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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (July 24, 2002 – Post-Courier)---The Bougainville administration has started consultations with the donor community as a matter of urgency to discuss immediate funding requirements for the proposed Bougainville Constitutional Commission.

Administrator Simon Pentanu said last week that the Bougainville Provincial Government and administration were seeking funding to undertake widespread public consultations.

"In addition, the administration is consulting with the National Government about making available funding in the 2003 budget for meeting costs of the proposed Constituent Assembly and for the conduct of the elections for the proposed autonomous Bougainville government," Mr. Pentanu said.

He said with the difficult financial situation facing the National Government, his administration had been seeking to consult the donor community concerning possible funding for the Constituent Assembly and the elections.

Mr. Pentanu told Port Moresby- based Bougainvilleans that they would have to nominate their representative to the Bougainville Constitutional Commission under the category of "expatriate Bougainvilleans."

He said for the BCC to operate properly according to the timetable, three closely related factors needed to be understood.



PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (July 24, 2002 – Post-Courier)---The United Nations has to verify completion of Bougainville’s weapons disposal program in order for the constitutional laws giving effect to the peace agreement to be enforced.

Head of the United Nations Observer Mission on Bougainville (UNOMB) Ambassador Noel Sinclair told Port Moresby-based Bougainvilleans last week that the second phase of the weapons disposal program had not progressed at the expected pace.

"I want to give the people of Bougainville a Christmas gift in December, when I certify the weapons disposal program after we get to end of phase two at the end of September," Mr. Sinclair said.

He also said they were in a better financial position to have the second phase proceed smoothly.

Mr. Sinclair said 1,368 weapons have been handed in and there were many more to be collected.

"If I had known how many weapons there were at the beginning of the crisis then I would be able to know how many would be expected," he said.

He said a large number of weapons were handed in at Buin.

Bana and Siwai reached phase three, where a number of weapons have been destroyed.

Another two districts have asked for more time to hand in the weapons.

Mr. Sinclair reiterated his call for reconciliation based on the customs and traditions of Bougainville.

"You know the values established by society," he said.

"There must be a genuine restoration of peace and harmony.

"Future generations must see a Bougainville free of weapons.

"It is still possible if only ex-combatants surrender all the weapons."

He also said that donor countries are willing to assist when ex-combatants hand in the weapons.

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

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