Joint Supervisory Body Meeting Deferred

By Edwin Fidelis and Fabian Hakalits – EM TV News

The Joint Supervisory Body Meeting scheduled for today in Kokopo, between the National and the Autonomous Bougainville Government, has been deferred to next year.

The deferral was based on principles regarding calculations on outstanding funds; the National Government owes the autonomous government.

The one-day meeting today was to discuss outstanding issues between both governments, agreed in the last JSB Meeting in Arawa, under the Bougainville Peace Agreement.

Following a four hour-long closed-door meeting at Rapopo Plantation Resort, the deferral was made.

The deferral announcement was then later made to the waiting delegation at Gazelle International Hotel; that leaders of both governments have agreed.

Earlier, Chief Momis released a statement saying, the ABG was not happy as the National Government failed to honour its commitments, and if agreement were not settled it would be challenged in court.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister’s Office, in a media statement, stated that agreement was reached in principle on issues, including the Restoration Development Grants and details will be finalised for the next meeting.

This will provide time for officials to ensure views expressed can be fully captured as such matters are important for the welfare of Bougainvilleans and Papua New Guinea, which is a shared concern.

Prime Minister O’Neill and President Momis said there is a lot to be proud of on Bougainville, and all parties need to focus on this and building a stronger future.

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