Bougainville and PNG set agenda for key meeting

2:38 pm on 20 June 2018

The chief secretaries of the Papua New Guinea and Bougainville governments have agreed on 39 recommendations to be put at next week's meeting of the Joint Supervisory Body (JSB).

John Momis and Peter O'Neill

John Momis and Peter O'Neill Photo: RNZ / AFP

The meeting, between Prime Minister Peter O'Neill and Bougainville President John Momis, is to be held on 28 and 29 June in Arawa after being deferred from last week.

PNG chief secretary Isaac Lupari said the recommendations would ensure the JSB meeting was an effective forum for readying the region for next year's referendum on independence.

The recommendations include that the Referendum Commission be made fully operational within two weeks of the JSB meeting with Port Moresby naming their members and they, along with former Irish prime minister Bertie Ahern and Bougainville's Patrick Nisira and Ruby Mirinka, being fully endorsed.

Promised funding of 20 million kina from the PNG government is to be transferred to a formal commission trust account.

The leaders will also formally consider the questions to be put at the referendum and direct the commission to test the questions and ballot paper to ensure it is understood by the people.

Included in the 39 recommendations are:

Officials meet to review legal arrangements related to the Organic Law and the need for possible amendments, including constitutional regulations and associated legal matters to give effect to the operational conduct of the referendum.

Leaders formally consider questions to be put at the referendum, including the use of symbols and direct BRC to test the questions and ballot paper to ensure it is understood by the people

Develop agreed process for post-referendum transition

the two Chief Secretaries meet to examine means through which disbursement of outstanding K437 million can be made

That the ABG will prepare an expenditure plan for the K135 million to be financed by the National Government in 2018.

Endorse arrangement for the Second Autonomy review, which is expected to be finalised by the end of October 2018.

Endorsement of the progress of the Four Phase Weapons Disposal Plan and funding support of K12 million over three years be affirmed, with a commitment that K7million in funds be provided in the 2018 financial year.

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