Land and resource disputes, climate change, governance, and the legacy of colonial and post-colonial conflicts are all common challenges for the diverse territories and countries across the Pacific region.
The 2001 Bougainville Peace Agreement ended almost a decade of violent conflict, and established the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. A referendum on the region’s political status took place in November 2019 with a result of almost 98% of votes in favour of independence from Papua New Guinea. We work with our partners to address community conflict challenges and we support the implementation of the Bougainville Peace Agreement through providing technical and facilitation support to the post-referendum inter-governmental dialogue process.
Fiji's December 2022 elections resulted in a peaceful transition to a new government after a history of coups since Fiji's independence. Despite progress, political and social divisions persist, posing an ongoing risk to Fiji’s peace and stability. Furthermore, climate change is continuing to put pressure on communities and the government, increasing the risks of instability and conflict. Building on our long history in the region, we’re working with our Fijian partners to help reduce conflict risks, manage conflicts constructively and increase the resilience of Fijians to emerging challenges.
High levels of interpersonal and inter-group violence continue to have devastating effects on the people of Hela Province in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea (PNG). Dissatisfaction with limited development in the province, competition for power, the deterioration of customary limits on violence and the introduction of factory-made weapons, all underlie why conflict occurs and exacerbate levels of violence.
However, individuals, community-based groups, churches, international agencies and the PNG National and Hela Provincial Governments are engaged in a range of initiatives seeking to prevent and address the effects of violence. We are currently developing a programme of work in Hela Province with civil society partners to deepen people’s understanding of conflict dynamics and find sustainable, peaceful resolution to violence.
Whether it is a survivor or victim of sexual violence or former combatants, the most rewarding thing is to witness them recover and live a normal life.