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RAMSI success highlighted at the UN

Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Hon Milner Tozaka and his Permanent Secretary, Peter Kenilorea Jr at the special session of the UN PBC..PMO press

THE Prime Minister told the UN Peace Building Commission (UN PBC) that the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) is a classic example of a successful model of intervention.

“RAMSI is a successful model of intervention. It provides a lesson for our global response to conflicts.

“Its focus was on rebuilding and strengthening the state, especially on (i) law and justice, (ii) economic governance, and (iii) the machineries of government.

“With RAMSI’s assistance, Solomon Islands has restored law and order.

“The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force was rebuilt and strengthened, restoring public confidence in the force.

“This is illustrated by the fact that five of our Police Officers currently participate in the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Dafur, Sudan,” Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare told the UN PBC.

He then added that Solomon Islands has nominated another eight Police Officers to be considered for peacekeeping duties.

He told the audience that this is important to the country’s peacebuilding effort, particularly in sharing of experiences and lessons learned when our Police Officers are on assignment, or when returned to duty at home.

“Chair, I cannot emphasize enough that, whilst RAMSI has been very successful, the process of post-conflict rebuilding cannot stop with the departure of RAMSI.

“Like other countries in post conflict situations, Solomon Islands will continue to face many challenges.

“By the end of this month, the assistance under the RAMSI framework will end.

“Over the last few years, I have listened to peoples’ views, as we prepare for RAMSI’s departure.

“I can sense that there is uncertainty and anxiety about the future of Solomon Islands without RAMSI,” Sogavare added.

This, he told the UN PBC, underlines the need to do more to address the country’s post-conflict challenges.

“Chair, RAMSI has prepared the Solomon Islands Government well in the past 14 years to make the transition from conflict to sustainable peace.

“We now have a relatively strong public service, a disciplined police force, and an economy that is in a better shape than it was at the time of the conflict.

“But, while RAMSI has been successful in rebuilding and strengthening State institutions, we are yet to achieve true sustainable peace by facilitating reconciliations between individuals, families, communities and provinces,” he further added.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare then said that Solomon Islands needs to ensure that the State can provide and guarantee security, and provide adequate and quality public services.

“Sustainable peace, for our citizens who live in urban centers as well as those in the far-flung villages of our island nation, will require more than just effective policing or a functioning public service.

“It will require social and economic development initiatives that address the underlying causes of the conflict,” Prime Minister Sogavare said.

He then added that such initiatives must empower our people, and give them greater and better opportunities to build meaningful livelihoods.

This, he added, should be inclusive of women and youth, who are sometimes marginalized in the country’s development efforts.