Mr Wagener giving his speech during the handover ceremony

 

Remarks by Mr. Dirk Wagener, UNDP Resident Representative at the occasion of the Handover of 2 Vehicles and ICT equipment to the National Coordination Office for Bougainville Affairs (NCOBA)

20 April 2021

Salutations:

  • Mr.  Weimin Boi, Caretaker Director, NCOBA
  • NCOBA staff
  • Representatives from Government Departments and Media

Monin tru olgeta, good morning

As you are all well aware, the United Nations Development Programme has a long history in Bougainville dating back to the cessation of hostilities at the end of the 1990s. Even before the Peace Agreement was signed, UNDP supported early recovery efforts in the agriculture sector. After the signature of the Peace Agreement in 2001, UNDP supported the weapons disposal, capacity development, and supported to the establishment of the Autonomous Bougainville Government in 2005. We also provided support to the Bougainville House of Representatives during the past 15 years.

Having joined UNDP here in Papua New Guinea in 2002 as a Junior Officer, I myself was privileged to be involved in UNDP’s early support in Bougainville between 2002-2007 when my first assignment here came to an end.

More recently, UNDP has provided extensive support to the referendum preparations and roll out. Our expert technical, logistical and operational support has contributed to the referendum being described as most transparent, inclusive and credible by international observer groups.

Following the request of the National Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government to continue to support the implementation of the Peace Agreement, our attention has now shifted toward providing substantive policy advisory, technical, operational and logistical support to the post-referendum process.

The work of UNDP in Bougainville is currently supported by the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund (PBF), the Governments of Germany, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.

UNDP’s comprehensive Programme of support to the implementation of the Bougainville Peace Agreement covers the following components:

  • Technical, operational, and logistical support to the dialogue and consultation process
  • Post-referendum planning and awareness
  • Support socio-economic development opportunities in Bougainville

With technical and logistical support from UNDP, the Autonomous Bougainville Government and the National Government have successfully completed an Socio-economic Baseline Survey for the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. The findings of the baseline survey will guide the preparations for the Bougainville Economic and Investment Summit that will be held later this year.

The baseline survey has collected information across all regions of ARoB from all relevant stakeholders on key aspects of socio-economic services and investment opportunities. It  provided a wealth of socio-economic information and baseline data that can now be used for policy and decision making.

UNDP provides support to both the baseline survey and to the preparations for the Bougainville Economic and Investment Summit itself. The Summit will provide an avenue for stakeholders to discuss economic and investment opportunities for Bougainville and for the Autonomous Bougainville Government to endorse a strategic socio-economic development roadmap. UNDP will also support medium and long-term socio-economic planning efforts in Bougainville, following the agreement on a roadmap during the summit.

The Bougainville Economic and Investment Summit will also allow for key stakeholders from National Departments and Development Partners to inform thematic and sectoral areas where each can contribute to supporting and developing the economy of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

In order to further strengthen capacities of NCOBA in its crucial role in implementing the Peace Agreement, including its support to the Baseline Survey and Economic Summit I have just elaborated on, I am truly delighted to be here today to hand over two vehicles and ICT equipment worth USD 92,370 or Kina 325,000 to the National Coordination Office for Bougainville Affairs (NCOBA).

We look forward to continuing this collaboration advancing peace, social and economic development during the post-referendum processes.

Tenk yu tru.

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