Press Releases

         16 June 2005

    Secretary-General Applauds People, Leaders of Papua New Guinea for Inauguration of First Autonomous Bougainville Government

    NEW YORK, 15 June (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

    The Secretary-General applauds the people and the leaders of Papua New Guinea for achieving a major milestone in the Bougainville peace process, with the inauguration on 15 June of the first Autonomous Bougainville Government, following the internationally observed elections held in Bougainville over the course of the past few weeks.

    The Secretary-General extends his warm congratulations to President-elect Joseph Kabui and Members of the House of Representatives of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. He wishes them success in fulfilling the high hopes and aspirations of the people of Bougainville. At the same time, the Secretary-General calls on all Bougainville leaders to respect the democratic choice of the people and to constructively cooperate with their legitimate new government for the sake of a lasting peace and a prosperous future for all of the people of Bougainville.

    The Secretary-General commends the unswerving commitment of the Government of Papua New Guinea to the full implementation of the Bougainville Peace Agreement. He also congratulates the international community, in particular the United Nations Security Council, countries of the region and the Pacific Islands Forum, for the crucial support they provided in helping to bring the Bougainville conflict to a peaceful end.

    The Secretary-General is pleased that the United Nations was able to make an important contribution to this process through its involvement in negotiating, mediating and facilitating the resolution of the conflict through the United Nations Political Office in Bougainville (UNOMB) and its successor -- the United Nations Observer Mission (UNPOB) and the UN Country Team.

    The Secretary-General stresses that reconstruction is now the most pressing challenge for the new government. He calls on the donor community to provide further assistance to the national and autonomous government in addressing that challenge. The United Nations remains committed to helping make these efforts a success.

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