More delays for key PNG/Bougainville meeting

11:32 am on 23 August 2018

There is a further delay to a critical meeting between the Papua New Guinea and Bougainville governments.

John Momis and Peter O'Neill

John Momis and Peter O'Neill Photo: RNZ / AFP

The meeting of the Joint Supervisory Board (JSB), which has already been put off a number of times, was to be held tomorrow in Buka but has again been deferred.

The JSB meeting is needed to establish a commission to oversee Bougainville's referendum on possible independence that has been tentatively set for June next year.

The commission is set to be chaired by former Irish prime minister Bertie Ahern, and while Bougainville has nominated its two members, Port Moresby is yet to put its two nominees forward.

There are also decisions needed on what the question, or questions, in the referendum will be.

The JSB must also determine funding, with Bougainville president John Momis saying hundreds of millions of kina in constitutionally guaranteed payments from the national government remain outstanding.

Bougainville's Minister for Peace Agreement Implementation, Albert Punghau, said he was now expecting the JSB meeting to be held in early September.

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