Preparatory work is well under way for an eventual formal reconciliation conference between Malaita and Guadalcanal led by their respective premiers.The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of National Unity, Reconciliation and Peace (MNURP) Joy Kere told the Express that the preparatory work process was disrupted on the Guadalcanal side following the political situation on Guadalcanal that led to a change of government in the Province early this year.
Mrs Kere said that on the Malaita side, the Malaita Peace Building Committee (PBC) already had up to about five meetings since last year and dealt with its internal issues as well as identifying a range of issues and questions to put to the Guadalcanal Provincial Government during their proposed reconciliation conference.
The two provinces had already established Peace Building Committees (PBCs) in consultation with the Ministry and they comprised of provincial members, chiefs, church leaders, and women.
Meanwhile, the Guadalcanal "Peace Building Committee (PBC)" is scheduled to meet from the 14th to the 16th of this month to formulate issues that Guadalcanal would want to bring up when a formal reconciliation conference between Malaita and Guadalcanal is finally being convened. This is will be the second meeting for the Guadalcanal PBC
She said that apart from looking back over resolutions reached at previous conferences and meetings on the Guadalcanal conflict to formulate is own position, the Guadalcanal PBC is also in the process of considering issues raised by Malaita as possible agenda items for the proposed reconciliation conference.
Mrs Kere said that the issues which Malaita PBC has raised with Guadalcanal Province include the questions and issues such as who started the conflict, internal migration, employment issues for Malaitans on Guadalcanal, and the issue of state government.
She said that while the formal conference is still to be held when both sides have concluded their preparations; the Guadalcanal and Malaita premiers have also had some informal consultations where necessary.