18 Jun 2004

Call for binding deal to ensure RAMSI not suddenly forced from Solomon Islands.

2:11 pm on 18 June 2004

There are fears in Solomon Islands the Government could suddenly withdraw the invitation it extended to the Regional Assistance Mission, or RAMSI, a year ago.

This fear has led to uncertainty in the community and sparked a call this week for a binding agreement to be signed between the Government and RAMSI for a continuation of assistance over ten years.

It was one of four resolutions which came at a workshop in Honiara called Beyond Intervention.

One participant, Paul Roughan, says there is a perception some politicians would be happy to see the back of RAMSI, and in the absence of a binding agreement, this could be achieved with a single parliamentary vote.

"I think that was one of the aspects of uncertainty that was really being responded to when the group came up with the resolution calling for something with less leeway for abrupt change. I suppose that would be one way of looking at it"

The other resolutions called for greater public involvement in the constitution debate, a comprehensive population policy, and better resourcing of rural communities.