EU applauds Ahern on BRC stint

The European Union has congratulated Bertie Ahern on his appointment as Chair of the Bougainville Referendum Commission (BRC).

Ahern was invited to Chair the BRC by Prime Minister Peter O'Neill and the President of the Autonomous Bougainville Government, Dr John Momis. 

In a statement, the EU said: “He visited Papua New Guinea and Bougainville in October, when he met with senior officials and international partners including the European Union, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Japan, Korea, and Fiji and chaired a meeting of the Referendum Commission’s full membership on 15 October.

“Mr. Ahern’s appointment, which has now been gazetted by both governments, is a significant milestone in the implementation of the Bougainville Peace Agreement (BPA).

“The EU has been a key partner in the implementation of the 2001 Peace Agreement, with a key focus on promoting political dialogue between the Government of PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government to implement the BPA, including the envisaged referendum.

“The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has been assisting the establishment of the Bougainville Referendum Commission with financial support so far from the governments of New Zealand, Japan and Australia. 

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Ireland supported all the preparatory arrangements leading to Mr. Ahern’s appointment over the course of the past year.” 

Ahern is a former Irish Fianna Fáil politician who served as Taoiseach (Irish PM) from 1997 to 2008.

(Irish Times picture)

Press release