31 October 2017
The target date for holding the Bougainville referendum is June 2019, and the latest date on which it can be held is June 2020. The Autonomous Bougainville Government’s (ABG) Department of Peace Agreement Implementation (DPAI) is playing a lead role in the preparations for the referendum, including the work done to establish the independent Bougainville Referendum Commission, which will have responsibility for the conduct of the referendum. In this seminar, former Bougainville President (2009-2010), James Tanis, now Secretary of DPAI, will discuss such developments, as well as the current steps being taken to prepare for the referendum. Current work to be surveyed includes weapons disposal, reconciliation and unification, engagement of women, determining the question or questions to be asked, determining the criteria for enrolment to vote by non-resident Bougainvilleans, the involvement of members of the ABG’s House of Representatives in working with constituency committees and others to be able to declare each constituency ‘referendum-ready’, and related issues. The goal is not only a peaceful referendum, but also a peaceful and stable post-referendum environment for Bougainville.