[Honiara, Solomon Islands - 11 February 2010] Press Release - The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat is pleased to be closely associated with the launch of a landmark first report on security sector governance in the Pacific.

Enhancing Security Sector Governance in the Pacific Region: A Strategic Framework is a joint UNDP Pacific Centre and Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) report which was launched in Honiara on 10th February by the Honourable, Sir Peter Kenilorea, Speaker of Solomon Islands National Parliament.

The report focuses on the need for a new strategic framework in the Pacific, which will complement existing reform and capacity building efforts of police, military, and customs and immigration agencies and will result in greater accountability and legitimacy of security institutions. It was developed based on background research and interviews conducted in Solomon Islands, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Tonga and Vanuatu during late 2008 and early 2009. Its primary focus of attention is on security institutions, recognising the special responsibility they have in society to support human rights and to protect the general population from harm.

Security sector governance (SSG) is a means of providing effective and responsive security services to the people, and ensuring security institutions' are accountable to the law. It seeks to make people, communities and countries more secure by emphasising that security institutions are accountable to citizens, chiefly through Parliament and regular elections but also through media scrutiny and public consultation and debate.

Director of Political Governance and Security at the PIFS, Rick Nimmo, said: "This important work is intended to complement practical initiatives being undertaken by national governments in the Pacific to strengthen security sector governance which bolsters both the security and governance pillars of the Pacific Plan."

A program of regional policy development activities by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat on the issue of Security Sector Governance, in close partnership with the UNDP Pacific Centre in Suva, was endorsed by the Forum Regional Security Committee (FRSC) at its last meeting in June 2009.