Marape: Support Needed To Address Bougainville’s Aspirations

Wednesday 15 May 2024

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape and ABG President Ishmael Toroama, signing the Joint Supervisory Body (JSB) Meeting Joint Resolution at the APEC Haus, Port Moresby after their meeting. (photo: PM’s Media).

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape is calling on all Members of Parliament to give fair consideration to Bougainville Leadership’s aspirations for Bougainville. including their quest for peace, development, and political independence.

Mr Marape’s remarks has come about after the recent  Bougainville Joint Supervisory Body (JSB) meeting held   on Wednesday 8 May 2024 ,at APEC Haus, Port Moresby.

Mr Marape reiterated this call following a productive dialogue with Bougainville President His Excellency, Ishmael Toroama.

“I urge all national leaders to truly understand the origin and depth of Bougainville’s aspirations, stemming from the painful legacy of conflict that led to the 2001 Bougainville Peace Agreement.

“We have a profound duty to address these aspirations responsibly and compassionately,” Mr Marape said.

“During the JSB meeting, discussions focused on how the National Parliament, as the supreme authority under the PNG Constitution, should proceed in making decisions about Bougainville’s future.

“The Constitution requires decisions on Bougainville to pass through Parliament, where a simple majority will initiate discussion, but a constitutional amendment necessitates a two-thirds majority,” explained Mr Marape.

He also thanked the Bougainville leaders for respecting the parliamentary process and acknowledged their request for a moderator to help navigate ongoing discussions.

“While I personally sympathise with the desires of Bougainville, as Prime Minister, I must uphold our sovereignty and the rule of law,” he affirmed.

Bougainville Affairs Minister Hon. Manasseh Makiba will provide an update to Parliament as sessions resume, detailing the progress and plans for further engagement with Bougainville.

Prime Minister Marape closed his remarks by encouraging all citizens of PNG to keep Bougainville in their thoughts and prayers.

“Bougainville’s contributions to our country during and after our fight for independence were significant.

“It is our turn to support them in their journey towards recovery and strength,” Mr Marape concluded.

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