Peace building in Bougainville


The islands of Bougainville (formerly North Solomons Province) are an integral, but autonomous region of Papua New Guinea (PNG).  In 2001, the Bougainville Peace Agreement (BPA) was signed between the national Government of Papua New Guinea (GoPNG) and leaders representing the people of Bougainville. The BPA marked the end of a decade-long civil conflict in which up to 20,000 men and women died and many more were left without family, access to basic services and infrastructure, traumatized and scarred for life.  More than a decade on, the progress of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (ARB) towards political, economic and social normality is still slow. The combination of persisting trauma and societal fragmentation, continued prevalence of small arms, excessive consumption of alcohol and other substances by some, high rates of unemployment and violence against women, a ‘lost’ generation without education, and a still young and inexperienced autonomous administration are among the complex challenges facing the Region. 

Following the UN Political Office in Bougainville (UNPOB) established in 1998, and the subsequent Observer Mission for Bougainville (UNOMB) facilitated and monitored the three key tenets of the BPA: (1) autonomy, (2) weapons disposal and (3) referendum.  Autonomy arrangements came into force in 2001 and weapons disposal were collected. Following the establishment of the first Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) in 2005, the BPA determines the time window for the referendum on Bougainville’s political status falls for the period 2015-2020.

Under the Delivering as One modality, the UNDP leads and contributes the UN’s area-based, multi-sectoral approach based. Guided by the 1st UNDAF pillar ‘Governance for Equitable Development’, the UN 4-year Strategy and subsequent Joint Annual Work Plans for Bougainville, UNDP remains focused on meeting Bougainvillean aspirations of peacebuilding and reconciliation, longer-term socio-economic recovery, including reintegration, rehabilitation and trauma counseling for ex-combatants and others affected by the conflict.  The overall expected outcome is thatby 2015, ABG leads post-conflict recovery and development planning and budgeting and provides a safe, secure, stable and sustainable environment in which girls, boys, women and men enjoy their rights to equitable access and utilization of basic services and their protection from violence, discrimination, exploitation, injustice and inequality.’


Support inclusive dialogue, involving the National Government, the Autonomous Government, district and local level Governments, former combatants and the general public, in particular women and youth;

Support the review of the BPA, to assess progress of peacebuilding, socio-economic recovery and long-term development and support the acceleration of progress;

 Identify follow-up activities to the 2012 weapons assessment on disarmament, demobilization and reintegration to comply with the pre-condition for referendum;

Support decentralized and inclusive governance structures and planning, budgeting and implementation decision-making processes for locally adjusted restoration of peace, security and livelihoods that benefit the most marginalize and excluded population groups;

Strengthen Security Sector Reform, Restorative Justice and Rule of Law to improve effective and efficient delivery of security and justice services without discrimination and with full respect for human rights;

 Increase mutual accountability by strengthening the Bougainvilleans’ demand for and use of social services, and ABG’s capacity to deliver those services more effectively.

Project Information



Crisis Prevention and Recovery

Participating Agencies:

UNDP CO,  UNDP BCPR,     UNDP Pacific Center, AusAid,   UN Department of Political Affairs                                            


Implementing Partner(S):       

Autonomous Bougainville Government


Ø  Brokerage of the 2011 Konnou Peace Agreement between factions, putting an end to a 6-year localized conflict in South Bougainville and allowing thousands of Bougainvilleans to move freely and use health and education services;

Ø  Development by ABG of the Bougainville Peace and Security Framework and its Implementation Strategy, that serve as a guide for strategic, coherent, well-coordinated and whole-of-government processes and measures for Peace, Security and Development ;

Ø  2012 Weapons Assessment carried out, identifying recommendations for the way forward on on disarmament, demobilization and reintegration;

Ø  Eligibility of Papua New Guinea and Bougainville for the engagement by the UN Peacebuilding Fund granted by the UN Secretary General.

Ø  Deepened dialogue process among the Me’ekamui fighters, and between former combatants and the ABG, on collaboration for peace, security and development;

Ø  Peace and Security or Development Coordination Committees established in five districts, which assume the responsibility of bottom-up peace and development planning and implementation;

Ø  Increase of women and youth representation in local and district governance institutions by 85%;

UNDP Around the world

You are at UNDP Papua New Guinea 
Go to UNDP Global