Monday, 18 July 2011 7:51 AM

Geneva Mission Crucial for Solomon Islands: Ma'ahanua

Solomon Islands Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the European Union in Brussels, H.E Joseph Ma'ahanua says the establishment of a Mission in Geneva, Switzerland, is crucial to help government address the UN Millennium Development Goals (MGDs).

Addressing a Media Conference on Friday in Honiara, Ambassador Ma'ahanua said about two-thirds of the MDGs are being dealt with by specialized UN Agencies that are located in the Geneva.

"If the Government wants to be serious about addressing the two-thirds of those MDGs then the Geneva Mission can directly take care of that for Solomon Islands," Ambassador Ma'ahanua said.

Besides the MGDs, the Geneva Mission can also enable Solomon Islands to proactively engage with other international bodies such the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), World Meteorology Organization (WMO) and other UN Agencies.

Apart from the UN agencies, the Mission is also crucial to enable Solomon Islands to directly participate in negotiations on the Doha Development Rounds as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

"We have always been on the fringes of international negotiations and our representation to the UN agencies and other international institutions is quite critical," Mr Ma'ahanua said.

In terms of costs of opening up the Geneva Mission, the Government has already seized an offer by the Commonwealth to subsidize an office space in Geneva for the mission.

Mr Ma'ahanua added that arrangements are also in place with the host Government of Switzerland to meet some costs while the Solomon Islands government will meet the cost of staff who will be deployed soon to be in charge of the mission.


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