The Delegation of the European Union, in agreement with the EU Heads of Mission in Papua New Guinea, notes the result of the Bougainville referendum announced on the 11th of December 2019 by the Chair of the Bougainville Referendum Commission, Bertie Ahern, Former Prime Minister of Ireland. It welcomes the peaceful conduct of the referendum and the constructive approach taken by both the Government of PNG and the Autonomous Bougainville Government.
The strong choice expressed by the people of Bougainville opens a new chapter in the implementation of the Bougainville Peace Agreement. It is important that the consultations to be held between the two sides, as set out in the BPA, are undertaken in the same positive and serene spirit as the referendum until the National Parliament of Papua New Guinea decides on Bougainville's future political status.
Since the signing of the Bougainville Peace Agreement in 2001 that ended a period of violent conflict, the European Union has been contributing to the restoration of Bougainville through the implementation of projects in the areas of agriculture, rural entrepreneurship, water and sanitation, and infrastructure. In the framework of its long-term EU-PNG development cooperation, the EU will continue providing its support to Bougainville and will identify new opportunities in close cooperation with both governments.
Moreover, the European Union remains committed to supporting the peace process co-funding a programme facilitating the dialogue, collaboration and coordination in Bougainville and between the two sides.
The European Union will stand besides both governments in designing their future.