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Third Inter-Government Consultations on Bougainville referendum results – Joint Statement

The Government of Papua New Guinea (National Government) and the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG)


  1. Recognizing that this third joint consultation is consistent with the requirements of Section 342 of the National Constitution for both the National Government and the Autonomous Bougainville Government to consult on the results of the Referendum;
  2. Acknowledging that both Governments, consistent with agreed decisions of the Joint Supervisory Body meeting of March 12th , 2020, have so far, held two other joint consultations on the Bougainville Referendum results, the first being at Kokopo, East New Britain Province on 18th May, 2021 and the second consultation was held in Wabag on 6th July, 2021;
  3. Honoring our joint commitments to Kokopo and Wabag Joint Consultation statements and agreements;
  4. Recognizing the role of the Post Referendum Consultation Moderator, His Excellency, the Hon. Bertie Ahern;
  5. Reaffirming our agreement to determining political settlement or Independence no earlier than 2025 and no later than 2027 and that the Joint Post Referendum Roadmap is the indicative guide to moving forward;
  6. Recognizing the constitutional issues involved in that process;
  7. Noting the Autonomous Bougainville Government proposal for a Treaty and the National Government’s proposal to enact Constitutional Regulations.


1. Direct officials of both Governments to immediately engage further to determine an appropriate framework consistent with the Wabag Joint Statement, that;

a. gives effect to the requirements of Section 342 of the National Constitution, taking into account the Bougainville context;

b. expounds on the mechanism to table the referendum results in the National Parliament, including the manner in which the National Parliament may ratify the results;

c. will be known as the ‘Era Kone Covenant’ on the finalization of the Bougainville Referendum on Independence;

d. that this work may be undertaken under the guidance of the Post Referendum Consultation Moderator, Mr Ahern, consistent with his Terms of Reference, which includes advice and support as and when required;

2. Leaders direct the proposed framework agreement be presented for their consideration, and the consideration of their respective Executive Councils, by no later than 31st January, 2022;

3. Subject to that agreement being accepted, leaders direct to implement and give legal effect by no later than 31st March, 2022. 

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