15/06/2005
Press Release
SC/8411


Security Council

5201st Meeting* (PM)


IN PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT, SECURITY COUNCIL WELCOMES ELECTIONS,


INAUGURATION OF AUTONOMOUS BOUGAINVILLE GOVERNMENT

 


Says Internationally Observed Elections Mark

‘Significant and Historical Landmark’ in Bougainville Peace Process


The Security Council this afternoon welcomed the First General Elections for the President and Members of the House of Representatives of Bougainville held from 20 May through 9 June, as well as the inauguration on 15 June of the Autonomous Bougainville Government in its full capacity.


Through a statement read out by its President, Jean-Marc de La Sablière (France), the Council also congratulated the Autonomous Bougainville Government and the people of Bougainville on this achievement and took note that those internationally observed elections, “which reflect the expressed will of the people of Bougainville, mark a significant and historical landmark in the Bougainville peace process”.


In addition, the Council urged those who did not participate in the electoral process to respect the outcome of the elections and support without delay the Autonomous Bougainville Government in its peacebuilding efforts.


Furthermore, the Council paid tribute to the efforts of the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Bougainville leaders for fully implementing the Bougainville Peace Agreement.  It commended the support by the international community, and expressed its appreciation for the commendable role played by the Commonwealth and the Pacific Islands Forum in dispatching electoral observers for the smooth conduct of the elections.


The Council also noted with satisfaction that the performance of the United Nations Observer Mission in Bougainville (UNOMB), as well as that of its preceding United Nations Political Office in Bougainville (UNPOB), manifested that “a small United Nations special political mission with a clearly defined mandate can make a critical contribution to a regional conflict resolution effort in an efficient and effective manner”.


In early 1998, following a decade of armed conflict over the issue of independence for the island of Bougainville, the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Bougainville leaders concluded the Lincoln Agreement, which established the framework for a peace process.


On 30 August 2001, after more than two years of talks facilitated and chaired by the UNPOB, the parties signed the Bougainville Peace Agreement –- providing for a weapons disposal plan, autonomy and a referendum.  Completion of the weapons disposal plan opened the way for the drafting of a Bougainville Constitution, as well as preparations for the election of an autonomous Bougainville government.


The meeting began at 3:12 p.m. and ended at 3:18 p.m.


Presidential Statement


The full text of the statement, to be issued as document S/PRST/2005/23, reads as follows:


“The Security Council welcomes the First General Elections for the President and Members of the House of Representatives of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville held from 20 May through 9 June 2005, and considers that they were competently and transparently conducted, as noted by the International Observer Team.  The Council congratulates the Autonomous Bougainville Government and the people of Bougainville on this achievement and takes note that these elections, which reflect the expressed will of the people of Bougainville, mark a significant and historical landmark in the Bougainville peace process and make it possible to enter into a new stage for further implementation of the Peace Agreement.


“The Council further welcomes the inauguration of the Autonomous Bougainville Government in its full capacity, and affirms its continuing support for the people of Bougainville.


“The Council urges those who did not participate in the electoral process to respect the outcome of the elections and support without delay the Autonomous Bougainville Government in its peacebuilding efforts.


“The Security Council pays tribute to the efforts of the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Bougainville leaders for fully implementing the Bougainville Peace Agreement.  The Security Council commends the support by the international community, in particular the significant contributions made by the countries in the region, partners in the donor community, as well as the United Nations.  The Council also expressed its appreciation for the commendable role played by the Commonwealth and the Pacific Islands Forum in dispatching electoral observers for the smooth conduct of the elections.


“The Security Council notes with satisfaction that the performance of the United Nations Observer Mission in Bougainville (UNOMB), as well as that of its preceding United Nations Political Office in Bougainville (UNPOB), manifested that a small United Nations special political mission with a clearly defined mandate can make a critical contribution to a regional conflict resolution effort in an efficient and effective manner.


“The Security Council encourages the ongoing support and commitment by the international community to the efforts by the Government of Papua New Guinea and the people of Bougainville in pursuit of their economic and social development, as well as, for a sustainable peace in the region.”


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*     The 5200th Meeting was closed.