Peace and Development Analysis (PDA) launched in Autonomous Region of Bougainville
The islands of Bougainville (formerly North Solomons Province) are an integral, but autonomous region of Papua New Guinea (PNG). In 2001, the Bougainville Peace Agreement (BPA) was signed between the national Government of Papua New Guinea (GoPNG) and leaders representing the people of Bougainville. The BPA marked the end of a decade-long civil conflict in which between 10,000 to 20,000 people died and many more were left without family, access to basic services and infrastructure and traumatized. More than a decade on, the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (ARB) is still making slow progress towards political, economic and social normality.
As a result of the progress on peacebuilding in Bougainville on the one hand, and the fragility of the process due to the risks outlined above, the ABG and GoPNG agreed to request support from the United Nations’ Peace Building Fund (PBF) with the aim to strengthen peacebuilding efforts in the autonomous region. The Governments’ Eligibility Request for the PBF was endorsed by the UN Secretary General in August 2012. The latter stressed that the endorsement renews the ‘United Nations’ commitment to support the implementation of the BPA, building on its support to peace efforts on the island in previous years’, and mentioned possible areas of support, including implementation of the Peace Accords, weapons disposal, security sector reform, rule of law and restorative justice, socio-economic reintegration and restoration of livelihoods and women in peace building. As such, the PBF is intended to complement existing Regional, national and international efforts, and especially in filling critical gaps, in support of the implementation of the BPA.
At the first Joint Steering Committee for the PBF on 31 October 2013, co-chaired by the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, a Peace and Development Analysis (PDA) was launched with the aim to provide a sound analysis that will help identify and implement peacebuilding priorities. This analysis will then inform the Peacebuilding Priority Plan (PPP) that is required for PBF allocations.
The PDA team – facilitated by Interpeace - has completed many interviews with key personalities in Port Moresby and throughout Bougainville. Consultations in the North Bougainville have been completed, and consultations in Central and South Bougainville commenced last week. So far the level of engagement, enthusiasm, and depth of findings and analysis is commendable. Beyond conducting the analysis, the process is raising awareness and facilitating dialogue between multiple stakeholders at all levels. In addition, to ensure the voices of youth, women, boys and girls are heard, separate youth-led youth and children consultations and women’s led woman and girl consultations have been included in the methodology. Both of these processes are proving to be highly successful in capturing the voices of these important constituencies.
Findings of the PDA will be presented to and discussed in-depth by the Technical Committee and the Joint Steering Committee for the PBF in February 2014. Once validated, the analysis will then directly feed into the launch of the formulation of the PPP.