The Government and people of Bougainville welcome the appointment of the Member for Magarima Hon. Manasseh Makiba as Minister for Bougainville Affairs.
I extend our gratitude to the Prime Minister Hon. James Marape for appointing Hon. Manasseh Makiba to this Ministerial Portfolio.
The Ministry and the National Coordination Office for Bougainville Affairs (NCOBA) are important conduits for the National Government and the Autonomous Bougainville Government in administering the autonomous arrangements for Bougainville.
With the timeline for settling Bougainville’s political future fixed and the impending ratification, the Minister for Bougainville Affairs and NCOBA will play an increased role in the relationship between the Government of PNG and the Government and people of Bougainville.
It is a very crucial time for Bougainville and Papua New Guinea as the 11th National Parliament prepares to ratify the outcome of the 97.7 percent of Bougainvilleans who opted for political independence during the 2019 Bougainville Referendum.
The ratification process is clearly defined in the Bougainville Peace Agreement and the Organic Law on Peacebuilding. There is no deviating from the provisions of the existing legal framework that governs the Bougainville process.
Through the Joint Consultations and Joint Supervisory Body meetings with the National Government we have progressed a lot of positive development with the Wabag Roadmap, the Era Kone Covenant and we are now developing the Constitutional Regulations.
There are still outstanding matters to be resolved such as the Restoration and Development Grant, Bougainville Copper Limited Shares and outstanding fisheries revenue. These are matters reserved for the JSB and have remained stagnant since the inception of the ABG in 2005.
My government and my people are committed to fully implementing the 2001 Bougainville Peace Agreement in its intended legal context and to act in accordance with the legislative processes and agreements between the ABG and Government of PNG.
The time for discussing political models and processes contrary to the BPA has gone passed.
Our resolve for an independent Bougainville will never be compromised but we respect the legal framework that governs the Bougainville process.
I thank Hon. Manasseh Makiba for accepting the Ministry for Bougainville Affairs portfolio and look forward to working closely with him.
Hon. Ishmael Toroama, MHR
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