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Papua New Guinea Parliamentary Bipartisan Committee on Bougainville Affairs Report has recommended that the National Parliament should instruct the National Government to address vital issues pertaining to referendum before the end of the year.
The report tabled in Parliament by chairman William Powi has recommended that the National Government:
*Provide additional funds (beyond the grants to which the ABG is otherwise entitled) to ensure that Bougainville is ‘referendum ready ‘and able to comply with the requirements of ‘good governance ‘and weapons disposal in time for the referendum to be held within the specified time-frame (that is, before the middle of June 2020);
* Consult with the ABG in taking stock of the Bougainville Peace Agreement;
* Speed up the transfer of functions and powers to the ABG so that the process is completed by the end of 2018;
*Develop modalities, including secondments from Waigani and training, to assist and help develop the ABG’s administrative capacity both the Bougainville Public Service and the Police; and
*Review the status of the four Bougainville Members of Parliament in order to avoid duplication and align them with the Bougainville House of Representatives so that it becomes the focal point for planning, budgeting, financing and implementing policies and projects in Bougainville.
At the National level, the report has recommended that:
*The National Co-ordination Office for Bougainville Affairs (NCOBA) should become a stand-alone entity (and no longer part of the Prime Minister’s Department) with offices in Port Moresby and Buka, and the role and resources required for it to become the focal point for development cooperation partners, non-government organisations and businesses interest in engaging in Bougainville;
*The National Executive Council should consider extending the Special Intervention Fund beyond the referendum, when Bougainville will still require support for governance and development, whatever the final outcome; and
*It is imperative that the National Government and the ABG consider and fund economic plans on the ground so that the Bougainville economy grows and diversities.
Powi said that the National Government should work on modalities to assist with reconciliations and rehabilitation in Bougainville in ways that draw on local authorities traditional and church leaders, as well as eminent Bougainvilleans and other Papua New Guineans and a national level reconciliation process should be organised with PNG (particularly, the Defence Force) among others.
“I would, therefore, urge all Honourable Members of course, including the Prime Minister and other Ministers as well as senior officials with responsibilities in some way relevant to Bougainville, as well as interested members of the public to read and give careful consideration to the report I am presenting,” Powi said.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
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