More than 250 observers from a range of domestic and international groups were present at polling and the count centre. All observers were briefed and accredited, and received a Referendum Handbook, photo identification and were required to sign a BRC Code of Conduct. All observers wore jackets to identify themselves as observers at all locations so as to avoid confusion with scrutineers. In contrast to scrutineers, observers did not have powers to question voters or challenge BRC officials. Under the Referendum Organic Law, the National Government was responsible for inviting international governments and agencies as observers. Invitations were issued to those who played an historical role in the peace process and/or more recently, in the referendum process.

The following international observer groups were accredited by the Bougainville Referendum Commission:

Embassy of the United States of America
British High Commission
European Union
Embassy of Japan
Australian High Commission
New Zealand High Commission
Pacific Islands Forum
Commonwealth Secretariat

The following domestic observer groups were accredited by the Bougainville Referendum Commission:

Bougainville Women’s Federation
Bougainville Disabled Persons Organization
Buin District Women’s Federation
Lenoke Christian Group Youth
Tonolei Christian Group Women’s Federation
Hako Women’s Collective
Transparency International
Integrity of Political Parties & Candidates Commission
National Youth Development Authority
Divine Word University
Papua Native Landowners Association
Australian National University / University of PNG

Below are links to public reports and statements issued by accredited international and domestic observers post-referendum, as at 31 May 2020.


Commonwealth Observer Group

European Union

Hako Women’s Collective


New Zealand

Transparency International PNG

Please find here accreditation information for referendum observer groups.

Applications for accreditation and nominations of representatives opened on 17 June 2019 and closed on 1 October 2019.

Please note that BRC will only accredit organizations as referendum observers, not individuals. The BRC will then register the representatives of the accredited organizations.