The Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has reassured me of his support to the Bougainville peace process and the Post Referendum Consultations despite the failure to convene the Joint Supervisory Body Meeting last week.
The Bougainville delegation that travelled to Port Moresby for the JSB last week was made up of members of my cabinet and the Bougainville Administration.
We were also accompanied by several ABG MP’s and various stakeholders who are members of the Bougainville Post Referendum Consultations team.
The convening of the JSB Meeting would have progressed the issues that the Prime Minister and I deliberated on during the Pre-JSB Meeting earlier this month where we also agreed for the meeting to be held last week.
For the ABG we brought our consultation team to begin the negotiations on the Post Referendum Consultations that precedes the ratification by the National Parliament.
This would have been the first time the two consultation teams from Bougainville and the National Consultation teams would have met to begin the preliminaries on the consultation process framework.
The key agendas that are supposed to be discussed at the JSB are;
- Post Referendum Joint Inter-Government Consultations process framework
- Outstanding Financial Issues
- Transfer f BCL Shares to the ABG
- Drawdown of Powers and functions
- Outstanding National Elections debts (2012 and 2017)
- By-election for Bougainville Regional Seat
- Invitation to foreign missions to set up development offices on Bougainville.
I am disappointed that the JSB was not convened however, I am pleased that the Joint Technical Team co-chaired by the two Chief Secretaries of the two governments was convened last week.
The outcome is optimistic and will only require the convening of the JSB to formalize the discussions from the JTT.
I am mindful of the political situation that is currently on going in the National Government and I am well aware of how its outcome will have an obvious effect on Bougainville.
I maintain my resolve that Bougainville and my government is not party to the outcome of the current political situation but I must insist on the National Government to meet its commitment to the Bougainville Peace Agreement.
The BPA is a joint creation by the two governments and its implementation must be honored by the ABG and the National Government.