By Sasha Pei-Silovo – EM TV Online
The Autonomous Bougainville Government will receive support from the United Nations through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for the upcoming general elections.
Launched this month, the “Support of the 2015 Bougainville General Elections” initiative aims to assist the Autonomous Region of Bougainville in conducting the elections in a manner that is transparent, credible and peaceful. The project will run from March to July; implemented by UNDP, in partnership with its sister agencies.
The Bougainville General Elections will be staged from May to June, 2015, and marks the beginning of the region’s pathway to the referendum period, as agreed upon in the Bougainville Peace Agreement.
Elected leaders will lead Bougainville towards referendum, thus signifying the importance of holding an election that is well managed and implemented, based on democratic principles and processes.
The “Support of the 2015 Bougainville General Elections” initiative provides support in the areas of:
(1) coordination of the observer effort
(2) supporting the establishment of electoral dispute resolution mechanisms
(3) training support to women candidates
(4) training of candidates and party agents
(5) training of media representatives
(6) support to a post-elections lessons learnt exercise.
In welcoming the timely and crucial support from UN, the Chief Secretary of the Autonomous Bougainville Government, Monovi Amani, said that the UN’s assistance will go far in helping the region to foster a peaceful and safe environment for development. He maintained that the support given by the UN enables the creation of a roadmap towards referendum that is credible.
Activities of the project include: the training of international and domestic observers, scrutineers and media personnel; enhancing the legitimacy of the Bougainville elections, supporting the provision of an official electoral complaints outlet, and supporting women candidates, among other activities.
At the completion of the project and the elections, a “lesson-learnt exercise” will be conducted.
The United Nations has provided assistance to countries worldwide in elections and referendums; focusing on electoral efforts and imparting technical support to enable nations to build sustainable, honest and creditable electoral systems. UNDP provides the largest electoral support in the UN system, assisting more than 58 countries.
UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative, Roy Trivedy, stated in a media release that the United Nations is committed to the Autonomous Region of Bougainville and its people.
He added that UNDP will use their knowledge and expertise for the benefit of the region, and Papua New Guinea as a whole.