The Prime Minister, Dr Derek Sikua, says creating a peaceful and prosperous society in Solomon Islands is his government's vision and mission. Dr Sikua was making the remarks during the closing of the National Parliament.He says Solomon islanders need to learn from the past to understand the present and in turn chart for a better future. "We need to chart a future filled with hope and promise, the government is putting, as its number one priority, the need for reconciliation and rehabilitation," said Dr Sikua.
Dr Sikua says the country cannot afford to repeat the ethnic crises of the late 1990s and early 2000s and reiterated the government's intention to pursue the reconciliation and rehabilitation process including the rehabilitation of the ex-combatants.
He says it is not an easy task, but the coalition for National Unity and Rural Advancement Government is prepared to address it. Prime Minister Sikua says in order for Solomon Islands to have sustainable peace, it needs to educate and instill in the people, particularly the youth and children a culture of peace and tolerance and respect for the diverse cultures and traditions.
He says cultures and traditions is vital for Solomon Islands long term peace and harmony, adding peace and development are two sides of the same coin for they are interdependent.
The Prime Minister says the lack of development means unemployment which has the potential to create social problems that can threaten the society's peaceful co-existence, adding where there is no peace, there is no development.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sikua says all members of parliament agree on the need to clean water supply and better sanitation, access to better education and health services, income generation opportunities, secure shelter, improved transportation services and access to markets.
He says they are the basic needs and services MPs are mandated to deliver to their people and "we must do our best to meet them."