Speaker of Parliament Sir Peter Kenilorea has said he hopes parliament can actively assist in protecting communities across Solomon Islands from the damaging impacts of the Global Financial Crisis, GFC.

In a speech welcoming members of Parliament attending the current sitting, Sir Peter said since the last meeting, the world financial systems have gone into crisis and the global economy has suffered a major downturn.

Sir Peter said he raised the matter because parliament represents the people of Solomon Islands in a global community. He said although Wall Street and the G20 economies seem a long way from our local villages, they are already impacting on our people in the form of rising food prices and falling commodity prices.

Experts agree that the effects of the global financial crisis are a cause of concern for the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) member countries. While others have downplayed the impact of GFC on PIF, it is quite apparent that in these times of crisis there are opportunities for PIF countries to address its weaknesses through regional cooperation.

There is an obvious need for the region to take charge of its problems, associated with the global economic downturn, to demonstrate the resilience Forum states have shown in past crisis.

Now is the time to adopt sound policies and structural reforms through a regional framework. It is up to our 50 members of Parliament to chart our way forward but in this day and age, regional cooperation is, quite realistically, the most feasible way forward.

Solomontimes.com with SIBC