UN Migration Agency Raises PNG Awareness of Conflict Management, Peace Building

Capacity Building, Community Stabilization

Port Moresby – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, this week (17-18/10) organized a two-day Training for Transformation Workshop on conflict management and peace building in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. 

Funded by the IOM Development Fund, the training targeted state actors at the national, provincial, district and local (LLG) government levels, including legal practitioners, police, disaster coordinators and district administrators involved in conflict mediation and peace building. Representatives from churches and communities affected by tribal conflict in Enga and Morobe provinces also took part.

Conflict and human mobility have been intertwined throughout Papua New Guinea’s history.  Most recently the Highlands region of the country has been especially plagued by tribal conflict and displacement.

IOM is supporting community-based development planning that is complemented by training of peace mediators, whose role is to promote sustainable peace and reconciliation solutions at the local level, so that community development initiatives agreed upon by consensus can be realized.

“I had the opportunity to visit Bulolo (in Morobe) and observe first-hand the commitment of the communities to resolve their differences through embracing open and inclusive dialogue.  Everyone’s voice was being heard and respected whether men, women, youth, or acknowledged leaders. It was evident in their dialogue that their commonalities outweighed their differences, and that all had a shared vision of a future free of violence,” said IOM Papua New Guinea Chief of Mission Lance Bonneau.  

“This workshop has helped me understand the importance of addressing root causes of conflict – not only the effects,” said Margaret Safuma, a women’s representative from Morobe. “Addressing the root causes of a problem will help us find lasting solutions for peace in Bulolo,” she added.

Senior Community Development Officer at the Department of Provincial and LLG Affairs Rowen Nimb also welcomed the training. “Tribal conflict has hampered delivery of services such as health and education in different parts of our country. We are very happy to work closely with IOM and other development partners to implement community projects that address conflict-related problems and promote development initiatives in communities across Papua New Guinea,” he said.

Through bringing together key actors involved in conflict management and peace building to share information and experiences, the workshop will facilitate the development of a user-friendly conflict management manual relevant to the local context. The manual will help strengthen the efforts of conflict mediators to build local capacities for conflict mediation and peace building at the local level, through adopting a systematic and comprehensive engagement strategy.

For more information, please contact Wonesai Sithole at IOM Port Moresby, Tel: +675 3213655, Email: wsithole@iom.int

  • Participants of the workshop on conflict management and peace building organized by the UN Migration Agency (IOM) in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Photo: IOM 2017