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President announces key government progress

ABG President Hon. Ishmael Toroama has taken on a strong consultative approach to progress important Bougainville matters.

He made these remarks today as part of his first address to the people of Bougainville after taking office.

In a media briefing today in Buka, President Toroama revealed that following the formation of the House, he has been in close consultation with the National Government and had resolved to having the first meeting of the Joint Supervisory Body in November this year.

The Joint Supervisory Body, which will be the first since the formation of the new House, is expected to begin discussions on the way forward for the post-referendum period, as well as progressing consultations on the full drawdown of all revenue-generating powers for Bougainville.

He will be engaging with the PNG Prime Minister in a pre-JSB meeting in the coming weeks before the JSB meeting proper.

President Toroama also announced that all departments in the Bougainville Administration have progressed well with realignment of their work-plans with the President’s Six-Point Strategy that was announced during his Inauguration Speech.

He said that these would be some of the key activities that are set to be achieved in his first 100 days in office.

Speaking on law and order issues, the President called on all the people of Bougainville to take responsibility in their respective communities.

In light of the recent road block in the Aita area in Wakunai District, the President expressed his concerns over the incident and questioned the leadership and chiefs of Aita as to why there is a continuous occurrence of roadblocks. 

He called on both the Constituency and community leaders to take the lead in ensuring this matter is resolved in a consultative and peaceful manner.

He said while this is a law and order matter, the responsibility not only lies with the Bougainville Police, but it is also the responsibility of every individual in Bougainville.

President Toroama said that as part of his 100-days plan, he will ensure that the government improves significantly the institutional capacity of the Bougainville Police Service by increasing its manpower.

In recognizing the importance of relationship-building, the President has also announced that he has made an open invitation to key figures in Bougainville who have kept themselves outside of the peace process.

President Toroama said that he has received responses from these figures and has tasked his Police Minister to facilitate discussions going forward in an effort to stabilize Bougainville.

He acknowledged that this task would be highly challenging but it is for the greater interest of Bougainville and that a breakthrough must happen, and the aspirations of Bougainville remain protected.

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