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Working to ensure that the people of Solomon Islands and the broader Pacific enjoy peaceful, safe and stable communities through a collective approach to regional security is one of the key areas of discussion during the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat’s regional policy consultations which begin in Honiara today.
Following a directive from Forum Leaders in 2017, and building on the success of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI), the Forum Secretariat is currently considering how to expand and strengthen its security arrangements to adequately deal with new and emerging issues including human security, environmental security, and humanitarian assistance.
The Secretariat’s mission is led by Policy Director Paki Ormsby.
“The team is here to listen to government, civil society, and private sector representatives in order to get a deeper understanding of the issues affecting Solomon Islanders and how we can work collectively across the region to address those issues, said Ormsby.
“The security work seeks to build on RAMSI and the “Biketawa Declaration” which was the Forum’s regional declaration that underpinned that mission. As a result the updated declaration which the Forum’s Leaders have asked us to develop is being called Biketawa Plus.”
Biketawa Plus is not the only issue on the agenda for the consultations. The Secretariat is also looking into new ways to strengthen the resilience of Pacific countries to the adverse effects of climate change and disaster.
“The Forum Economic Ministers Meeting takes place in April and its focus this year is on building the economic resilience of Pacific island countries. We’ve been working hard to develop innovative policy options for our members to consider at that meeting and the consultations this week will certainly feed into that,” said Mr Ormsby.
Over the last three months the Forum Secretariat has been meeting with people and communities across the region to promote and explore the potential of Pacific regionalism whereby its member countries work together to address common issues collectively.
More details on Pacific regionalism and the regional policy consultations is available from the Forum Secretariat’s website: www.forumsec.org
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