To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD)

[P.O Box 13, Honiara, Solomon Islands/ Email: Tel:+677 7424025]

Welcome to the TARD Homepage...{Sore lea tale oe uri fula lamu mai la biu ne'e TARD}...TARD is To'abaita's rural voice on the web

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Oti says RAMSI need to wear its regional hat

By George Herming

The Solomon Islands government yesterday called on the Pacific Islands Forum to head RAMSI instead of Australian dominance over the regional mission.

Foreign Affairs Minister Patteson Oti said at the start of a Forum review of RAMSI in Honiara yesterday that RAMSI is a regional initiative and the forum is the appropriate body to head the directions of the mission.

“This government has always maintain that since RAMSI is a regional initiative under the Biketewa Declaration, the Forum must always take a lead in discussing policy directions of RAMSI and the progress achieved,” Mr Oti said.

The review process was endorsed by Forum leaders at the annual Forum summit in Nadi, Fiji last year following a request by Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare when he presented a six point country initiative requesting the review.

Mr Oti said it is important that recommendations of the previous Forum Eminent Persons Group (EPG) in 2005 be considered to test whether they are still valid. He noted that the EPG’s specific recommendation supporting RAMSI’s recent achievements needs careful and proper scrutiny by the review group.

“It is an opportunity to take stock and see how far these recommendations have been implemented or whether they are still valid. The recommendation that the tenure of RAMSI should be measured by its achievement of tasks rather than be time bound needs to be reviewed,” he said.

Mr Oti said the present government strongly believes that there should be some timeframes within which certain tasks should be implemented and suggested the forum should initiate an exit strategy for RAMSI.

“I’m not saying RAMSI should leave tomorrow or soon, but at least we work towards a timeframe so that Solomon Islanders do not become dependent on RAMSI when it departs. The outcomes of the review are expected to be publicly announced today.

The Forum review group is headed by Foreign Secretary of PNG, Gabriel Pepson and senior representatives from Cook Islands, Samoa and Tonga.

Source: GCU

Copyright©2006-2010 To'abaita Authority for Research and Development (TARD). All rights reserved