PRESS STATEMENT BY SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT ON PAPUA NEW GUINEA/BOUGAINVILLE
Following is the text of today’s press statement on Papua New Guinea/Bougainville by the President of the Security Council, Alfonso Valdivieso (Colombia):
Members of the Security Council heard a briefing from the Head of the United Nations Political Office in Bougainville.
This was the first time Council members had discussed the situation in Bougainville since March 2001.
They welcomed continued progress in negotiations between the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Bougainville parties, and in particular, noted the
7 August endorsement, in principle, by the National Executive Council of the Government of Papua New Guinea, of a comprehensive political settlement.
The members of the Council encouraged the parties to work flexibly and in a spirit of cooperation to resolve outstanding issues, so that the settlement can be formally agreed and that its implementation proceed as soon as possible.
Members of the Council expressed the view that development of a “Comprehensive Political Settlement” with provisions for the establishment of an autonomous government in Bougainville, for an eventual referendum, and for a weapons disposal programme was an important step towards final, peaceful settlement of the conflict. They looked forward to its finalization.
The members of the Council noted the important role of the Peace Monitoring Group in helping to establish the environment in which the peace process has been able to proceed.
And they noted that the United Nations Political Office in Bougainville has consistently played an important “good offices” role. The Office should continue this role, including with regard to weapons collection and disposal.
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