Prime Ministers Media Releases

FIRST JOINT GOVERNMENT LEADERS CONSULTATION MEETING BETWEEN THE PNG GOVERNMENT AND ABG

The PNG Prime Minister James Marape and President of Bougainville Ishmael Toroama jointly held the first government consultation on the outcome of the Bougainville Referendum as required by the Bougainville Peace Agreement, and Part XIV of the National Constitution.

The two leaders jointly committed to ensuring that the consultation process is guided by the principles of the Bougainville Peace Agreement, and that both sides find a practical and acceptable solution that is beneficial to both Bougainville and Papua New Guinea.

The two leaders further acknowledged that the results of the Bougainville Referendum was tabled in this first meeting and that the people of Bougainville have voted in favor of independence.

The two leaders jointly agreed to a number of outcomes and have directed the National and Bougainville technical teams to:

  • Consult on the definition and process of ratification
  • Identify constitutional issues relating to the referendum result and the tabling of the consultation outcomes in the National Parliament
  • Develop a joint roadmap on post-referendum consultations
  • Fully implement the Sharp Agreement as a matter of priority

The next Joint Government Leaders Consultation has agreed to be held in Enga, Wabag Province prior to the meeting of the Joint Supervisory Body meeting in June 2021.

 

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Hon. James Marape, MP                                    Hon. Ishmael Toroama, MHR
Prime Minister                                                    President
Government of Papua New Guinea                       Government of Bougainville

PARLIAMENTARY PROCESS EMBRACES TRANSPARENCY OF PARLIAMENT SESSIONS

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, MP says Parliamentary processes has been embracing the promotion of transparency of proceeding in Parliament and will continue to do so into the future. 

The Prime Minister made this comment at the launch of the first National Integrity Summit for Papua New Guinea that was held at the APEC Haus today and he also noted that more transparency is also a recommendation in the National Integrity System Assessment Report of TIPNG. 

He said the recommendation was for the Parliament to be more transparent and especially for sittings to be fully broadcasted on television. 

“Parliamentary practises will continue to embrace the need for our citizens to know what is going on. Whether it is in the debate that is held, or indeed the strengthening of the parliamentary committee system. 

“Public Accounts is an area of work that we need to embrace and the Marape/Basil Government have set up several Parliamentary Committees that includes the Public Accounts Committee, the Public Sector Reform Committee and the Coalition on Gender-based Violence, just to name a few.” 

The Prime Minister said in the interest of transparency, outcomes of the Public Account Committee’s inquiry into the National Department of Health was made public through the media. 

He said the outcomes of these public account discussions have featured in important procurement, management and administration outcomes in the health sector for instance. 

“We are also building some work around the effectiveness and efficiency of the Public Service. 

“I point out that we have appointed the Hon.Gary Juffa as Chairman of the committee and they are now working to ascertain how best to ensure the public service is effective and efficient without becoming an impediment to service delivery in the country. 

“It will embrace some of the elements of law and practices that needs better and stronger outcomes. 

“We also spotlight on Gender Based Violence as another area of work that we have to build from and I am happy to note that there is some early progress on building a coalition of leadership in Parliament in this area.” 

The Prime Minister said the public is keeping a close watch on leaders and taking their cue from them; therefore, when Parliament takes leadership in various areas of work, the society will follow accordingly. 

PM MARAPE ARRIVES IN KOKOPO FOR JOINT PNG GOVERNMENT AND ABG CONSULTATIONS

The Prime Minister Hon James Marape MP has arrived and is in the East New Britain Provincial capital, Kokopo for the Joint Governmental Consultation Process between the National Government and Autonomous Bougainville Government this week.

He was accompanied by his spouse Rachelle Marape including several senior cabinet Ministers. Prime Minister and his delegation was received on arrival by East New Britain Governor Nakikus Konga and his officials.

Prime Minister’s ministerial delegation included Works Minister Michael Nali, Provincial and Local Level Government Affairs Minister Pila Niningi, Transport Minister William Samb, Public Service Minister Joe Sungi, Justice Minister Byran Kramer, Health Minister Jelta Wong, Vice Minister for Bougainville Affairs Peter Tsiamalili Jnr, Governor for Oro Gary Juffa, Enga Governor Sir Peter Ipatas, and senior PNG Government officials.

The Joint Governmental Consultation Process starts tomorrow Tuesday 18th May at the Gazelle International Hotel between leaders, technical experts and governmental officials from the National Government and the ABG.

This is the First Joint Governmental Consultation process and will be followed by a series of meetings between the political leaders and technical officials from the PNG National Government and the ABG to iron out issues and agendas items to be discussed in the Joint Supervisory Body-JSB meeting scheduled in Wabag, Enga province next month.

This Joint Governmental Consultation Process meeting follows the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the National Government and the ABG in Port Moresby last week.

Prime Minister James Marape and ABG President Ishmael Toroama signed the Joint MOA on the Dispensation of Constitutional Requirements relating to the Process of Transfer of Functions and Powers pursuant to Section 295 of the National constitution.

That Agreement will pave the way forward and has enabled the two leaders Prime Minister Marape and President Toroama who have agreed that under section 295 (a) &(b) of the National Constitution, irrespective of whether a request was made or not by the ABG since the establishment of the Autonomous Bougainville Government, the powers are now dispensed forthwith effective at the date of the signing.

It removes any hinderance which also include the issuance of a 12month notice by the ABG to request certain powers to be drawn down from the National Government.

Prime Minister Marape said during the signing of the MOA that the National Government he leads is committed to a strong and lasting peace and political settlement on the Island.

He said the agreement is a commitment by the National Government to ensure certain powers and functions required by the ABG to create a pathway and the ground work to fully implement the Bougainville Peace Agreement (BPA) is carried out smoothly and in a peaceful manner.

Prime Minister Marape said the National Government has heard the voices of Bougainvilleans from the results of the referendum with 97 percent voting for independence and asked the two governments to put a roadmap forward to implement the BPA.

This Joint Governmental Consultation Process is amongst the first of many consultations that will take place to deliberate on the outcomes of the referendum which is yet to be ratified by the National Parliament following and after such a series of consultations.

The two governments officials will set the agendas to be discussed in the JSB in Wabag and outline the post referendum consultations between the National Government and ABG.

Under the Bougainville Peace Agreement (BPA) the results of the referendum are non-binding meaning it is not final and that the Joint consultations will have to be done before the National Parliament ratifies it.

The two leaders Prime Minister Marape and ABG President Toroama are here in Kokopo along with their government and consultation teams for the first Joint Government Consultation process which ends of Thursday.

Prime Minister Marape will overnight in Kokopo and witness the formal opening of the Joint Governmental Consultation Process before returning to Port Moresby on Tuesday.

 

GOVERNMENT FOCUSES ON PROTECTING THE RIGHTS OF PEOPLE TO VOTE IN FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, MP has noted the recommendation of the National Integrity System Assessment Report to improve the Electoral process so more people can practice their right to vote in a free and fair election. 

The Prime Minister said his Government is focused on delivering a free and fair elections in 2022. 

He said this is something that he holds close to his heart because there have been accusations of tempering with the electoral process that prevented leaders from taking Office; affecting the delivery of services to the people. 

“I want to personally give a commitment during these proceedings today that the 2022 National General Elections, that to the best of our ability, despite the fast passage of time and political instability, we will ensure that the election is free and fair and everyone’s vote is counted. 

“In this regard, the planning of the elections is dependent on key components and that one important key is population data. We intend to have a unified population census approach and from one population database we can extrapolate the Common Roll so that the integrity of the 2022 elections is given a high rating. 

PM Marape said the line of thought that is emerging is to create a single identification system by amalgamating all existing systems like the National Identification system and the biometric system. 

“It is our intention to examine the feasibility of biometric options on voter registrations,” he said. 

“We admit of having major challenges in the national identification card processes but we are beginning to turn our attention to home-grown solutions on biometrics registration.” 

The Prime Minister said he believes that all eligible voters in the country are entitled to vote freely in a fair election and building a process is absolutely essential to ensure the outcomes of elections have integrity. 

The major components that have to be put in place for a free and fair elections are the Common Roll, the security of the elections and the planning & conduct of the elections, he said. 

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