” A Peace Walk may happen only one day in a year. But we must wear peace on our sleeves and bear it in our hearts everyday. It is the most precious and rewarding gift that we can wear, bear and share with others in our life time.
This is not a project in the conventional or orthodox sense. A message for peace is a potent message, a way of life if you like, that all humanity must subscribe to globally.
Bougainville has something to show for its commitment to peace that was born out of a desire to return to peace by peaceful means.
The Bougainville Peace Agreement, a joint creation by the National Government and the leaders of Bougainville is a testimony to this commitment.
We can better reach and embrace others in peace with us only after we make peace within ourselves. “
Simon Pentanu Speaker of the House
Photo above : This is part of the crowd that participated in the annual Peace Walk from Parliament House, Kubu to Bel Isi Park, Buka town on Friday 09 December 2016.
The BPA is our political trajectory for peace, a joint memorandum if you like, created between the National Government and Bougainville leaders. That the BPA was agreed to with its signing witnessed by representatives of the international community and Pacific | Oceania regional leaders is a testament by all parties for an unerring desire to see sustainable peace in Bougainville.
If you are looking for impact and performance indicators where peace is at and how we have faired since the signing of the BPA since end of August 2001, one of the best places to look is the last place we often go looking, that is to our heart and within our heart.
By anyone’s measure or comparison I am prepared to be shot down in saying that the peace process and progress in Bougainville has been exponential. This has required and involved the efforts and commitment of many people and many organizations. But most of all it has required the willingness, cooperation and commitment on Bougainville, of Bougainvilleans to sustain it thus far.
Thank you Buka Town Manager for your support.
Thank you to the ABG Ministers who walked with everyone from start to finish.
Thank you BWF and the many women who braved and enjoyed the walk for a good cause that is universal and very relevant to Bougainville; special thanks to the students from Kamarau International School who were the peace banner bearers on the walk all the way; grateful thanks to members of the civil society whose hearts’ desire always responds readily to occasions like this; thank you to UNDP and other agencies of the UN family for your unequivocal support for peace for a better Bougainville. The mobile support ahead provided by the Bougainville police is appreciated, thank you.
Thank you to the person in the wheelchair who willed and supported this day and wheeled all the way from start to finish. You were not just another person in the Walk. You made a big, special effort. We applaud and thank you.
Thank you Chief Secretary and our senior and rank and file public servants and officials; thank you any political staff that came along.
Thank you to everyone else that took part. Let us keep doing it. You can never have enough, or make enough, peace. Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.
The onus is on us.
Let us keep Walking !