Prime Minister Marape Welcomes Bougainville President for CrucialPost Referendum Consultative Meetings

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape warmly welcomed Bougainville President H.E Ishmael Toroama and accompanying leaders today to Port Moresby ahead of tomorrow’s important post Referendum consultative meetings.

Scheduled for tomorrow, May 6, 2024, these meetings hold paramount importance as President Toroama and Prime Minister Marape are set to engage in discussions pertaining to the final stages of the 2001 Bougainville Peace Agreement (BPA), with a particular focus on Parliament’s ratification of the Referendum results.

“The upcoming consultation meeting will provide clarity on the procedural aspects, including the deployment of Sessional Orders, required to present the Referendum results before Parliament and more so what happens next,” Prime Minister Marape said.

Prime Minister Marape underscored the critical nature of the impending parliamentary process and deliberation. He emphasised, “We are now poised at a juncture where Parliament will deliberate on the Referendum results.”

Reflecting on the desire for political independence expressed by the Bougainville people, Prime Minister Marape acknowledged, “I am well aware that 97.7 per cent of Bougainvilleans have voiced their support for political autonomy, demonstrating a resounding mandate for this.”

Prime Minister Marape reiterated, “The 2001 BPA, facilitated under the auspices of the United Nations, paved the way for the conduct of the Referendum.”

Furthermore, he affirmed his government’s commitment to facilitating the democratic process, stating, “My administration facilitated the conduct of the Referendum in 2019, and subsequently, we have supported consultations post-Referendum in Bougainville, Kokopo, Wabag, and Port Moresby, thereby clearing the pathway for National Parliament to assume stewardship of the Referendum results and for its ratification as espoused under the 2001 Bougainville Peace Agreement.