Solomon Islands welcomes 8th ECM on RAMSI

The Solomon Islands Government (SIG) welcomed participants to the 8th Enhanced Consultative Mechanism (ECM) meeting on the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) and encouraged frank and fruitful discussions in the spirit of mutual respect and genuine partnership.

This was emphasised by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade of Solomon Islands, Hon. Clay Forau Soaloai when opening the 8th ECM meeting on RAMSI in Honiara on Wednesday, 16 May 2012.

Mr Forau said that the partnership between the SIG and RAMSI has been very good and positive, and that programmes under various sectors of the SIG had been carried out very successfully.

“It is worth noting the areas that RAMSI has achieve[d] significant results in, such as law and order … with the increased level of confidence and capability, the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) is now taking front-line operations leaving the RAMSI component of the police Participating Force to provide support and capacity building,” said Mr Forau.

On RAMSI’s transition, Mr Forau reiterated his Government’s position that “the transition of RAMSI must be task-bound and not time-bound. And that the pace of transition across various sectors must be done in close consultation with the Solomon Islands Government.”

The Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Tuiloma Neroni Slade acknowledged that RAMSI undertakes an important role in the Solomon Islands and the Pacific region, with consequential implications of political, social and regional aspirations for everyone.

“It is important to keep in mind the regional character of this very unique and special mission, and also, ultimately, it is about the future of Solomon Islands and her citizens. The work of RAMSI is at a critical stage, and this is important because it is pioneering work in political perspective and long term developmental conditions,” said Mr Slade.

The 8th ECM meeting precedes the 6th Forum Ministerial Standing Committee (FMSC) on RAMSI which will be held on Friday, 18 May in Honiara. The FMSC will discuss, amongst other issues, progress made in the implementation of the SIG/RAMSI Partnership Framework, the 2011 Annual Performance Report, as well as matters relating to RAMSI’s transition phase and its drawdown.

The 8th ECM meeting was attended by senior government officials from Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Cook Islands, Australia and New Zealand, as well as representatives from RAMSI and the Forum Secretariat.

ENDS

For media enquiries contact Mr Johnson Honimae, the Forum Secretariat’s Media Officer on phone 679 331 2600 or email: johnsonh@forumsec.org.fj.