Bougainville Reconciliation Government (BRG)

  • Don McKinnon
Foreign Affairs and Trade

Foreign Minister Don McKinnon today expressed disappointment at the likely delay in the formation of the Bougainville Reconciliation Government (BRG).

Efforts to amend the Papua New Guinea Constitution to allow for the formation of the BRG failed to attract a majority in the PNG Parliament yesterday.

"Parties to the Lincoln Agreement will be very disappointed that the Parliament did not support Prime Minister Bill Skate on the constitutional amendment, but I remain confident that another road will be found to allow the peace process to continue," Mr McKinnon said.

"The decision is an outcome of due democratic process. It is important that parties to the Lincoln Agreement should not lose heart or faith in the process.

"This is a time for reflection, and careful consideration of all options. As one door closes, others open. That is the nature of democracy. I urge leaders on the island to work to keep the situation calm. The PNG Government is presently working on alternative ways to establish the BRG through administrative means."

Mr McKinnon said the peace process had come a long way in a short time, and the occasional set-back was to be expected.

"I intend to visit Port Moresby on the 14th of December and Bougainville on the 15th to reaffirm New Zealand's commitment to the peace process, and our support for the PNG Government and all parties as they work to implement the Lincoln Agreement."