Friday, 28 September 2007 2:48 PM

MOU Signed Between Solomons Govt and UQ

The University of Queensland has signed a new Memorandum of Understanding with the Solomon Islands Government.

Mr Sam Alasia, special envoy of the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, the Hon. Manasseh Sogavare, met with The University of Queensland Vice Chancellor Professor John Hay to complete the signing.

Associate Professor Clive Moore of UQ's School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics said the new five-year MOU replaced a more limited MOU signed in 2003.

"The MOU focuses on aiding the restoration and maintenance of peace, harmony and well-being through development and resource sustainability and community resilience throughout Solomon Islands," he said.

"The MOU will strengthen the relationship already existing through several academic disciplines and co-ordinate future research by University of Queensland academic staff in the Solomon Islands.

"The Solomon Islands Government will facilitate the issue of research approvals from The University of Queensland."

The Solomon Islands contact points will be the Ministry of Education and Human Resources and the Institute of Solomon Islands Studies. At The University of Queensland, Professor Kevin Clements, Director of the Australian Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, will co-ordinate the development of future research projects in the Solomon Islands.

The MOU supports and facilitates the UQ Consortium, CONCORD-UQ (Community Building and Responsible Resource Development) which is seeking involvement with consultancy, training and capacity building activities in the Solomon Islands. The University of Queensland has also made available two Masters scholarships over the period of the MOU.

Prime Minister Sogavare, through a letter to Professor Hay, said that the MOU was a valuable strengthening of the connection between his nation and an important regional university. Professor Hay welcomed the renewal of the MOU.

"I look forward to deepening our relationship with the Solomon Islands," Professor Hay said.