A former premier of the Solomon Islands province of Malaita says the government must cater for unemployed youth if it wants to avoid a resurgence of the sort of violence that occurred during the ethnic tensions.
Reuben Moli was one of this year's recipients of the Cross of Solomon Islands, a recognition of services to the country awarded at recent celebrations marking 34 years of independence.
He says he believes Solomon Islands people want peace but the gap between the haves and have nots is a growing problem.
"This gap has to be bridged, and someone, in fact the government, has to work to bridge this gap. The boys who determine the destiny of this country are on the streets. And we need to look to them and we need to care for their needs. We need to look after their affairs."
Reuben Moli says government members must work to the Solomon Islands' motto, to lead is to serve.