11th Enhanced Consultative Mechanism meeting hears report on RSIPF progress

The Enhanced Consultative Mechanism (ECM) established to monitor the performance of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) today heard of the considerable progress in the performance, skills development and accountability of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF).

The one-day 11th ECM Meeting held in Honiara was attended by senior officials representing the Pacific Islands Forum as well as the Solomon Islands Government (SIG) and RAMSI. The ECM meetings, coordinated by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, hear reports on the activities of RAMSI from the Mission’s Office of the Special Coordinator and Participating Police Force, as well as the SIG.

“Despite the challenges faced by RSIPF during 2014, the people of Solomon Islands should be proud to note that their police force demonstrated an increased level of independence and professionalism in managing some very complex security operations. This showed the success of the investment that RAMSI has put into developing the capacity of the RSIPF over the years,” said Ms Justine Braithwaite, Special Coordinator of RAMSI.

“One of the most successful security operations carried out by the RSIPF was during the National General Election in November 2014. This was the largest and most visible operation that RSIPF had carried out since 2003,” said Ms Braithwaite.

“With new leadership in place with the appointment of a substantive Commissioner of Police in 2014 and with close collaboration with the Solomon Islands Government and regional contributors, we have been able to successfully progress joint priorities to strengthen the RSIPF under the Drawdown Strategy 2013 – 2017,” confirmed Ms Braithwaite.

“In particular, collaborative efforts have significantly advanced the staged limited rearmament project for the RSIPF, which is critical to ensuring the RSIPF will be able to enforce law and order as a sovereign police force into the future.”

The RAMSI Special Coordinator added: “The ECM also provided a valuable opportunity for the Mission and Solomon Islands Government to discuss RAMSI’s ongoing drawdown with regional delegates. RAMSI was founded under the auspices of the Pacific Islands Forum, so the Forum’s input into discussions on RAMSI’s future is critically important. The Mission has always drawn its strength from the heart and spirit of its fifteen contributing Pacific nations”.

RAMSI Special Coordinator Ms Braithwaite concluded: “This year, I look forward to continuing our cooperation across the Pacific, as consultations commence with the Solomon Islands Government, the Pacific Islands Forum and regional contributing countries on the future of any post -2017 support to policing and security in Solomon Islands.”