1 Jul 2011

Forum group vows to consult as it shrinks RAMSI

1:53 pm on 1 July 2011

A Pacific Islands Forum ministerial standing committee on the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands says it will consult closely with that country's government as the mission is reduced in size.

Australia's Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, Richard Marles, has chaired a meeting of the committee which included participants from New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, RAMSI and the Forum Secretariat.

He says RAMSI was never intended to be in Solomon Islands permanently and Australia remains committed to helping the country achieve a stable and prosperous future as the mission is scaled back.

The Committee has welcomed progress made by RAMSI and the Solomon Islands Government including training more than 2000 public servants since 2008.

It says with the help of RAMSI advisers revenue collection also doubled in the last three years, and the telephone market was opened to competition, cutting call costs by nearly half.