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ABG prepared for PNG Joint Supervisory Body meet: President Momis

President of the Autonomous Bougainville Government Chief Dr John Momis has received full cabinet endorsement for the government’s Joint Supervisory Body (JSB) agenda, laying the foundation for a successful meeting with PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill this Friday in Arawa.

In briefing the Bougainville Executive Council, President Momis said the ABG had a clear plan for the JSB talks to resolve long-standing issues between the two governments.

“While there is much work to do, I am confident that this JSB will make real progress on the referendum questions to be asked, the legal framework of the BRC, appointment of all members of the Bougainville Referendum Commission and funding for Commission activities,” Momis said.

The President noted that he would also meet the Prime Minister at a Leaders Retreat ahead of the JSB on Thursday.

“It is clear that the National Government is more engaged on matters related to Bougainville and the upcoming referendum than at any time before,” Momis said.

“While I am delighted at this result of much hard work from both sides including our Chief Secretary, we must now turn this commitment into action.”

“Time is running short. Our people are keen to see a clear direction set for referendum, support for weapons disposal, and payment of monies owed to support government services under the Bougainville Peace Agreement.”

“Key activities such as preparation of a referendum voter roll must take place. The payment of outstanding K135m (US$99. Million) in grants to the ABG this year must take place.”

“At a time when we are preparing people to make an informed decision on Bougainville’s political future, the government is being starved of funds directly affecting our ability to deliver services.”

“As President, it is my intention to hold the Prime Minister to account, and to ensure meaningful, practical and deliverable outcomes.”

Other key issues to be discussed include progressing the second Autonomy review and endorsement of weapons disposal progress.

President Momis commended the work of his Chief Secretary in preparing the Bougainville side. He also called on the people of Arawa to provide the Prime Minister a true Bougainville welcome as they did in 2014.

“Bougainville must rise above our grievances and show that we are truly a proud people, who honor and respect their democratically elected leaders.”

The Joint Supervisory Body is the peak forum for resolving issues under the Bougainville Peace Agreement. It is co-chaired by the PNG Prime Minister and President of Bougainville.

The JSB will be held in Arawa, Autonomous Region of Bougainville, on Friday 29 June.


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