Outstanding issues eyed in B’ville meet

Outstanding issues eyed in B’ville meet

By CLIFFORD FAIPARIK, The National PNG

NINE key issues have been identified for discussion at the upcoming joint supervisory body (JSB) meeting scheduled for Thursday in Bougainville, the autonomous government’s peace agreement implementation Minister Albert Punghau says.

Punghau said the meeting in Buka between the national government and ABG was a follow-up of the Port Moresby meeting last week.

“I can assure the people of Bougainville that the government is doing everything it can to progress key outstanding issues,” Punghau said,

“I believe we have achieved a high level of engagement with the national government. We need to get leaders on both sides engaged at this meeting.

“I have trust and confidence that outstanding issues will be resolved at the special JSB meeting.”
Issues identified for discussions are:

  • Referendum question(s) to be discussed/endorsed, including the national government to forward any alternative options;
  • Engagement of an international security force through regional approach to increase the credibility of the referendum process in the eyes of the international community;
  • Gazette the chairman of the Bougainville Referendum Commission (BRC) and the two PNG members for the BRC;
  • Further payments of restoration and development grants;
  • Further funding for the Bougainville Referendum Commission;
  • Funding for jointly approved weapons disposal plan;
  • National government’s commitment to transfer of BCL shares (19 per cent) to ABG;
  • Unspent salaries savings to be transferred to ABG; and
  • Appointment of two national government representatives for the Bougainville senior appointment committee.

Punghau announced that a joint government transition taskforce had started negotiations on the post-referendum transition period.

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