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Meeting with European Union Representatives

CIVIL SOCIETY - Meeting with European Union Representatives

Meeting attendance

1. Mr.Anders Henriksson (Director for Horn of Africa, East and Southern Africa, Indian Ocean and Pacific.)

2. Mr. Henry Prankard (Charg'e d' Affairs a.i European Union;

Delegation of European Commission in Solomon Islands

3 Andrew Gegeu (Civil Society Network)

4. Sarah Dyer (National Council of Women)

5. Bishop Adrian Smith (Solomon Islands Christian Association)

Meeting with European Union Representatives

Date: Mon 31st Oct 2005

Time: 5:00pm

Venue: European Union Conference Room.

EU Reps:

Mr.Anders Henriksson (Director for Horn of Africa, East and Southern Africa, Indian Ocean and Pacific.)

Mr. Henry Prankard (Charg'e d' Affairs a.i European Union;

Delegation of European Commission in Solomon Islands)

Agendas:
- Good Governance
- Legitimacy of Pacific Island States

The meeting starts of at about 5:30pm and was attend by three people from Civil Society organizations namely National Council of Women, Civil Society Network and Solomon Islands Christian Association.

The meeting was opened by an introduction, introducing the agenda's of the meeting made by Mr. Anders Henriksson (Director for Horn of Africa, East and Southern Africa, Indian Ocean and Pacific.)And followed by an opening question made by Mr. Henriksson

" What is the Civil Society view about good governance and development in this country?"

.

Andrew Gegeu (Civil Society Network)

Outline the problems faced by Civil Society Network office such as recognition from National Government and other partners

It should be seen as a link with the people within the civil society of Solomon Islands therefore it is very vital for government to create a communication link with its people of Solomon Islands and must see people as partner. Whom he makes decision and formulates policy on their behalf.

The government should see it as people's link with the government of this nation as partners in development especially the majority population in the rural areas.

A way to make representational decisions and formulate policies that reflects majority viewpoint and to ensure people help to resolve present problems that the country is facing along with the Government.

" Good governance is unattainable by one or two actors only because in any nation it has to be the three principal actors working together before we can end up in a situation where the three actors agree and say it is good governance otherwise it is unattainable in reality".

Sarah Dyer (National Council of Women)- the women organization in which she represents have been working hard over the past years up until this year, now their main focus this year is the upcoming national general election and women in politics.

She also mentioned the need to change certain policy that does not allow women to other kind of duties, which men are doing.

Mr. Henry Prankard- what kinds of leaders do we have here? In relation to Non State Actors?

Bishop Adrian Smith (Solomon Islands Christian Association) The focus of national development should be directed to the rural dwellers.

" We need a person with a dream Nation" people who can unite tribes and build confidence.

The people of this country needs communication link to empower them. They need a proposed government structure that allow people to link with government and people themselves

He reiterated that the kind of leaders we need here are those who are people oriented but in this country's situation it is not really that.

Mr.Anders Henriksson - How can people feel part of development in this country?

Andrew Gegeu (Civil Society Network)- answered the question from Civil Society Network point of view " people will only feel part of the development of this nation for two reasons if the decision made at the political level reflects their situation and this can only be done if there is a link from government and its people to consult them on their views and ideas by allowing them to make decisions and their voices to be heard.

And secondly decentralize and delegation of development responsibility to rural areas because it is where the majority population is.

Sarah Dyer - in the past people do not feel part of the development even in their own communities because they have not been consulted on what kind of development they want in their own areas or a kind of development that will answer their basic problems.

Bishop Adrian Smith - giving examples of place within the Solomon Islands who have felt they have been left out or overlooked by the Government such as Weather Coast of Guadalcanal and Russell Islands in terms of development.

He also stated the need for reconciliation everywhere in this country after the Ethnic Tension, and it must start at the rural community level and he finally concludes, "This country needs a Participatory approach of development".

Mr.Anders Henriksson - finally concludes the meeting that the European, which they represent, see Non State actors as one of the potential avenue to empower for a country to prosper. There are political spaces that can be filled by Non State Actors instead and they have to be independent in terms of financial resource in order to achieve peace or engage in peace building activities.

The European Union is increasing allocating money for non State Actors in Solomon Islands.1.2 million Euros, which is about 10 million Solomon Dollars.

With that the meeting ended up at about 6:20pm.

ENDS


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