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Annan lends Solomons support to Forum

Annan lends Solomons support to Forum

Foreign Minister Phil Goff today welcomed the strong message of support by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan for the Solomon Islands deployment.

His special message was read to the Pacific Islands Forum in Auckland today by UN Development Programme Administrator Mark Malloch Brown.

“I commend the countries of the Forum for their pro-active approach in unanimously supporting, within the framework of the Biketawa Declaration, the collective action being led by Australia and New Zealand, and being taken at the request of the government of the Solomon Islands.

“I look forward to the restoration of normalcy in the country, so that the government of the Solomon Islands, assisted by Forum members, the donor community and the United Nations, can move quickly to begin long-term peace-building efforts,” Mr Annan said in his message.”

Mr Goff said Mr Malloch Brown also endorsed the deployment in his subsequent speech when he stated that the Auckland Forum would prove historic.

“Your concerted and united action in the Solomon Islands will usher in a new period of Pacific co-operation.

“You have started down a path from which there is no turning back. The old approaches were not working; economic assistance alone could not reverse creeping instability and the erosion of political institutions.

“Indeed there was a danger of reinforcing a cycle of setbacks. The confidence of donor public opinion, undermined by the perceived failure of aid to make a difference, leading to more conditionality and less assistance, thereby further undermining the capacity of Pacific Island states to cope with instability. “You have collectively chosen boldly to seek to break out of that cycle by responding to the invitation of the Government of the Solomon Islands to intervene, and your actions have raised any ghosts of the past but have been seen as a brave response to the future.”

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