Autonomy is the first pillar of the Bougainville Peace Agreement. The agreement acknowledges the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (ARoB) as the only province of Papua New Guinea that has an autonomous government since 2005. It aims to give expression and development to Bougainvillean identity and empowering Bougainvilleans to solve their own problems.
WHAT IS AUTONOMY?
Autonomy itself is a government term used to describe the type or nature of a government administration. The agreement acknowledges the government of ARoB has a different role and function to that of a provincial government, being a government that has the power to make greater decisions about its affairs, law making and governance.
Unlike the provinces of the rest of PNG, Bougainville has its own governing constitution and can establish its own institutions of government, hold elections for its government, make its own laws, establish its own courts, public service and police service.
Autonomy in ARoB is supported by a funding arrangement from the National Government. When the BPA when signed in 2001 it was agreed that the government of ARoB would have a period of autonomy intended to help resolve the divisions and disagreement within the region before a referendum was held, or contribute to a referendum outcome in favor of continued unity.