DP 2018/04 The Bougainville Referendum Arrangements: Origins, Shaping and Implementation Part One: Origins and Shaping

Discussion Paper

Author/s (editor/s):

Anthony Regan

Publication year:


Publication type:

Discussion paper

The Bougainville Peace Agreement (the BPA) is a complex agreement, produced by a succession of compromises made during more than two years of often intense negotiations (June 1999 to August 2001), directed towards permanently ending a deeply divisive violent conflict and generally referred to in Bougainville as ‘the crisis’.

This paper discusses the origins and development of the Bougainvillean demands for inclusion of provision on a referendum on independence in the BPA, and how a significantly modified version of those demands was eventually included in the final version of the BPA, signed almost 17 years ago on 30 August 2001. This historical analysis provides the background to the second Discussion Paper, which surveys the intent, content and implementation (to date) of the referendum arrangements contained in both the BPA and the PNG constitutional laws that give effect to the BPA.

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