Elizabeth Guka, EMTV News Cadet Journalist – Student
The Japanese government in Port Moresby today (November 13, 2018) signed an agreement with UNDP to pledge their support towards the Bougainville Referendum.
Japan, through the agreement, has given funds to support the work of the Bougainville Referendum Commission as well as the Autonomous Bougainville Government’s Directorate for Media and Communications.
The Japanese Government signed the agreement to provide financial assistance towards the Bougainville Referendum, by giving 101 million Yen, which amounts to 3 million Kina.
The financial support provided by the Japanese Government will be implemented by the UNDP, under the Bougainville Referendum Support Project in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.
The Director for the National Co-ordination Office for Bougainville Affairs in the Prime Minister’s department, John Avira, was thankful for the timely provision of funds given by Japan, through its Embassy in Port Moresby.
“This contribution of 101 million Yen by government of Japan and the people of Japan is most welcome and very timely.” Avira said.
The ABG is currently in the process of completing the Bougainville Peace Agreement, in partnership with the PNG Government.
Avira says that there have been appeals sent to development partners to assist in conducting the referendum, which is the third pillar of the Bougainville Peace Agreement.
“The contribution is a great relief..the Bougainville Referendum Commission need this support and we have appealed to our development partners to assist us to conduct the referendum.” Director Aviro said.
According to the director, apart from the support given by Japan, the PNG government, as well as other donors such as Australia and New Zealand, have also made pledges to support the work of the Bougainville Referendum Commission, through the UNDP’s implementation of the Bougainville Referendum Support Project.
Meanwhile, the funds provided by the Japanese Government will be used to assist the work of the Bougainville Referendum Commission and the ABG Directorate of Media and Communications.
Specifically, the funds will be used to provide awareness materials and equipment to help inform the people of Bougainville and PNG, about the practical and legal processes involved in the referendum.