Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Pacific Leaders Announce Review Of RAMSI

Scoop Report: Pacific Leaders Announce Review Of RAMSI

By Selwyn Manning, Nadi, Fiji.

Scoop
Image: PIFScoop Report - Pacific leaders have agreed to set up a taskforce to "expeditiously" review RAMSI and report back to the foreign ministers of Pacific Islands states. The move was one of the suggestions tabled in a five point plan put forward by Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare.

RAMSI is the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands and was set up in 2003 to provide security to the people of the Melanesian nation.

Sogavare's five-point-plan called for:

  • Restoration of the regional charter of RAMSI
  • Establishment of a Forum Ministerial team to oversee RAMSI operations
  • An Independent Review of RAMSI
  • Review of RAMSI
  • Clear demarcation between RAMSI and Australia.
  • The Pacific leaders, including those of Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu meet today seeking a solution to a clash between the Melanesian states and Australia.

    The end result was a win this evening for New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark and host, Fiji's Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase. Both politicians were charged with sorting out the stand-off between Australia and the Melanesians.

    Helen Clark said: "There is a very strong sense of Forum ownership. They (Pacific leaders) want it to work, they want it to work well. We discussed the five point proposal that the Solomon Islands government put on the table.

    "What the leaders agreed to was that there should be a review… The leaders have agreed to a new consultative mechanism which cuts the Forum in on high level discussions about the direction of the regional mission, and that means on a quarterly basis there will be consultative meetings between the Solomon Islands government, the regional assistance mission, and representatives of the Pacific Islands Forum's troika."

    The troika refers to the previous Pacific Islands chair, PNG's Sir Michael Somare, the current chair Fiji's Qarase, and the next chair, Tonga's Prime Minister Fred Sevele.

    Helen Clark said all leaders believe it is timely to consider "where to from here" for RAMSI: "What are the benchmarks? Is there an exit strategy? What would constitute success? You need to define where you want to get to to know whether you have reached it."

    She said the Solomon Islands was also keen to discuss "how soon it can begin to increase more rapidly the number of its nationals who are going into the inline positions in the public service… They believe they have the skilled and qualified people and would like to see more of those people come back in."

    While it was a win for Helen Clark and Laisenia Qarase, it was a day of eating humble-pie for Australia's John Howard stating: “We don’t want to bully or push anybody around. People who step back and know how Australia behaves know that’s not true. I mean, it’s almost laughable to suggest that we’re behaving like a bully. “

    Howard said Australia has injected $800 million into the Solomon Islands (including RAMSI contributions and Australian aid) and still regards the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea as colleagues.

    Helen Clark said the mood around the Forum table was progressive. She added however there remains a coolness between Sir Michael Somare and John Howard.

    "Obviously there has been a lot of rhetoric, I felt that really the Forum made it clear that it wasn't there to discuss bilateral issues between Forum countries. The Forum was there to look at what was of concern to the region. And everybody respected that so we didn't get in to bilateral argybargy, we got into what is legitimately the business of the Forum," Helen Clark said.


    ENDS

    © Scoop Media

     
     
     
    Top Scoops Headlines

     

    The Conversation: Rogue Poll Or Not, All The Signs Point To A Tectonic Shift In New Zealand Politics

    Richard Shaw AAP(various)/NZ Greens (CC-BY-SA)/The Conversation Strong team. More jobs. Better economy. So say the National Party’s campaign hoardings. Only thing is, last Sunday’s Newshub-Reid Research poll – which had support for the Labour ... More>>

    Dunne Speaks: It's Time For Matariki Day

    The period of Matariki, the celebration of the Māori New Year, which began earlier this week, is being celebrated increasingly as an important national event. While many other countries have their own form of New Year celebrations, Matariki is uniquely ... More>>

    Gordon Campbell: On Why We Shouldn’t Be Pushed Into Re-Opening Our Borders

    I believe in yesterday as much as Paul McCartney, but it was bemusing to see the amount of media attention lavished last week on the pandemic-related musings by former government science adviser Sir Peter Gluckman, former Prime Minister Helen Clark ... More>>

    Gordon Campbell: On The Media Collusion With National’s Attack Lines

    For most of the past week, any consumer of this country’s management of Covid-19 would think New Zealand was actually Brazil, or Texas. The media language has been full of claims of “botches” at the border, and laxness and inexcusable errors ... More>>

    The Coronavirus Republic: Three Million Infections And Rising

    The United States is famed for doing things, not to scale, but off it. Size is the be-all and end-all, and the coronavirus is now doing its bit to assure that the country remains unrivalled in the charts of infection . In time, other unfortunates may well ... More>>

    Binoy Kampmark: Altars Of Hypocrisy: George Floyd, Protest And Black Face

    Be wary what you protest about. The modern moral constabulary are out, and they are assisted by their Silicon Valley friends in the Social Media club. Should you dare take a stand on anything, especially in a dramatic way, you will be found out ... More>>

    Binoy Kampmark: Welcome Deaths: Coronavirus And The Open Plan Office

    For anybody familiar with that gruesome manifestation of the modern work place, namely the open plan office, the advent of coronavirus might be something of a relief. The prospects for infection in such spaces is simply too great. You are at risk from ... More>>


    Binoy Kampmark: Why Thinking Makes It So: Donald Trump’s Obamagate Fixation

    The “gate” suffix has been wearing thin since the break-in scandal that gave it its birth. Since Watergate, virtually anything dubious and suggestive, and much more besides, is suffixed. Which brings us to the issue of President Donald Trump’s ... More>>