PM Sogavare welcomes UN support

THE Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, Hon Manasseh Sogavare has welcomed UN Support to Solomon Islands Government- led peace-building and reconciliation process and plans during a meeting with United Nations official from the Peace Building Support Office (PBSO) from New York in Honiara today.

The UN PBSO was represented by Jelena Zelenovic and accompanied by the Head of UN Joint Presence in Solomon Islands, Azusa Kubota, Jon Andrews and Sonja Bachmann from UN Pacific Office, as well as UN Social Cohesion and Peace-building Advisor, Agus Wandi.

The UN team briefed the Prime Minister on their work with the Solomon Islands government team to design a UN immediate support programme using the Peace Building Fund mechanism from the UN Secretariat in New York.

The fund is to help assist Solomon Islands for the most immediate needs of its government in sustaining stability and peace in the country. The fund support government capacity to lead the peacebuilding efforts, especially the Ministry of National Unity, Reconciliation and Peace (MNURP), the Prime Minister Office and other key ministries.

There is also an element of fostering coherence in women’s groups. Another area is providing expertise and information on international comparative examples on peacebuilding work as well as supporting youth engagement.

The UN believes it is a good time to be investing this fund in Solomon Islands, especially to sustain progress made by SIG, RAMSI and other stakeholders in the country. UN could bring added value to the peace building process in Solomon Islands as a multi-lateral institution and their international experience globally.

Prime Minister Sogavare thanked the UN for the initiative, saying it targets an area of top priority to the Solomon Islands Government, which is peace-building and reconciliation.

He said the challenge for the Solomon Islands Government is to build on from the current state of peace in the country that followed the signing of

the peace agreement between the two warring parties of the ethnic tension and the deployment of Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI).

The Prime Minister said the draw-down of RAMSI is something bothering to Solomon Islands and the Solomon Islands Government under the leadership of the Democratic Coalition for Change Government deems it important that it addresses the reasons behind the tension through the formulation of appropriate policies before RAMSI’s withdrawal.

Also present at the meeting was the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of National Unity, Reconciliation and Peace, Mr Justice Denni.

Source: PM’s Press