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ABG announces plans for post-referendum period

In response to public calls for the post referendum process to include participation by all Bougainvilleans, the Autonomous Bougainville Government today announced its intention to take a ‘whole-of-Bougainville’ approach to enable all Bougainvilleans to participate in the consultations after the vote.

ABG Vice President and Member for Atolls, Hon. Raymond Masono, made this announcement in his statement to parliament this morning.

He said this strategy aims to ensure all Bougainvilleans participate and take ownership of the outcome.

“The ABG wants the negotiations to be inclusive, collaborative, consensual and consultative,” he said.

Vice President Masono stated that the Bougainville Executive Council has endorsed a Negotiation Framework which will consist of a Bougainville-based Negotiation Forum and a Negotiation Team.

The Negotiation Forum will include but will not be limited to the following factions:

  • ABG Ministers
  • ABG Members
  • Community Governments
  • Bougainville Veterans
  • Me’ekamui Government of Unity
  • Women
  • Youth
  • Churches
  • Business Houses
  • Kingdom of Papala
  • Expatriate Bougainvilleans

“The role of the forum would be to discuss and agree on important issues for negotiation which would then be passed on to the ABG post-referendum, pre-ratification Negotiation Team,” Masono explained.

The Negotiation Team will be the team that engages in negotiations with the National Government, and will provide progressive reports back to the Forum at every stage of the process.

This Negotiation Team will also have representatives from each of the stakeholders involved in the Negotiation Forum, including representatives from the Regional Parliamentary Committees.

With the polling date fast approaching, the ABG aims to hold the first Negotiation Forum as soon as possible to discuss and agree on issues for negotiation.

The statement of the ABG’s plans for post-referendum received collective support from Members of the House of Representatives, saying it was timely and that this strategy ensures no group in Bougainville is left out of the process after the vote.

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