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Former PNG Parliamentarian Chief John Momis joins USP as Visiting Fellow

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The Father of PNG's Constitution Chief John Momis will spend a year with USP's Pacific Institute of Advanced Studies in Development and Governance (PIAS-DG) as a Visiting Fellow.

The Father of Papua New Guinea's Constitution and former Bougainville Governor Chief John Momis has joined The University of the South Pacific's Pacific Institute of Advanced Studies in Development and Governance (PIAS-DG) for a year as a Visiting Fellow.

 The former Catholic Priest who resigned from the PNG Parliament last year having served as member for Bougainville for 33 years, will spend the year at USP writing his memoir.

 Chief Momis has had an interesting career serving the people of Bougainville and his story may well be one of the most significant accounts of public life to be written anywhere in the Pacific in recent times. He was elected to the first PNG Assembly in 1972 as the member for Bougainville. From 1972 to 1975, he was the de-facto Chairman of the Constitutional Planning Committee that drafted PNG’s Constitution. As the first Minister for Decentralisation he was responsible for setting up 19 Provincial Governments in PNG. Chief Momis was also instrumental in moving a parliamentary motion calling for the formulation of the first ever mining policy in PNG and he also called for the re-negotiation of the Bougainville Copper Agreement. He played a leading role in the negotiations that led to Bougainville Peace Agreement and subsequently to the granting of Autonomy to Bougainville.




During his political career, Mr Momis served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Public Service. Chief Momis has also served as Deputy Leader of the Opposition; Minister for Provincial Affairs; Shadow Minister for Bougainville Affairs and Provincial Affairs; Leader of the Opposition and the Minister for Information and Communications.




He was offered a Knighthood of the British Imperial Order several times for his work for the people of Bougainville which he refused each time because he deemed such acceptance to be inconsistent with the autochthonous nature of the PNG Constitution. He similarly refused OBE and MBE awards in the Queen’s Honour’s List. However, in 2005 he agreed to receive PNG’s highest Honour of the Grand Companion of Logohu (Bird of Paradise), which was given him in recognition of his leading role in the development of the National Constitution, for service to religion, politics and the community, and his contribution towards achieving reconciliation and peace of Bougainville. He was among the first to receive PNG’s highest honour. His official title is Chief John Momis, GCL.




This news item was published on 7 Feb 2006 03:33:59 pm. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email

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