The Papua New Guinea Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill, has told parliament that PNG's former leaders would not want to see the country broken up.
In just over a year Bougainvilleans will vote on possible independence in a referendum that's the culmination of a peace process that began more than 20 years ago.
The Joint Supervisory Body is to meet next month in Arawa where the question that will be posed in the referendum is expected to be settled.
Mr O'Neill told Bougainville South MP, Timothy Masiu, that it isn't just a matter of a question on independence.
EMTV reports Mr O'Neill saying it would be difficult to let go of Bougainville when there is a need for unity in PNG.
"So Mr Speaker when we talk about these issues that are sensitive to the stability of the entire nation, it is not only Bougainville alone - we need to be careful. You are a national leader. We have to respect, as I have said, what we have agreed in the Peace Agreement, and the Peace Agreement says that we have to agree to the question that we have to put to the people of Bougainville," said Peter O'Neill.