NRI : UN Will Stand As An Observer

BY MATTHEW VARI ( Post Courier )

There is no global policeman for international standards in situations where the United Nations is a witness to agreements like the Bougainville Peace Agreement (BPA).

That was the response to queries raised by Autonomous Bougainville Government minister for BPA implementation, Albert Punghar, on what the role and ability of the United Nations is, in regards to the agreement on Bougainville and its ability to ensure the goals are met.

Author of the referendum administration issues study for the PNG National Research Institute’s (NRI) Bougainville referendum project, Andrew Ellis, said though many would like to think so, the UN’s level of commitment does not extend to be a power in the decisions of referendum.

“The United Nations has taken the stand to witness the agreement and UN agencies are engaged in supporting Papua New Guinea and Bougainville in various ways relating to the implementation of the agreement,” Mr Ellis said.

“This suggests that there is some level of commitment, but it does not extend to being a power, because there isn’t a power for the UN to be an enforcement agency,” he said.

NRI’s fellow researcher and leading expert of referendums, Professor Matt Qvortrup, said despite the reality of political consequences that still exists with UN involvement in terms of international scrutiny, media focus and issues like the referendum can still be drummed up.

“There are a lot of political consequences for not applying with the agreement,” Professor Qvortrup said.

Prof. Qvortrup highlighted on the issue of indonesia.

“The problem for the Indonesian government is they could have probably gone to war with the East Timorese easily,” he said.

“Given the international climate at the time and the focus of the conflict they weren’t able to.”

He said there was more international focus on an administration, and there is likely people will follow that commitment.

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