| Office of the President
BUKA – Bougainville’s youth has been challenged to maintain the Papua New Guinea autonomous region’s political journey to independence at every level of Bougainville society.
Newly-elected President Ishmael Toroama issued the challenge during this week’s Bougainville Regional Youth Forum at the Kuri Resort.
“It is pleasing to know that you have forums such as this through which you get informed on developments on Bougainville and contribute to policy making,” President Toroama said.
“Most importantly your role as youth leaders in your respective regions places a special responsibility in influencing not just the political level but also at the community level.”
Toroama further encouraged active involvement by youth in upholding law and order as well as peacebuilding and promoting good governance in the communities.
He added that peacebuilding and good governance are related to law and order and must start at the community level.
“Youths are the leaders of tomorrow, so you must start engaging in political decision-making,” he said.
“It is important to note that parliament is just one of many avenues for influencing political decision-making.”
Toroama said other avenues included meeting with members of the Bougainville parliament, councils of elders and local level government.
He encouraged youth to realise the importance of healthy development through spirituality and responsible living, and abstaining from bad behaviour, which he said was strongly linked to personal values and which reflected on a broader scale in Bougainville society.
The president said he knows there is much to be done to curb social problems in Bougainville and he is encouraging leaders to assist young Bougainvilleans to address these issues.