SECRETARY-GENERAL CONGRATULATES PAPUA NEW GUINEA
NEW YORK, 27 March (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:
The Secretary-General warmly congratulates the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Bougainville parties on the successful outcome of an historic vote in the Parliament that has given legal effect to the bills implementing the Bougainville Peace Agreement of 30 August 2001. The vote shows that the Government is determined to secure a lasting peace.
The Secretary-General notes with appreciation the efforts of the United Nations Political Office in Bougainville and those of the regional Peace Monitoring Group which contributed to the progress of the peace process on the island.
The Secretary-General would like to assure the parties that the UN Office will continue to assist them in implementing the Agreement, especially in the area of weapons collection and disposal. He calls upon the Bougainville parties to redouble their efforts aimed at the removal of weapons from Bougainville communities and to begin the process of post-conflict rehabilitation and peace-building.
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