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Monday, September 17, 2007

Top Solomon Islands' Provincial leaders sign "The Lake Tegano Communique"

By George Herming

The country’s top provincial leaders on Saturday have signed a communiqué that represented the common views and interests of the nine province’s including the Honiara City Council on issues affecting the provinces.

Eight provincial premiers including the Honiara City Mayor were signatories to the three page document while the premiers’ of Temotu and Rennell and Bellona province’s are yet to sign.

Temotu Premier Johnson Levela and Rennell and Bellona Premier Solly Tengemoana were unable to present at the signing ceremony at Kia Koe Lake Resort on Saturday due to other pressing commitments.

The signing ceremony was conducted in the presence of the Minister for Provincial Government and Rural Development Japhet Waipora.

Top government legal advisor and constitutional lawyer, Reginald Teutao said the document will be made public as soon as the two premiers are signatories to the communiqué.

“At this stage we will not disclose the details of the communiqué until the two premiers signed the document,” Mr Teutao said.

But the he indicated that the weeklong Premier’s Conference was a successful gathering for the provincial leaders – who frankly shared their views on both individual and common issues affecting their provinces.

“The recent conference is one of the best meetings ever held since it brings together our leaders to share and understand each other’s views in issues affecting them,” he said.

He said the conference has united all the top ten leaders in their efforts to effectively administer their provincial governments in partnership with the national government.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare officially opened the premier’s conference Tuesday last week which was held at Kia Koe Lake Resort in Rennell and Bellona province’s proposed World Heritage Lake Tegano in East Rennell Island.

Some of the top issues on the agenda that were openly discussed were the Federal State Government System and Provincial Government Strengthening Program – currently undertaken by the Ministry of Provincial Government and Rural Development.

The Premiers’ have also indicated strong support to the government of Prime Minister Sogavare for the current policy on rural development.

The leaders felt that the government’s “Bottom up Approach Policy” is a right move towards adopting the federal government system by preparing nations in the transition towards state government.

It was agreed that premiers’ conference will become an annual event and Temotu province will host the next meeting in June 2008.

Source: PMC

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