January 20, 2019

ABG President Momis Refutes misuse of funds  claims by Lera

ABG President Momis Refutes misuse of funds claims by Lera


ABG President Grand Chief Dr John Momis has refuted claims by Regional Member for Bougainville Joe Lera over claims of misuse of funds by the government.

According to President Momis, Mr Lera’s statement is not only misleading and insensitive but also show his ignorance on the funding arrangements under the Bougainville Peace Agreement

Under clause 149 of the BPA the National Government is required to provide the ABG a) recurrent unconditional grants, b) restoration and development grant (RDG), c) specific purpose conditional grant (such as the police grant) and d0 a one of establishment grant (which was paid in 2005).

The Restoration and Development Grant (RDG) was instituted to help finance the restoration, rehabilitation and reconstruction of the infrastructure and services destroyed during the conflict.

The acquittals that Mr Lera made reference to are reported through the normal financial reporting processes; annual financial statements and quarterly reports to the National Department of Treasury.
However since 2017, the ABG has been reporting to the Treasury on a monthly basis on the use of these funds.

Contrary to Mr Lera’s assertion that the ABG has nothing to show for the millions of Kina received from the National Government since 2005, the ABG has achieved a lot with the little funding that it received from the National Government.

Education and health services has been fully restored, the ABG has passed many important legislations such as its own Mining Law, there is gender equity in the community governments, setting up the Bougainville Senior Appointments Committee which is an independent entity that is responsible for recruitment and foremost amongst these the ABG has progressed stability through weapons disposal and referendum readiness within its constituencies.ABG President Grand Chief Dr John Momis has refuted claims by Regional Member for Bougainville Joe Lera over claims of misuse of funds by the government.

According to President Momis, Mr Lera’s statement is not only misleading and insensitive but also show his ignorance on the funding arrangements under the Bougainville Peace Agreement

Under clause 149 of the BPA the National Government is required to provide the ABG a) recurrent unconditional grants, b) restoration and development grant (RDG), c) specific purpose conditional grant (such as the police grant) and d0 a one of establishment grant (which was paid in 2005).

The Restoration and Development Grant (RDG) was instituted to help finance the restoration, rehabilitation and reconstruction of the infrastructure and services destroyed during the conflict.

The acquittals that Mr Lera made reference to are reported through the normal financial reporting processes; annual financial statements and quarterly reports to the National Department of Treasury.
However since 2017, the ABG has been reporting to the Treasury on a monthly basis on the use of these funds.

Contrary to Mr Lera’s assertion that the ABG has nothing to show for the millions of Kina received from the National Government since 2005, the ABG has achieved a lot with the little funding that it received from the National Government.

Education and health services has been fully restored, the ABG has passed many important legislations such as its own Mining Law, there is gender equity in the community governments, setting up the Bougainville Senior Appointments Committee which is an independent entity that is responsible for recruitment and foremost amongst these the ABG has progressed stability through weapons disposal and referendum readiness within its constituencies...New Dawn FM News
Affordable, Faster Internet  Connectivity for Tuvalu

Affordable, Faster Internet Connectivity for Tuvalu

An innovative public-private partnership (PPP) model, the first of its kind in Tuvalu, will develop the nation’s internet access network, with support from a US$29 million grant approved today by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors. The grant will seek to improve overall access to more reliable and affordable telecommunications services in Tuvalu.

 The Tuvalu Telecommunications and ICT Development Project will support the development of a new information communications and technology (ICT) policy, which will guide reforms to boost connectivity in Tuvalu, including to the country’s outer islands.

 The project will include reforms of the Tuvalu Telecoms Corporation (TCC) to redevelop the government-run entity as a PPP in cooperation with an experienced international telecommunications operator, selected competitively. The Project will also support investments in, an international optical fibre submarine cable to provide faster, lower-cost internet bandwidth.

 “Delivering better telecommunications services is essential to the development of Tuvalu. That is why adopting key reforms and developing better ICT infrastructure, with the support of development partners and the private sector, is a priority,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, the Honourable Maatia Toafa.

 “Guided by our National Strategy for Sustainable Development, we look forward to delivering these improved ICT services as part of our deepening partnership with the World Bank.”

 Tuvalu is one of the least connected countries in the world, with high-cost and limited internet services. This lack of quality connectivity has significant negative impacts on Tuvaluan life, including poor communication between households and overseas relatives, high costs of doing business, and challenging provision of services such as health and education. Poor connectivity also constrains business and tourism opportunities and the ability to respond quickly to natural disasters.

 “Our extensive experience in supporting improvements to ICT services across the Pacific over the past decade has shown that affordable, reliable connectivity can be genuinely transformative – delivering positive impacts in areas including health, education, private sector development, and disaster response and recovery,” said Michel Kerf, Country Director for Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands.

 “We are proud to be supporting the government of Tuvalu as it pursues key reforms and infrastructure investments to deliver better connectivity for its people.”

 The project is part of the Pacific Regional Connectivity Programme, a broader, ongoing, regional programme supporting improved Pacific connectivity in Tonga, Samoa, Fiji, the Federated States of Micronesia (with Palau) and Kiribati. 

 The US$29 million grant comes from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the most in-need countries, and will be implemented by the Tuvalu Ministry of Communications and Transport.

SOURCE: WORLD BANK/PACNEWS

January 19, 2019

Bougainville Post-Referendum Planning Taskforce holds First meeting

Bougainville Post-Referendum Planning Taskforce holds First meeting

Co-Chaired by the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Bougainville Affairs, Hon. William Samb, and the Autonomous Bougainville Government Minister for Peace Agreement Implementation, Hon. Albert Punghau, and supported by officials from both governments, the purpose of the three day meeting was to commence discussions around the role of the Task force, its objectives, and, through scenario planning, howto potentially manage any upcoming challenges in a peaceful way.

“A key pathway for the referendum and post-referendum period to follow is: peace by peaceful means. To enable this, it is critical to better understand the steps and processes in the period following the referendum. This task force will help us identify and focus our work required, as part of the transition period, to ensure peace by peaceful means is achieved”, said Minister William Samb.

The Post-Referendum Planning Task force was established in June 2018 by the Joint Supervisory Body, with a view to ensuring peaceful acceptance of the results of the referendum and for developing an agreed plan that can be in place for the country to move together peacefully. Formed by members from both governments,the Task force will help define and guide the agreed provisions for the post-referendum process of consultations between the two governments to formulate a joint agreement that can be brought to the National Parliament.

“This is the first time political leaders and technical experts from both governments have sat together to start the planning process for the post referendum period, to map a peaceful way forward for Bougainville and Papua New Guinea and to have a peaceful and smooth outcome following the referendum”, underlined Minister Albert Punghau.

Gianluca Rampolla,the Resident Coordinator for the United Nations in Papua New Guinea, said that “around the world, the best practices show that sustaining peace requires inclusive dialogue to achieve agreed outcomes. PNG made history in 2018 with APEC, PNG will make history in 2019, through consensus, to determine the continuation of successful peace building in Bougainville”.

The meeting was supported by the UN Peace building Fund project “Sustaining Peace in Bougainville”, and facilitated by Dr. Christina Murray, of the United Nations Mediation Support Unit of the Departments of Political and Peace building Affairs and Peace Operations, and Ciaran O’Toole, Pacific Programme Director for Conciliation Resources. The PNG National Research Institute is also providing support to the Task force. The two delegations agreed to continue this consultative process in the coming months with a view to presenting a consolidated position on the way forward to the leadership of the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government.