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Sogavare discloses reasons of attaining peace funds

PRIME Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare admitted that the country does not have the resources and experience to address the challenges impeding the challenges of lasting peace and to implement such programmes.

He made the statement yesterday in his opening remarks during the National Peace Dialogue at the Heritage Park Hotel.

“It is important to note however that we cannot possibly profess that we have the capacity to implement essential peace building initiatives, because we don’t. Not only that, we do not only have the resources to address the challenges impeding the attainment of lasting peace and stability, we do not even have the experience to develop and implement such programmes.

“It is precisely for that reason that I sought a partnership between the Solomon Islands Government and the UN Peace Building Commission, a body that is subsidiary to the United Nations Security Council established to specifically help post-conflict countries rebuild themselves into achieving sustainable peace and stability. It is also the partnership we will continuously seek from our development partners like Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the European Union and the UNDP and the UN System,” the Prime Minister strongly stated.

He then added that the DCC Government wants the peace building agenda to be an endogenous process requiring strong and inclusive national ownership and leadership.

The commitment of Government, Prime Minister Sogavare added, can best be exemplified by the leadership of the Ministry of National Peace, Unity and Reconciliation and the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in spearheading the implementation of the TRC report.

“We have commenced delivering on our reconciliation activities but we need to do more.

“This National Dialogue and the provincial dialogues are all part of the peacebuilding activities, designed to provide stakeholders the opportunity to shape our peace building efforts. Today’s dialogue is not an end in itself.

“I would like to propose that this be made a national event every two years to allow us to take stocks of where we are in our peace building efforts and what else we need to do. A national event of this kind will ensure strong and inclusive ownership and leadership by all of us in our peacebuilding efforts,”Sogavare said.

The Prime Minister then said that the DCC Government is aware of the fact that the peace policy is a multi-sectoral, all-encompassing “meta-policy” deserving attention at the highest levels of national government.

One thing that is common to all of us, even to those in Cabinet and in our Parliament, the Prime Minister added.

“We will never allow our country to slide back to our darkest days of ethnic conflict as we have experienced from 1998-2003.

“It is against this backdrop that we have to closely assess our policy to ensure that we do indeed promote peace building and that we proclaim development policies that unify us rather than divide us.

“That we also actively address development challenges constraining the achievement of sustainable peace and stability,” The Prime Minister added.

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