Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands Special Coordinator, Tim George, has congratulated Papua New Guinea on the occasion of its Independence Day.

Mr George said the contribution made by Papua New Guinea to RAMSI's civilian, police and military programs illustrated one of the great strengths of RAMSI's Regional partnership.

"On the occasion of their 33rd independence anniversary, the people of Papua New Guinea can be proud of the work their countrymen and women are doing to help their close neighbor," Mr George said.

"The Melanesian culture Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands share makes our Papua New Guinean personnel excellent ambassadors for RAMSI, in the community and with the government counterparts they are working with," Mr George said.

Papua New Guinea has provided military personnel, police and civilian advisers to the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands since July 2003.

"I would like to thank the government and people of Papua New Guinea for their continued support of RAMSI's goal to help Solomon Islands become a peaceful, well-governed and prosperous nation," Mr George said.

Ms Elizabeth Goodman is a PNG adviser working in the Ministry of Finance. She said she decided to come to Solomon Islands to work with her Melanesian brothers and sisters.

"I want to share the development experience of my country," Ms Goodman said.

Speaking on their National Day, Ms Goodman said that while the day is a public holiday back home and a joyful occasion for all, there is no better way of commemorating the day than serving for the good of fellow Pacific Island neighbors.

Ms Goodman is working to build the capacity of Treasury officials in the important area of government purchasing and payments.

"I see progress, but there are still lots of work to be done here. As an adviser, every day I try to perform to the best of my professional ability so that people I work with can gain as much they can from what I know, so that when I leave they can pass on the same training to others."

Press Release (RAMSI Media)