The Government will give priority to reconciliation and rehabilitation in its 2009 $4.4 Billion Budget.

Introducing his second budget to Parliament on Monday Finance Minister, Snyder Rini, said that reconciliation and rehabilitation is "fundamental to our future social and economic progress."

Mr. Rini said that this was especially so given the broad-ranging and diverse interests in Solomon Islands society and cultures.

The Finance Minister said that under the 2009 budget, the Government has set aside $5 Million to establish a national peace and integrity council to advise the government directly on issues within its mandate.

However, he said that reconciliation and rehabilitation is a "responsibility for all of us and not a function just for the government.

Mr. Rini added that the process relies on what people feel in their hearts and that reconciliation will happen with the goodwill of our own people.

Mr. Rini said that while he mentioned a few of the initiatives in his budget speech, there are other programs within a range of other ministries and functions that will also continue to make significant contributions to reconciliation and rehabilitation.

"It is paramount that we must all work together to ensure that6 unity of all our people," Mr. Rini said.