Thursday, 13 September 2012 9:54 AM

Call for Justification of UNGA Delegation

The Solomon Islands Opposition Leader has called on Prime Minister to justify the need for a large delegation to the upcoming United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York next month.

Derek Sikua says that Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo's proposed delegation comprises 17 people including the Prime Minister.

Dr Sikua says Mr Lilo must explain to the nation why he's leading such a big delegation which will cost the taxpayers more than a million dollars.

The Opposition Leader says this money should be spent on addressing more pressing payments faced by the government from service providers of the 11th Festival of Pacific Arts.

Dr Sikua says whilst he understands the inclusion of certain officials, the inclusion of MPs is merely for political gain.

He says the three political appointees will have no role to play in Solomon Islands participation in the UN meeting.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister's Office and Cabinet has clarified that it is funding only seven members to attend the upcoming United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York later this month.

In response to the statement from the Leader of the Opposition, the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet says the rest are traveling under UN, Solomon Islands Roaster of Experts and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs funding.

It says five members of the delegation will travel on UN tickets, four on Solomon Islands Roster of Experts tickets and two will be funded under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Early this year the Cabinet approved Solomon Islands Roaster of Experts to engage qualified Solomon Islanders to advice Government on specific issues.

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