The 2001 Bougainville Peace Agreement saw the end to almost a decade of violent conflict in Bougainville. The agreement saw the setting up of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville within PNG. The agreement also provided for a referendum on the region’s political status, a referendum which is fast approaching, with a current target date of June 2019. With the potential of substantial political change ahead the region faces numerous conflict challenges, many of which are legacies of this past conflict.
Bougainville’s leaders: We work with our partner the Nazareth Centre for Rehabilitation, supporting their work in strengthening the peacebuilding and conflict resolution skills of community leadership groups, including women, youth and ex-combatant leaders, providing them with the skills to analyse and manage conflict in their communities. Our work also provides training and mentoring opportunities for Bougainville’s emerging leaders equipping them with the advanced skills and knowledge they will need to effectively address current and future conflict issues.
Ex-Combatants: We work with the Department for Peace Agreement Implementation within the Autonomous Bougainville Government, and its Bureau for Veterans Affairs, to develop interventions that support veterans at all levels - from the rank and file to high-level commanders - to transition into non-militarised community and leadership roles.
Learning and Sharing: We support collaboration and information-sharing between peacebuilders, and promote learning from contexts with relevant experiences such as South Sudan and the Solomon Islands.
In 2018 Fiji held its second set of democratic elections since the military coup of 2006 (the country’s fourth in 20 years). Despite this progress, significant political and social divisions persist within Fiji, posing an ongoing potential risk to peace and stability.
Building on our long history in the context, Conciliation Resources is working with Fiji Partners, the Citizens’ Constitutional Forum (CCF), Dialogue Fiji (DF), the Pacific Centre for Peacebuilding (PCP) and Transcend Oceania (TO), to address the underlying drivers of these political and social divisions.
Our partners engage with these issues through a range of interventions including community-level workshops on public participation, multi-stakeholder dialogues on key themes such as gender and multiculturalism, and the building of community leaders peacebuilding and advocacy skills.
Conciliation Resources works with these partners, supporting processes of collaboration, conflict analysis and comparative learning from both within and outside the Pacific.
In Bougainville we assist our partner and other Bougainvilleans with peacebuilding advice, programme management support and comparative learning – resources that ultimately support the development of community peacebuilding skills and capacities required to build peace in their communities. For example, since 2015, through our partner’s intensive peacebuilding training programme, over 200 mid- and senior-level ex-combatant leaders, faith based leaders, youth leaders and women leaders from across Bougainville have the skill to analysis conflict and develop their own peace building programmes in their communities. This training resulted in numerous community peacebuilding initiatives, primarily focused on local reconciliation.
In Fiji our work with Fijian civil society contributes to the evolution of a sustainable and inclusive political system. To achieve this we assist our partners through advice, capacity development and learning activities, and analysis processes to promote and facilitate dialogue between divided groups, while enabling and advocating for broader participation in local and national policy.
“During three years of dialogue before the constitution development process began in 2012, we came to see the government and some civil servants in a different light and understand how we could engage with them.”