Momis welcomes review experts

President Chief Dr John Momis has welcomed news that the independent experts undertaking the Second Joint Autonomy Review have arrived in PNG.

“We welcome the valuable contribution that these experts will make for progressing the joint implementation of autonomy arrangements as per the Bougainville Peace Agreement,” President Momis said.

He assured people that the purpose of the review was not to change any part of the Bougainville Peace Agreement.

“The five yearly review of autonomy arrangements is simply a requirement of the Bougainville Peace Agreement.

“It will look at both the National Government and the ABG as joint implementers of autonomy, the progress and the challenges, and make recommendations to both governments on how best overcome these challenges.

“We also look forward to the assessment of the current state of good governance in Bougainville as this will assist both governments to agree on setting a final date for referendum.”

Under the Bougainville Peace Agreement, both weapons disposal and good governances are to be used to set the referendum date. The current target date is 15 June 2019.

The Second Joint Autonomy Review is being undertaken with the support of the United Nations at the request of the President and PNG Prime Minster, and includes the following independent experts:

  • Kevin Deveaux, a former provincial parliamentarian from Canada who has practiced law for 27 years. Deveaux has previously conducted programmatic and strategic reviews of UNDP global programs and global policy centres and he will focus on public services and good governance components of the Review.
  • Aisake Valu Eke is a former parliamentarian from Tonga and was Minister of Finance from 2014-17. Prior to being elected he was the Secretary to the Tongan Ministry of Finance. He has previously served as a Governor for the Asian Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund.  Eke will focus on the financial management components of the Review.
  • Christine Bell is a Professor of Constitutional Law and Assistant Principal (Global Justice), and Director of the Global Justice Academy, at the University of Edinburgh. She recently co-authored the Outcomes Issues Study as part of the Bougainville Referendum Research Project for the National Research Institute based in Port Moresby. Bell will focus on the legal aspect and rule of law components of the Review.
  • Martin Brash is the Executive Director of Tanorama Limited, a Papua New Guinea-based consulting firm. He has worked in all provinces within the country on matters related to community development, capacity development, community engagement and social-economic policy and program advice. He has acted as a facilitator, mentor, trainer and evaluator for major projects and programs in PNG. Brash is contributing as the national expert for the Review.

In formally welcoming each of the experts, President Momis noted the significant depth of experience that the review team brings, recognising that each will contribute to important aspects of assessing the existing autonomy arrangements.

The President also took the opportunity to re-affirm his ongoing commitment to the eradication of corruption from the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

“For too long we have allowed poor processes to penetrate our public administration institutions. This has enabled corruption to take hold, and I believe that the outcomes of the Second Joint Autonomy Review will help us in developing the systems and strategies required to prevent corruption from occurring in the future.”

The Review Team will be in Bougainville from 18 August for a week for interviews and consultations.

The Review findings are expected to be presented to both governments by the end of October.

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Press release