The United Nations supports countries in fostering peaceful, just and inclusive societies free from fear and violence. Sustainable development and peace go hand in hand, and good governance grounded in accountability, equity, and inclusive participation of citizens, is a key to developing a nation in a sustainable way. Papua New Guinea has enjoyed uninterrupted democratic governance since its independence in 1975. However, the country’s governance institutions and processes are still developing to be able to meet the needs of ordinary Papua New Guineans, or to promote equitable development for the most excluded and marginalized groups in society. Levels of crime and violence are high, which includes tribal conflict. This is due in part to high rates of unemployment, but also to the stresses caused by poverty, rapid economic growth, and increasing migration. Such violence threatens security and sparks national instability. Women and children especially endure high levels of physical and sexual violence. Although the Government has made progress in establishing a range of responsive protection services, the quality and coverage of these services are inconsistent. This creates challenges to service delivery. Most citizens do not know where and how to report corruption or human rights violations, and fear repercussions in the absence of protection for witnesses and victims.

For a just, peaceful and inclusive Papua New Guinea, the United Nations supports the Government and non-government agencies in combating corruption, preventing violence and providing access to justice, so that the country can effectively safeguard against harmful cultural practices that violate human rights. The United Nations uses its comparative advantage to facilitate partners at all levels. The creation of a vibrant civil society relies upon and enables public participation and surveillance that informs national conversations on sustainable and inclusive development. The United Nations also supports the Government with improving governance systems to be results-based, transparent, and accountable.  

The Autonomous Region of Bougainville

Bougainville reached autonomous status through the 2001 Bougainville Peace Agreement, bringing an end to a ten-year civil conflict. Despite the Agreement and the 2011 Konnou Peace Accord, the situation in Bougainville remains fragile. Bougainvilleans experience social, economic, and political insecurity, as well as safety concerns, which limit their ability to participate in the peace, recovery and development process. The United Nations’ work involves supporting the parliament and the Bougainville House of Representatives with capacity to fulfil their duties. The United Nations does this by supporting parliament representation, outreach and communications, as well as the preparations for the referendum set for 2019. This work also includes empowering the people of Bougainville to make informed choices through access to objective and accurate information on the referendum, while enabling the participation of women and youth.