20 Jun 2005

Forum prepared to help in Bougainville if called on

7:45 pm on 20 June 2005

The Pacific Islands Forum stands ready to help out the Autonomous Bougainville Government which is now running the Papua New Guinea province.

The President, Joseph Kabui, indicated last week he will be looking for assistance from donor countries, international agencies and NGOs, as his government takes over the rebuilding of the province.

The Secretary General of the Forum, Greg Urwin, says Bougainville was discussed by regional security officials last week, but he says they need to talk with the national and provincial governments about where the agency can be useful.

"If there are things in the immediate post electoral phase. If it is one of these situations that we are confronting in Solomon Islands, where there's an admixture of Pacific Island content in various activities is going to be helpful, then we will try and mount that."