44

Due to the high demand of people wanting information about the outcome of the high level government meeting between the ABG and PNG National Government, .Here is the speech by the ABG President Chief Dr John Momis in his opening remarks of the JSB meeting.

Speech provided by the President’s PR Mr Anthony Kaybing Via their Facebook Page

Tomorrow, we look at the speech by Prime Minister’s Honourable Peter O’Neil MP; Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea.

Please note that a joint press release by the ABG media and PM’s Department will be published later.

The joint press release will outline the outcome or resolution of the JSB meeting.
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SPEECH BY PRESIDENT CHIEF DR. JOHN MOMIS TO THE JSB MEETING HELD IN ARAWA AT THE SHARP YOUTH MEMORIAL CENTRE

13th March, 2015
Salutations:

1. Honourable Peter O’Neil MP; Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea
2. Ministers of the National Government.
3. ABG Ministers
4. Deputy Secretary to Department of Prime Minister and NEC, Mr. Trevor Meauri
5. Chief to ABG, Mr. Monovi Amani
6. Heads of Government Departments and Statutory Authorities of National Government and ABG
7. Ladies and Gentlemen

1. Introduction

1. On behalf of my people of Bougainville and the Autonomous Bougainville Government I would like to sincerely welcome Hon. Prime Minister’s O’ Neil and members of the National Government delegation to this important meeting of 24 JSB in Arawa.

2. The fact that this meeting is held in Arawa is indicative of the substantial progress and level of maturity and trust achieved since the signing of the Bougainville Peace Agreement in 2001.

3. Hon. Prime Minister, by personally attending this meeting and coming to Arawa goes along to demonstrate to our people of Bougsinvile and Papua New Guinea as a whole, your interest and commitment to dealing with the Bougainville issue.

4. I take this opportunity to thank your predecessors, Sir Michael Somare, Sir Mekere Morauta, late Honourable Bill Skate, Sir Julius and Hon. Sir Rabbie Namaliu for their support given to the Bouginville process.

5. Prime Minister, I want to single out the great contribution by the late Hon. Bill Skate for his visionary, commitment and non-nonsense approach that has been instrumental in significantly fast-tracking the process.

6. Your visits to Bougainville to open the Aropa Airport and now to attend this meeting follows from the example of your former party leader in personally making the Bougainville issue his issue.

7. Former Prime Minister, the late Bill Skate’s visit in the midst of the crisis broke a lot of barriers and paved the way for close and meaningful dialogue between the National Government and Bougainville leaders.

8. This is the example that we as leaders must continue to adopt and maintain.

Trust Between The Two Governments
9. Hon. Prime Minister O’Neil, as you are well aware, the issue of trust between our leaders in honouring the Bougainville Peace Agreement is very important.

10. The Bougainville Peace Agreement is a trust document between two conflicting parties that outlines the parameters we must operate within.

11. There is an obligation for all of us leaders to work within the framework and spirit of the Peace Agreement in order for us to avoid misunderstandings and contentious issues from arising.

12. It is a bipartisan agreement that involved different parties, hence, I must caution against unilateral decision making by any of the parties.

Frustrations Over Inadequate Financial Support

13. While the Autonomous Bougainville Government is appreciative and grateful for the financial support provided by the National Government over the years, we remain concern and critical as the level of support has not been commensurate with the costs of providing these services and the level of powers and functions transferred.

14. We have observed that while other provinces recurrent budget has increased over the years commensurate with the increase in cost of services provided, the same has not been true for Bougainville.

15. The appropriations by successive governments for Bougainville’s recurrent budget have stayed mostly the same with minimal increases only for some years.

16. We are also concerned about the National Government’s continued disrespect for the Agreements signed and honouring its part in the Agreements.

17. The National Government has displayed arrogance on its part in its unilateral decisions in reducing the RDG by K15 million in 2012 and most recently reducing the 2015 SIF by K30 million to repay cuts to the RDG.

18. We need to come up with a mechanism to integrate DSIP/PSIP funds into the ABG’s budgetary framework to ensure they are aligned with our priorities.

19. Bougainville continue to miss out on local-government grants given to other LLGs in Papua New Guinea.

20. The unilateral and unpredictable actions by the National Government makes us wonder whether Bougainville has been unduly victimized and made the sacrificial lamb on the alter of self-determination.

Our Frustrations at Lengthy Period in Draw-down of Powers

21. The Bougainville Executive Council has expressed its concerns and frustration at the lengthy period taken to draw-down powers and slow progress made in drawing down powers after we have taken the first step of signaling our intentions.

22. National Government departments and statutory bodies ought to be made aware that Bougainville by right is entitled to exercise all powers vested with it under the Peace Agreement and PNG constitution.

23. The fact that we do not have these powers is because of our capacity in terms of financial and other resources available to undertake those powers and functions.

24. The people of Bougainville are yet to experience and enjoy the benefits of autonomy and even feel what is like to be an autonomous region with the powers vested to Bougainville under the Agreements and PNG constitution.

25. This is almost after eleven (11) years of signing the Bougainville Peace Agreement.

26. It has been our experience that some National Government departments continue to disregard the directives of the JSB signed by the highest political authority vested with the Prime Minister on behalf of the National Government and the President of ABG on behalf of Bougainville.

27. We are pushing strongly through this JSB for an overarching framework that will enable ABG and the National Government to establish a mechanism for the timely release of powers and functions directed towards building the capacity of the Bougainville Administration.

28. The framework should aim for shorter period in the drawdown process and should commit respective departments to provide the supportive framework by providing the legal draftsmen, secondment of officers and the resources that follow the respective powers and functions.

29. There is a perception, rightly or wrongly, that there is some reluctance by some bureaucrats in Waigani to allow for the speedy transfer of these powers.

30. This has been evidenced by difficulties we are facing in requesting the drawdown of powers.

31. We are currently experiencing difficulties in the process of drawdowns with the following departments and agencies;

– Fisheries
– Environment and Conservation
– CIS
– Police
– Lands

32. We would like to see substantial progress in the drawdown of these powers in the coming year and are taking the bold step of requesting that all powers due to Bougainville must be transferred by the year 2016.

Referendum
33. The year 2015 is a crucial year in the peace process with the opening of the referendum window in June, 2015.

34. We are concerned that with only five years remaining for the referendum to be held, not much progress has been made.

35. The Referendum Committee needs to meet regularly and move fast to progress the various milestones that we need to achieve for the successful staging of the referendum.

36. There is the important task of preparing the people of Bougainville through a comprehensive awareness program in order for them to be ready to make the most important decision of their life.

37. This must happen very quickly.

38. The fact is that timing is not on our side and that important decisions need to be made by the two Governments through the respective bipartisan Committee to agree on several milestones that need to happen.

39. As a way forward, the ABG is proposing that we hold the referendum at a date agreed to by both Governments in the first quarter of 2019.

40. We have arrived at this timing taking into account the commitments by both the National Government and ABG over the next five years.

41. These are the coming ABG and National elections in 2017, the Pacific Games and the forthcoming APEC meeting.

42. The referendum committee comprising officials of both Governments will need to move quickly and reach agreement on important issues such as (1) eligibility for voting, (2) the relevant questions to be asked, including the question on whether Bougainville should be independent or not, and (3) the appropriate agency for conducting the referendum.

ABG Elections
43. The third ABG elections will be held by May this year and a new Government will be in place by June.

44. We are grateful to the support provided by National Electoral office and aid agencies to put together a successful election.

45. We have written to the National Government requesting K2 million to meet our budget shortfall and await a response.

5 Year Medium Term Plan (2015-2019)and Bougainville Strategic Vision and Plan

46. The administration is in the process of consolidating the Bougainville Medium term plan for the next five years in order to fill the gap in development planning.

47. The Medium term plan covering a period of over five years is intended to provide strategic direction and the development framework that will guide the ABG budgets.

48. In addition, Bougainville Executive Council has recently endorsed the process of consultation to formulate the Bougainville Strategic Vision. The strategic plan will be put in place to if the vision is to be translated into tangible results for our people for a lengthy period.

49. The Bougainville Vision will determine the future or type of Bougainville that we want, defines our values as Bougainvilleans, sets our standards for governance and how the resources will be equitably distributed.

50. An equally daunting task is to develop and formulate the Bougainville Long-term Development Growth Strategy that will be needed to achieve our overall vision.

51. The long-term development strategy must identify the appropriate strategies needed to fulfill our vision.

52. In our push for autonomy, the transfer of powers and functions from the National Government is meaningless if it does not translate to higher living standards for our people.

53. We need to put together a development framework that plots our future development process over the next thirty to fifty years.

Bougainville Permanent Mining Bill
54. The last House of Representatives Assembly meeting will have the important task of passing the Permanent Bougainville Mining Act. I want to thank the National Government and the World Bank for their assistance in helping us to put the Act together.

Bougainville Energy Plan
55. The development of an overall energy development plan for Bougainville is critical for the future development of Bougainville.

56. The plan will need to focus on alternative energy sources such as hydro utilizing the many river systems on Bougainville and solar energy. I take this opportunity to thank the National Government for facilitating the loan that will enable us to build the Ramazon Hydo-electric scheme that will cost K35 million.

Conclusions

57. Despite the frustrations raised above, I am positive of the future for all of us.

58. I am appealing to both parties to make it happen for the Bougainvlle people. We need to work together within the framework of the Bougainville peace Agreement.

59. I take this opportunity to once again thank the Prime Minister for his continued support for the peace process in Bougainville. His presence today is a demonstration of the high regard he has for our people of Bougainville and PNG as a whole.

60. I thank all the other officials from both sides who have worked tirelessly and sacrificed a lot to bring the peace process to where it is today.

Thank you and may God Bless us all.

Hon. Dr. John Momis
PRESIDENT

 

Bougainville Political News: Joint PNG /Bougainville supervisory meeting held in Arawa

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Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea Peter O’Neill  assured President Momis and the people of Bougainville that the National Government will honour all its commitments and most important is Bougainville will receive a fair share of funding.

The Joint Supervisory Body Meeting held in Arawa, Central Bougainville today ended on a high note with the signing of the Joint Resolution by the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea Peter O’Neill and the ABG President Chief Dr. John Momis.

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The prime minister who arrived in Bougainville this morning was met and received at the Aropa Airport by chief Momis.
In his welcome remarks during the Joint Supervisory Body meeting, the president thanked the prime minister for attending the Joint Supervisory Body meeting in Bougainville.The president in his remarks outlined also some issues that the National Government should look into, thus stressing strongly on the issue of the Restoration Development Grants and the decrease in the Special Intervention Fund for Bougainville to K30 million.


Meanwhile the prime minister who was happy to be present for the JSB meeting pointed out that although there are many challenges ahead of the two governments, the two governments have come a long way. He said there are many issues still outstanding and the transfer of powers have been slow but the issue of the draw down of powers will be addressed in the next JSB meeting.


He then assured president Momis and the people of Bougainville that the National Government will honour all its commitments and most important is Bougainville will receive a fair share of funding. The prime minister who was only in the region for the JSB meeting flew back to Port Moresby this afternoon after the meeting was officially declared closed by the ABG chief secretary Monovi Amani.

Bougainville referendum poll : Who should conduct the Bougainville referendum ?

 

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The Bougainville referendum will decide our children’s future

Who will conduct the referendum on the future political status of Bougainville!!!
The answer to this question is provided by the collective force of the reading Bougainville Peace Agreement and the constitutional laws that implement it.

The law provides four options from amongst which the ABG and the National Government can choose one option on the body that will conduct the referendum on the future political status of Bougainville.

Bougainville News is running a poll on who you think should conduct the referendum ;-

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These are the options from amongst which the ABG and the National Government can choose only one single option.

What do you think!

Bougainville 2015 Elections all the latest news updated

 

julie Bishop

This post contains 5 Bougainville Election updates

1.Bougainville women encouraged to stand for election

2.Bougainville Electoral Commission’s historic election

3.ABG election on track

4.Commissioner attends successful talkback show

5.Voters urged to get enrolled

WOMEN in Bougainville have been encouraged by the acting Bougainville Electoral Commissioner George Manu to contest in the upcoming 2015 ABG General Election.

Picture: Julie Bishop a friend of Bougainville for many years recently hosted Autonomous #Bougainville Government MPs Joan Jerome, Rose Pihei, Elizabeth Burain in her Canberra Office. The Australian and US government are investing in women organisation as an aid priority

Mr Manu said apart from the three regional seats reserved for women in the ABG parliament, women who believed that they are capable of representing their people in parliament should also stand for the constituency and presidential seats.

He said not many women had contested for the constituency and presidential seats in the last two ABG General Elections.

“During the past two elections there was less number of women contesting so I am encouraging more women to contest in this election,” said Mr Manu.

He said women should go and check whether they are on the electoral roll or get enrolled and update their details if required in order to be eligible to contest or cast their votes in the election.

“March is the month all Bougainvilleans, including women, should ensure they are enrolled correctly.

“Go and visit your council of elders and village assemblies, your district office or a regional office of the Bougainville Electoral Commission located in Buka, Arawa and Buin. Here you can view the preliminary roll, or fill out a new enrolment form to ensure you are on the roll in time for the 2015 General Election,” said Mr Manu.

 Bougainville Electoral Commission’s historic election

THIS year’s ABG General Election will be historical to the people of Bougainville as it will be run by the Office of the Bougainville Electoral Commissioner.

During the past two ABG General Elections held in 2005 and 2010, the PNG Electoral Commission (PNGEC) was responsible for conducting these elections.

Even though PNGEC and the Australia and New Zealand electoral commissions are providing technical assistance and support, the Bougainville electoral commission will be taking the leading role in conducting the election.

Move towards the establishment of Bougainville’s own electoral commission has been spearheaded by the current acting commissioner, George Manu.

Even though a decision to establish the Bougainville Electoral Commission was made by the Bougainville Executive Council in 2010, this was never achieved until Mr Manu’s acting appointment in 2013.

Mr Manu was tasked to conduct five ABG by-elections, but instead of only concentrating on these by-elections, he decided to also start actioning the BEC decision on the establishment of the commission.

Apart from managing the processes and the preparations already achieved, the Bougainville electoral commission has also produced its own materials, manuals and forms for voter registrations to be used in the elections.

ABG election on track

PREPARATIONS for the 2015 ABG General Election are still on track, that’s the assurance from the acting Bougainville Electoral Commissioner, George Manu.

“All preparations are on track and I am confident that we will deliver this election according to our schedule,” said Mr Manu.

“Me and my returning officers are determined and set to run this election for the people of Bougainville.”

Mr Manu’s assurance now puts to rest doubts many people had regarding the preparations for the election.

He added that though the Autonomous Bougainville Government was slow in releasing funding to conduct the election, he is confident the election will still be conducted in accordance with the election schedule.

“The only hiccup we had was the late release of funding to conduct the election. But the Bougainville Electoral Commission is focused on the delivery of this election. Our duty is to conduct the election,” said Mr Manu.

Meanwhile, the acting Bougainville electoral commissioner has commended the ABG for releasing K1. 5 million to the electoral commission last week.

Part of this funding will now be used to conduct the public scrutiny.

Commissioner attends successful talkback show

THE radio talkback show hosted by Bougainville Radio Ples Lain with the acting Bougainville Electoral Commissioner George Manu last Wednesday has been hailed a success.

The program which was relayed live on NBC Bougainville saw Mr Manu giving updates on the general preparations currently undertaken by his office towards the staging of the election.

This includes activities like the updating of the electoral roll for the ABG election.

Mr Manu said the enrolment exercise was very important as the available data that the commission had before the commencement of this exercise was four years out of date.

Mr Manu also gave an update on the establishment of the Bougainville Electoral Commission as well as on the core functions of the Bougainville electoral commission.

He also outlined the rights of people to vote as well as the importance of this coming election.

During the program, Mr Manu was also able to answer queries raised by some concern listeners.

Many people that were in Buka town when the program was aired live as well as listeners from the villages in mainland Bougainville as far as Tinputz district were fortunate to have access to this information as they now have a fair idea on the preparations of the election.

Voters urged to get enrolled

By WINTERFORD TOREAS

THE acting Bougainville Electoral Commissioner, George Manu is appealing to all eligible voters in Bougainville to make sure that their names are on the electoral roll.
“I am appealing to all eligible voters to make sure that your names are on the electoral roll so that you will be able to cast your votes in the election,” said Mr Manu.
“It is important that your name should be on the electoral roll. If your name is not on the roll, then you will not be able to vote in the coming election,” added Mr Manu.
According to the ABG election schedule, the preliminary rolls will shortly be sent back to each districts and constituencies for public viewing this week.
The preliminary rolls consist of names of those that were registered during the field enrolment exercise carried out towards the end of last year.
“I am appealing to all eligible voters to go to your district and council of elders’ offices and village assemblies and check that your name is in the electoral roll. If your name is not on the roll or it is on the roll but not spelt correctly, you will be given an enrolment form to fill so that we will enrol your name in the final electoral roll.
“Enrolment will not be accepted once the writs are issued,” said Mr Manu.

END……………………………..///