The new United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator for Papua New Guinea (PNG), Gianluca Rampolla, is currently visiting the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. The three-day visit marks the first for Mr. Rampolla outside of the nation’s capital, with peace building, women in leadership and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be high on the agenda for discussion.
Mr. Rampolla will meet with President, Dr. John Momis, and key counterparts from the Autonomous Bougainville Government(ABG) and key counterparts as well as other key partners working together with both the Government of Papua New Guinea and ABG on implementation of the Bougainville Peace Agreement (BPA).
Mr. Rampolla said: “The United Nations has a long history in Bougainville, dating back to the signing of the Bougainville Peace Agreement in 2001, and the people of the region can be assured that we will continue to cooperate and collaborate with both the National Government of Papua New Guinea, the ABG and other development partners to continue to demonstrate our commitment to the peace process.”
Mr. Rampolla will also use the visit to meet with the Bougainville House of Representatives’ three women members, ex-combatant parliamentary representatives, as well as with partners working to further both gender and youth empowerment in the region.
The UN’s work in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville is primarily implemented via support from the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund (PBF). The fund was established in 2006 out of the recognition that among the impediments to successful peace building is the scarcity of resources, most notably financial resources.
Secretary for the ABG’s Department of Peace Agreement Implementation, Mr. James Tanis, said that without UN support the Bougainville peace process would not be where it is today.
“The UN, through PBF resources, has been our lifeline. They have been able to fill the gaps that other donors are unable to cover,” said Mr. Tanis.