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Goff welcomes UNSC support in Solomons

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Media Statement

27 August 2003

Goff welcomes UN support, hopes it will play role in Solomons

Full text of statement from the Security Council President

Foreign Minister Phil Goff hopes the United Nations will play a role in the rebuilding process in the Solomon Islands following today's Security Council statement welcoming the regional intervention.

"Today's statement, following earlier supportive statements from Kofi Annan and UN Development Programme Administrator Mark Malloch Brown, highlights the strong endorsement of the UN for legitimate multilateral action," Mr Goff said.

"The Security Council's statement warmly welcomed both the collective action taken by Pacific Islands Forum countries, and the leadership shown by Australia and New Zealand.

"It hopes the initiative will quickly lead to the restoration of normalcy and national harmony in the Solomon Islands in order to facilitate the peace-building process and economic recovery.

"The statement also encourages all parties to cooperate and to renounce the use of armed force and violence to settle their differences.

"I welcome such a strong statement of support from the Security Council and hope the United Nations will look at increasing its involvement in the rebuilding process in the Solomons now that the rule of law is being restored by the Regional Assistance Mission."

Mr Goff said the arms amnesty in the Solomons had been highly successful.

"By yesterday, 3355 weapons had been handed in. Of these, 468 were high-powered, modern, military style weapons and a further 264 were other sorts of military rifles, shotguns, pistols and grenade launchers. More than 300,000 rounds of ammunition have also been surrendered.

"However around 300 high-powered and military weapons are still outstanding and the next phase of the police action, supported by military personnel, will be to secure these weapons," Mr Goff said.


Full text of statement from the Security Council President

The Members of the Security Council welcome warmly the collective action of the countries of the Pacific Islands Forum to support the people of the Solomon Islands in their quest for the restoration of law and order and stability. The Members of the Security Council welcome the leadership exerted by Australia and New Zealand, in close partnership with other countries of the region in this regard.

They hope that this important regional initiative will quickly lead to the restoration of normalcy and national harmony in the Solomon Islands and that it will facilitate a peace-building process and economic recovery. They encourage all parties to cooperate in promoting these objectives and to renounce the use of armed force and violence to settle their differences.

ENDS

All Phil Goff’s media releases and speeches are posted at www.beehive.govt.nz

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