24 Jul 2013

Solomons government watchdogs in good shape: RAMSI

10:26 am on 24 July 2013

The special co-ordinator of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands or RAMSI says the bodies charged with tackling government corruption are in good shape following a decade of institutional strengthening.

Nicholas Coppel's comment comes as Solomon Islands marks RAMSI's downsizing to a policing-only operation as well as 10 years since its deployment to quell a civil conflict that resulted in the deaths of 200 people and the displacement of up to 30-thousand.

Thousands of soldiers, police and civilians from Australia and New Zealand have taken part in the multi-billion dollar mission, along with military and police from other countries in the Pacific Islands Forum.

Mr Coppel says although Solomon Islands has made significant progress the development problems that underpinned the tensions such as poor infrastructure and delivery of basic services remain.

"And the solution to those relies on strong institutions, governance institutions, not just the police force but also the Leadership Code Commission, the ombudsman's office, the Electoral Commission, the Auditor General, the entire legal sector - those institutions are in good shape. And they are, if you like, a bulwark against the development of corruption."

RAMSI's special co-ordinator, Nicholas Coppel.