Bougainville Featured News

Joint Supervisory Body Meeting Agenda Set

By Meriba Tulo – EMTV News, Port Moresby

The agenda for the upcoming Joint Supervisory Body Meeting (JBS) between the Papua New Guinea National Government and the Autonomous Bougainville Government have been confirmed.

At a recent Joint Technical Team (JTT) meeting, Chief Secretaries of both Governments agreed to 39 recommendations, which will be discussed by leaders on both sides when they meet in Arawa on June 28th and 29th.

Chief Secretaries, Isaac Lupari and Joseph Nobetau, have confirmed the recommendations which will be put forward to PNG Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, and ABG President, Chief John Momis.

In total, 39 recommendations were reached at the conclusion of the recent Joint Technical Team meeting in Port Moresby.

According to both Chief Secretaries, these recommendations cover a wide range of issues under the Bougainville Peace Agreement (BPA), including referendum and post-referendum issues, fisheries, outstanding grants owed to Bougainville, weapons disposal and border control.

Among the recommendations, will be to formally endorse Mr Bertie Ahern, the former President of Ireland, as Chair of the Bougainville Referendum Commission (BRC) and invite him to attend the meeting of the JSB in Arawa from 28 to 29 June.

With the full Commission meet no later than 14 days after the JSB in Arawa.

The JTT has also agreed to the establishment of funding of K20 million be transferred to a formally endorsed BRC trust account.

Furthermore, the JTT has recommended that the JSB endorse arrangements for the Second Autonomy review, which is expected to be finalised by the end of October 2018.

The JTT has also recommended for the JSB to endorse progress of the Four Phase Weapons Disposal Plan and funding support of K12 million over three years be affirmed, with a commitment that K7 million in funds be provided in the 2018 financial year.

But perhaps of most attention will be the confirmation of the Referendum question, with the JTT recommending for the JSB to 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.

With the Referendum Target date set for June 15th 2019 – all eyes will be on the JSB meeting next week, with Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, and ABG President already announcing their intentions to work towards ensuring the success of the referendum exercise.

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