Papua New Guinea: UN proposes reduced role in calmer Bougainville

15 December 2003
ASG Danilo Türk briefs the Council

Responding to increased stability in Bougainville, the United Nations today proposed replacing its current presence with a smaller observer mission as the island heads towards the establishment of an autonomous government.

Located in Papua New Guinea, Bougainville fought a 10-year war of independence against the archipelago before a ceasefire was brokered in 1998. Addressing the UN Security Council today, Danilo Türk, the Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, said there were only limited tasks remaining before the peace process is completed.

The UN Political Office in Bougainville (UNPOB) has been in place since June 1998 and its current mandate is due to run out on 31 December. Mr. Türk proposed that a new UN Observer Mission (UNOMB) could chair the Peace Process Consultative Committee, monitor the course leading to next year's scheduled adoption of a constitution for Bougainville, and report on the destruction of weapons on the island.

He said the new office - which would have a six-month mandate starting 1 January - would be half the size of UNPOB, comprising just a Head of Mission, one political adviser and two support staff.

The Council, after holding a debate involving nearly 20 countries, issued a press statement saying there was "general agreement" for a replacement observer mission in Bougainville.

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Video of Security Council meeting

 

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