Bougainville President H.E. Ishmael Toroama and Prime Minister Hon. James Marape have jointly resolved to uphold the authentic Melanesian tradition of resolving disputes through transparent dialogue and consultation, aiming to achieve a lasting and peaceful solution. This resolution was reached during the Joint Supervisory Body (JSB) meeting held in Port Moresby on Monday, July 31, 2023.
Acknowledging the complexity of the Independence choice made by the people of Bougainville in the 2019 referendum, both President Toroama and Prime Minister Marape expressed their unwavering commitment to collectively address shared issues.
Key resolutions and endorsements made during the JSB meeting include:
a. The pathway to parliament will be through a Sessional Order.
b. The Sessional Order will only be moved after the content of the motion is agreed upon by the National Minister for Bougainville Affairs and Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) Minister for Bougainville Independence Mission Implementation.
c. The motion will be adopted by a simple majority.
d. The proposal to invite the ABG President and his leaders to provide awareness to Members of the National Parliament has been accepted.
e. Other aspects of the Post Referendum matters will be dealt with under the Constitutional Regulation.
In addition, the JSB directed the National Minister for Bougainville Affairs and ABG Minister for Bougainville Independence Mission Implementation to collaborate on the content of the Sessional Order, focusing on:
(i) The formulation of the question to be presented before Parliament.
(ii) The determination of the number of sessions required for deliberating on these matters.
(iii) The specification of the voting majority needed to endorse the referendum results.
(iv) The procedure for introducing the referendum results into Parliament.
Furthermore, the JSB mandated the National Minister for Bougainville Affairs and ABG Minister for Bougainville Independence Mission Implementation to explore the possibility of seeking mediation support from Moderators in case of any impasses encountered during their consultation.