A second conference on the issue of 'Political stability and governance in Solomon Islands' was officially opened in Honiara yesterday.

The conference is a follow-up to last month's meeting organised and hosted by the government's Working Committee on Political Party Integrity Reform, headed by the Special Secretary to the Prime Minister, John Kenipisia.

This month's conference is co-hosted by the Melanesian Program of the Lowy Institute for International Policy based in Australia and features guest speakers from regional countries, including Kiribati and Papua New Guinea.

Among the guest speakers were Dr Tarcisius Tara Kabutaulaka - Solomon Islands political expert of Hawaii's East-West Centre, Emmanuel Kouhota - Chairman of the Leadership Code Commission, Dr Jon Fraenkel of the Australian National University and Sir Ieremia Tabai - former President of the Republic of Kiribati.

In opening the first day of consultations, Acting Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Fred Fono acknowledged and thanked the meeting's overseas guests for accepting to speak at the conference. Hon. Fono said it was pleasing to note their acceptance which demonstrates their strong support and desire to assist the Solomon Islands Government in reforming the country's political environment.

Solomon Islands are not alone in its desire to control the behaviour of political parties and candidates through a legislative framework. Our close Melanesian neighbour, PNG, has already implemented an organic law on the integrity of political parties and candidates, or OLLIPAC for short.