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Solomon Is. Government Welcomes Talks On RAMSI

SI Government Welcomes Talks On RAMSI

The Solomon Islands Government has welcomed current talks between major partners in the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands, RAMSI.

Minister for Foreign Affairs, External Trade and Immigration William Haomae said the Solomon Islands government is confident the dialogue process would lead towards greater and closer consultation between parties to the mission.

The major partners included the Solomon Islands Government, RAMSI member nations and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS).

Mr Haomae said the government is pleased that officials were able to discuss frankly the issues that are of concern to the parties and especially between Solomon Islands and RAMSI.

"The discussions have allowed the SIG/RAMSI partnership to continue to grow in strength and greater understanding," he said. "The Coalition for National Unity and Rural Advancement Government is encouraged by the dialogue and consultation processes on issues of concern in the partnership.

"It is worth reiterating that the work of RAMSI in Solomon Islands is a partnership between the Government of Solomon Islands and its regional friends and through greater co-operation, we can achieve the desired goals for the benefit of the people of Solomon Islands,"

The CNURA Government expressed gratitude to RAMSI for the work it has been doing over the years - which obviously made significant contribution to the different sectors and sub sectors of the country especially under the three pillars of its mandate.

Mr Haomae said the CNURA government also appreciated the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat for the active involvement in the process as it continues to reflect the importance of regionalizing the work of RAMSI - as embedded in its original idea for the intervention.

The Minister said the partnership was rocked by many challenges in the last two years, particularly under the previous regime.

"There were times when the partnership was challenged with misunderstandings and differences in opinion but I wish to re-assure you that the CNURA Government places high priority in dialogue and consultation to this partnership and it is only through this process that we will be able to resolve our differences amicably," he said.

He said the issue of capacity building and sustainability of the programs undertaken under RAMSI must be properly addressed as this will also provide a yardstick to measure whether the programs are successful and the capacity has been developed and sustainable in the longer term.

"The joint strategy as proposed is an important approach where parties could work together on a framework that would allow the programs of RAMSI to be considered along the priorities of the Government.

"Against this premise, it will provide us with the foundation where an exit strategy can be formulated based on the achievements and sustainability of the sub sectors,"

"It is the mirror within which the work programs of RAMSI and the priorities of the Government should be viewed. It is envisaged that through this process we would be able to focus ourselves more on the achievements and sustainability of the programs".

The ECM will be followed by the Forum Ministerial Standing Committee (FMSC) on February 22 at the Honiara Hotel.

The Premier of Niue who is also the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Ministers of Australia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tonga will be at the meeting.

ENDS

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