Weaving consensus: The Papua New Guinea - Bougainville peace process
Publication date: 
2002
Accord issue: 
12
Author: 

The article outlines the work of the New Zealand-led international Truce Monitoring Group (TMG), which oversaw the ceasefire in Bougainville. Despite some reservations, the Australian Defence Force realised that they could not move the peace process forward unilaterally and joined a regional force with New Zealand, Fiji and Vanuatu. Bob Breen describes the problems the TMG encountered – including insufficient preparation and tensions between different institutional cultures – and how these were overcome. The initial lack of political and cultural engagement and trust between the unarmed TMG and local groups was overcome with greater interaction around sporting and cultural events and food sharing. Breen concludes that the mission was a positive learning experience for all involved and helped contribute to peace.