CASH-strapped Bougainville will be eligible to benefit from the United Nations’ peace building fund, says UN resident coordinator David McLachlan-Karr.
McLachlan-Karr announced the good news at the “Sustainability of Bougainville” seminar in Port Moresby last Friday, and while not giving any figures, hinted that it would run into millions of kina and be available from 2014 to 2017.
McLachlan-Karr also announced that Interpeace, an independent Geneva-based organisation, had been contracted to assist with the implementation of the Bouganville Peace Agreement.
He said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon had declared that PNG was eligible to receive money from the fund in June this year.
McLachlan-Karr said the fund, which was created by the UN’s peace building commission, would support the national Government and the autonomous Bougainville government’s joint commitments on implementation of the peace accords, especially with reference to filling some of the critical gaps identified by the parties to achieving genuine autonomy in the lead-up to ARB elections in 2015 and before the referendum to determine the future of Bougainville., which can take place, with the consensus of the parties, between 2015 and 2020.
“I’m happy to announce that the steering committee for the peace building fund has been established with the agreement of three co-chairs, the President of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (John Momis), Chief Secretary Sir Manasupe (Zurenuoc), and the UN resident coordinator,” McLachlan-Karr told the seminar.
“Under the three co-chairs who will be managing the peace building fund, are representatives of key bilateral governments and donors such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan, United States and will also incorporate the World Bank and a number of community services organisations.
“We’re happy to say that the fund comes at an opportune time for both parties (Bougainville and PNG) and the people to build more consensus around the outstanding challenges we have for unification, security sector improvements including removal of arms and threats to safety, rehabilitation of youth and strong involvement of women.”
McLachlan-Karr did not give any figures.
“Many people have asked me what the level of funding is. The level of funding is determined based on the quality of the submission of the peace-building priority plan that will be submitted.
“Let me just say that it will be in the order of millions and it will be available for three years from 2014-2017 as an adjunct to the UN support for the work that’s going on in Bougainville.
“This is a significant step and it, of course, brings Bougainville more closer to the orbit of international scrutiny,” he said.
The National/One PNG News