24 Jul 2002

Bougainville administration asking for international aid

6:11 pm on 24 July 2002

The provincial government for the Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville has started holding talks with the donor community for aid to help fund the Bougainville Constitutional Commission.

The Bougainville Administrator, Simon Pentanu, says the provincial government is seeking overseas aid as well as funding from PNG's national government in its next annual budget.

Mr Pentanu says the funds will be used to help meet the costs of the BCC as well as a constituent assembly and elections.

The BCC was established last week to begin the process of formulating a Bougainville constitution after widespread consultation with community and ex-militant groups.

The Bougainville Peace Agreement, which was approved by parliament in March gives Bougainville autonomy and a referendum on independence in the next 10- 15 years.