The Solomon Islands Government has progressed the development of a National Peace Building Policy with the convening of a two-day peace stake-holders consultation workshop in Honiara from 26 – 27 November 2013.
The workshop, coordinated by the Ministry of National Unity, Reconciliation and Peace, brought together representatives from several provinces, Government Ministries, civil society organizations, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI).
The aim of the policy, the first to be developed by the Solomon Islands Government, is to coordinate all the peace initiatives being organized in the country after the social unrest.
The two-day meeting was for participants to deliberate on the Draft National Peacebuilding Policy after the draft policy was formulated after the first peace stakeholders dialogue held in September 2011. The draft policy has been circulated to the provinces, Government Ministries, civil society organizations and other interested parties.
The process of developing the draft was supported by the UNDP office in Honiara and the UNDP Pacific Centre for Peace and Conflict based in Suva, Fiji, through the provision of financial and technical support.
“Solomon Islands has come a long way in rebuilding, reconstruction and peacebuilding since the dark days and with that backdrop we want to move on especially on how we can address the immediate impacts of the conflict-displaced, injustices, lost, abuses, atrocities-increases violence against women and children,” said Mr Lennis Rukale, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Unity, Reconciliation and Peace, when addressing the workshop.
Mr Rukale said: “The government at the policy level had undertaken major reforms in trying to address the underlying issues of the tensions. The establishment of the Ministry of National Unity, Reconciliation and Peace was also in response to the ethnic tension.”
“The establishment and completion of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the work of RAMSI and many other donor organizations too have assisted our respective organizations in the rebuilding process. As we look to the future, let us ask, how has Solomon Islands as a nation, fared to date? What are the continuing threats to sustainable peace and stability – what are the emerging issues? I firmly believe this is the time to move forward and to see a new Solomon Islands with a united, peaceful, prosperous and resilient Solomon Islands,” said Mr Rukale
After the two –day workshop, the changes agreed on during the meeting will be inserted into the document before it is taken back for a final consultation. The document will be taken to Cabinet for approval before it is launched early next year.
Press Release: GCU