THE NATIONAL – The National Main Stories
THE Government has recognised the wish of the people of Bougainville for independence and Prime Minister James Marape will pursue the path outlined in the 2001 Bougainville Peace Agreement to achieve this.
“This should see Parliament deal with the referendum result,” he said.
The Joint Consultative Body (JCB) meeting was held in Arawa, Bougainville on Friday attended by Marape and some Cabinet ministers.
Marape and Autonomous Bougainville Government President Ismael Toroama reaffirmed their commitment to the implementation of the peace agreement.
“Today was very historic – our first JCB after the referendum,” Marape said.
“For President Toroama, this was his first JCB after assuming the presidency and I must admit, he did exceptionally well.
“He knew what he wanted for Bougainville.“His agenda was fixed.”
He said the commitment to peace in the 2001 Peace Agreement had been laid out.
Toroama described the JCB meeting as an “honourable moment”. He said Marape had “truly embraced” the 2001 Bougainville Peace Agreement by having the JCB meeting.
“I really want to say that it’s an honourable moment,” he said.
“At the same time, we have set tasks for ourselves, in how we can work together in reaching that understanding.
“I really want to reflect on the point of the last 20 years, which is the drawdown of powers.”
He thanked Marape on behalf of the people of Bougainville.
“This is a step forward and there is another big challenge coming,” Toroma said
“I’m confident that whatever happens, the outcome of the consultations will reflect the joint efforts that we have taken together.”