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UN marks 10th anniversary of Bougainville Peace Accords

PRESS RELEASE

UN marks 10th anniversary of Bougainville Peace Accords with ‘Empowering youth: village by village’ trek

Port Moresby, Monday 22 August, 2011

Tuesday 30 August, 2011 marks the 10th anniversary of the Bougainville Peace Accords. The United Nations, which played an integral part in the peace process and peacebuilding efforts, will mark the occasion by conducting a cross-island trek entitled:

Bougainville Walk for Peace, Numa 2011 Empowering youth: village by village

On Thursday 25 August, a UN team, including the UN Resident Coordinator, David McLachlan-Karr, will launch the first Bougainville Walk for Peace at the Numa Numa track. The track runs east to west and starts just south of Wakunai, crosses over the Crown Prince Range and finishes at Torokina Beach. The team plans to return to Buka on Sunday 28 August.

On Thursday, before the team embarks on the trek near Wakunai, ABG officials, including ABG President Momis, will show their solidarity by joining with the UN team on a Bougainville Walk for Peace in Buka.

While many challenges still face Bougainville, one of its most immediate is that of its so-called ‘lost generation’ – those young people who have failed to receive the basic education and employment opportunities during the crisis years.

It is with this in mind, that thirty youths from the various villages along the track have been trained as guides. Each guide will lead the group from their village to the next, before passing over the lead to the next guide. Youth from each of the three regions of Bougainville will also join the trek. Along the way, the UN delegation hopes to engage with the youths and their families and learn about their hopes for the future and the challenges they are facing today.

The lessons learned will then be brought back to a Youth Forum to be held in Arawa from 29 August to 2 September.

The ‘Empowering youth: village by village’ trek aims to raise awareness around the ‘lost generation’ and encourage youth in PNG and around the world to support peace in the region. With celebrations around the world marking International Youth Day in UN House, Level 14, Deloitte Tower, Douglas Street, Port Moresby

2 August, this is an opportune time to look towards Bougainville’s future and the young people who will one day lead their people. The UN also hopes to raise the profile of ecotourism in Bougainville – a vital element to the reinvigoration of the region and a return to a thriving economy. We encourage all media to attend the launch of the track, where there will be opportunities for comment and photos. We welcome further interaction with the media around this initiative and ask you to contact the UN Resident Coordinator’s

ENDS

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