By Meriba Tulo – EMTV News, Port Moresby
The implementation of the Bougainville Peace Agreement remains a joint responsibility for both the National Government, and the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG).
ABG President, Chief John Momis, made these remarks when addressing a conference focusing on the upcoming Bougainville Referendum.
Addressing the PNG National Research Institute (NRI) Bougainville Referendum Conference, ABG President, Chief John Momis, reminded those present that the Bougainville Peace Agreement, which forms the basis of the ABG, was a joint effort by both the National Government, and the people of Bougainville.
With the Referendum drawing closer, President Momis called for more action from both sides to ensure that the referendum exercise was successful.
This he said would only be fair given Bougainville’s important role in financing the early days of PNG post-independence.
The President’s sentiments also echoed by several members of the ABG – with ABG Parliamentary Chairman on Referendum, Joseph Watawi, and Deputy Speaker Francesca Semoso also calling for all sides to work together.
From discussions today, funding, especially from the National Government, has been highlighted as a major issue that continues to hinder Referendum preparations – however, according to ABG officials, they are not letting that disrupt their preparations.
Also present at the Conference were Members of the PNG Parliamentary Opposition, who, whilst acknowledging the progress being made in recent years, remain disappointed at the level of consideration being given to assisting the ABG in delivering this important exercise for the people of Bougainville.