Friday, 1 May 2009 9:12 AM

RAMSI and Guadalcanal Pledge to Work Together

Developing the RAMSI partnership between national and provincial governments, and the people of Solomon Islands is a key priority for RAMSI, according to Special Coordinator Graeme Wilson.

Mr Wilson made the comment at his first official meeting with the Premier of Guadalcanal and his Executive last week. The meeting was part of the Special Coordinator's program of engagement with Provincial Governments in the early part of his leadership of the Regional Assistance Mission.

"I'd like RAMSI to take the partnership to a new level," he said, referring to the positive work being done to complete the Solomon Islands Government-RAMSI Partnership Framework, the road map for ongoing RAMSI capacity building activities.

"Making RAMSI's contribution sustainable is our focus. We want to make sure that progress towards a peaceful, well-governed and prosperous Solomon Islands continues long after RAMSI is gone."

The meeting, which included the heads of RAMSI's police, military and civilian development programs, as well as RAMSI's Deputy and Assistant Special Coordinators, discussed peace and reconciliation, policing, the recent floods, and community building through sport.

Premier Stephen Panga acknowledged the close relationship with RAMSI's Assistant Coordinator, Mataiasi Lomaloma, who has attended many peace and reconciliation ceremonies, and RAMSI's Participating Police Force Commander, Denis McDermott, who has been working closely with the Premier during recent police operations to apprehend Solomon Islands most dangerous criminals.

Mr McDermott said that the police had conducted similar operations in all provinces wherever dangerous criminals continue to hide and cause fear in communities.

"These operations are led by the RSIPF with the support of the PPF and RAMSI's military," Mr McDermott said.

"The police appreciate community support to bring these people to justice and help begin the process of healing and peace building at the grassroots level."

Mr McDermott made the commitment to meet with the Premier every two weeks to update him on policing issues and to continue the close partnership between all parties needed to maintain law and order.

Mr Wilson also welcomed the opportunity to keep an open dialogue with the Provincial Government and to work together on nation building activities where possible to help Solomon Islanders come together.


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