9 May 2005

Pacific Island Forum Eminent Persons Group to assess RAMSI impact

6:59 am on 9 May 2005

The Pacific Forum Secretary general Greg Urwin says regional contributions to intervention in Solomon Islands are vital to the continued development of the country.

Mr Urwin is part of a Forum Eminent Persons Group which arrives in Honiara tomorrow to review the work of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands, or RAMSI, since 2003.

This follows an invitation by the Solomon Islands prime minister, Sir Allan Kemakeza, for the Forum to send a group to assess the overall impact of the RAMSI intervention.

Mr Urwin says significant contributions have been a key element to RAMSI's success so far...

"So we'll be looking for those areas in which we can maintain and develop that regional component. We'll be doing that partly in the context that as time goes on, and if the situatin continues to increase in its stability, we'll be looking at phasing out of the immediate security phase of the operation and moving into a more developmental phase."

Greg Urwin says the Forum would like to identify areas in which other pacific countries can contribute to in Solomon Islands.