Communicating peace for Bougainville

Posted March 31, 2022

Key messages are designed to communicate facts to people of Bougainville and Papua New Guinea.

Developing mutual key messages on the Bougainville Peace Agreement is a complex affair. UNDP supports both governments in providing jointly agreed information to the people of Bougainville and Papua New Guinea.

Leading up to the 2019 Bougainville Referendum, the Governments of Papua New Guinea and Bougainville agreed to key messages on the Bougainville Peace Agreement, to keep the public well informed.

The key messages were designed to respond to frequently asked questions from communities on the independence referendum and Bougainville Peace Agreement awareness activities – in both the Autonomous Region of Bougainville and in other provinces of Papua New Guinea. Supported by the United Nations Development Programme, this would form the basis for face-to-face awareness raising and the production of multi-format knowledge materials.

After the Bougainville Referendum, the focus of the awareness campaign shifted to informing the people of Bougainville and Papua New Guinea on Post-referendum processes and the progress of political consultation dialogues.

Consequently, UNDP recently has supported efforts of the Joint Post-Referendum Communication Working Group. Co-facilitated by media units of the Autonomous Bougainville Government and the National Coordination Office for Bougainville Affairs, these efforts have focused on revitalising information and ensuring communication efforts remain update to date and relevant.

“Moving forward, the expectation for the joint post-referendum communications committee is to swiftly engage with the public.”

The working group recently reviewed and discussed its joint communications strategy and the dissemination of a range of multimedia communication products which will be presented to the Co-Chairs of the Ministerial Committee on Post-Referendum for joint approval.

“Recent efforts have enabled a fruitful discussion to address current information gaps,” explains UNDP Project Manager, Ms. Aigul Murat.

“As political consultation dialogue is continuously ongoing, there’s a need for regular, up-to-date, and accurate information. The Joint Communication working group has agreed on a number of communication products that will be developed to support the post- referendum awareness raising campaign.”

Ms. Aigul Murat is supporting UNDP's Peacebuilding efforts in Bougainville. As the project manager on UNDP's Bougainville programme, Aigul recently travelled to Port Moresby to facilitate and support the Joint Post Referendum Communications Working Group's efforts.

UNDP provides technical and logistical support to the Autonomous Bougainville Government and Government of Papua New Guinea to ensure an inclusive post-referendum process, as part of UNDP's Bougainville Programme which is supported the Governments of United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the UN Peace Building Fund.