25 May 2012

UNDP succeeds in opening office in South Bougainville

4:39 pm on 25 May 2012

Papua New Guinea's country director for the United Nations Development Programme says reconciliation in the south of Bougainville's main island has allowed it to open an office in Buin.

Much of the south of Bougainville has for years been under the control of former militants tied to the Me-ekamui group, making it difficult for the government, its agencies and other bodies to establish a presence.

The UNDP's PNG country director, David McLachlan-Karr, says they have been maintaining a small sub-office in Siwai, but he says the environment has improved due to reconciliation efforts, and this has allowed the move to Buin.

"In a big ceremony on Tuesday we had singing groups and we opened up a new office inside the district administration and the president [John Momis] himself, who was there, gave the UNDP a grant of land right opposite the district offices where we will eventually establish a purpose built UN office but at the moment for us it is a very satisfactory and a very positive sign that things are actually getting back on track in the south."