Commonwealth Secretary-General welcomes regional initiative on Solomon Islands
2 July 2003
Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon today welcomed the regional initiative led by Australia and New Zealand and supported by other Pacific countries to assist the Solomon Islands Government in solving the serious security and economic situation that the country is facing.
"This initiative is the result of a partnership formed by Commonwealth countries of the region, developed at the request of the Solomon Islands Government with the full support and engagement of neighbouring nations and the Pacific Islands Forum," said Mr McKinnon.
"I am particularly encouraged by the statement issued by Pacific Islands Forum Ministers in support of this regional initiative," he added.
"The initiative follows a long period of political and economic decline leading to a breakdown of civil institutions in the Solomon Islands. The situation there has been considered most recently by the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) in May 2003, which encouraged further support for the Solomon Islands in facing its challenges."
The Commonwealth has been providing ongoing assistance to the Solomon Islands Government, including technical assistance in relation to the constitutional review process and the judiciary. "Our engagement and assistance will continue and we will support the new regional initiative," said the Secretary-General.
"I certainly hope that this initiative will bring to the people of the Solomon Islands the stability they need to create a better future for themselves and their families," concluded Mr McKinnon.