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PM commends UNPBC and Peacebuilding Fund

PRIME Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare commended the United Nations Peace Building Fund Programme for its support to Solomon Islands ‘peacebuilding efforts.

He made the statement when officially opening the National Peace Dialogue yesterday at the Heritage Park Hotel.

“We cannot have peace at the national level if we do not have peace in our communities and ourselves.

“It is appropriate therefore that I take this opportunity to thank the UN Peace Building Commission, the Peace Building Fund and the UN Secretary General for their unwavering support in stepping up efforts to help us deepen the peace building process in Solomon Islands.

“Let me take this opportunity as well, to commend the role of UNDP and UN Women in Solomon Islands. United Nations is a firm supporter of our efforts to building peace through sustainable development,” the Prime Minister said.

He then further stated that he was grateful to the UN Secretary General, Mr Antonio Gueterres and Regional Director of UNDP RBAP, Mr Haoliang Xu, given that they were very receptive during their bilateral meeting for the United Nations to help Solomon Islands in its customary land reform efforts and other reform agenda to sustain peace.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, as you are aware, I was accorded an opportunity less than two weeks ago, on the 7th of this month, to present the case of Solomon Islands to the United Nations Peace Building Commission.

“I presented to the Peace Building Commission our case as a post-conflict country, the challenges we face in our peacebuilding efforts and why we are now seeking partnership with the Peace Building Commission and the Peace Building Fund in our initiatives at post-conflict rebuilding,” The Prime Minister said.

The responses, Sogavare added, by members of the UN Peacebuilding Commission and the leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum Member countries were most encouraging.

“There is consensus among the members of the Peace Building Commission in relation to the critical role of the Peace Building Fund, and new opportunities where funding could be used to fund projects important to addressing the root causes of the conflict or civil unrests that our country experienced from 1998 to 2003. These include issues such as customary land reform and the fight against corruption,” Sogavare said.

Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare then added that after leaving New York that there will be further discussions among members of the Peacebuilding Commission on possible ways in which the PBC could continue its engagement with Solomon Islands.

“I look forward to engaging with Osnat Lubrani and UN Team here on future agenda and cooperation,” the Prime Minister stated.