Monday, 9 November 2009 8:58 AM

RAMSI and Government Brief Rennell & Bellona Province

RAMSI's Special Coordinator, Graeme Wilson, and the Permanent Secretary with responsibility for RAMSI, Paul Tovua, visited both islands in Rennell & Bellona Province this week.

RAMSI Development Coordinator, Paul Kelly, accompanied them.

Mr Wilson and Mr Tovua briefed the Premier, Timothy Johnston, and his Executive on the Partnership Framework between RAMSI and the Solomon Islands Government. The Framework is aimed at developing the capacity of the institutions of government, building a sustainable economy, and maintaining a safe environment for Solomon Islanders into the future.

"Improvements in these areas will directly benefit the provinces by creating an enabling environment for security and economic growth", Mr Wilson said.

Premier Johnston thanked the Special Coordinator and his delegation for visiting his province and conveyed his appreciation for RAMSI's work. "Without RAMSI, who knows where Solomon Islands would be", he said. Mr Johnston and his Deputy, Brian Ngibutai joined the Special Coordinator and delegation at two Community Outreach meetings in both Rennell and Bellona.

Community members asked questions about various aspects of the RAMSI- Solomon Islands partnership including policing and efforts to combat corruption.

The community was pleased to learn about the strengthening of the Auditor-General's Office, Ombudsman's Office and Leadership Code Commission and how these agencies can contribute to increasing the accountability of governments.

Mr Wilson said that anti-corruption was a key focus across all of the RAMSI-SIG's programs as was capacity development and the need to promote opportunities for women and gender equality.