Friday, 1 July 2011 8:05 AM

SIG Committed to RAMSI Consultative Process

The Solomon Islands Government (SIG) has reaffirmed its commitment to the Enhanced Consultative Mechanism (ECM) on the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI).

Speaking at the opening of the 7th ECM meeting in Honiara, today, Solomon Islands Secretary to Cabinet Mr John Tuhaika said: "The gathering today is again a show of our commitment to the work of RAMSI in particular the implementation of our Leaders' decision to have such consultative process."

"Since the establishment of this consultative process, the partnership between the Solomon Islands Government and RAMSI has been very cordial and positive. The programmes under various sectors have been very successful, which to me is a clear manifestation of the cooperative spirit between the Solomon Islands government and RAMSI," Mr Tuhaika said.

He added: "The establishment of the Joint Performance Oversight Group, co-chaired by the Honourable Prime Minister and the Special Coordinator of RAMSI also provide an impetus to the transparency and closer collaborative work between the Solomon Islands government and RAMSI."

"Furthermore, the work of the Triumvirate is also an important and all these consultative processes are vital in the implementation of the SIG/RAMSI Partnership Framework as it provides checks and balances to ensure the work of RAMSI is in-line with the policies of the government."

The Triumvirate comprises the Solomon Islands Permanent Secretary for RAMSI, Mr Paul Tovua, the RAMSI Special Coordinator, Mr Nicholas Coppel and the Forum Representative to Solomon Islands, Mr Sakiusa Rabuka.

Solomon Islands Secretary to Cabinet, Mr Tuhaika told the ECM meeting that much has been done in the various sectors of the country since RAMSI was set up seven years ago.

"The success of RAMSI must be acknowledged. I noted that one of the important items on your agenda is the RAMSI transition phase and it is important agenda for our partnership. In this regard, I urge you officials to discuss this matter with due diligence and ensure that we provide the benefits to the people of Solomon Islands when RAMSI eventually leaves. I wish to reiterate that RAMSI is a partnership and the draw down must be done in consultation with all parties involved."

Mr Tuhaika also expressed the Solomon Islands government's appreciation to the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat for its continuous oversight role in RAMSI.
The ECM is attended by senior representatives of the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand governments as well as RAMSI and the Forum Secretariat. The meeting is chaired by the Australian representative Mr Stephen Gee, Assistant Secretary in the Pacific Islands Branch in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The 7th ECM meeting which precedes the Forum Ministerial Standing Commission on RAMSI which will be held in Honiara on 30th June 2011, will discuss among other issues progress of the implementation of the SIG/RAMSI Partnership Framework, the 2010 Annual Performance Report on achievements and constraints across the RAMSI pillars and issues relating to RAMSI's transition phase, including proposed plans for RAMSI's drawdown.