Pacific Leaders Discuss Withdrawal of RAMSI Military Personnel

Leaders from six Pacific nations have discussed the planned withdrawal of RAMSI’s military personnel.

Meeting for the 6th Forum Ministerial Standing Committee on RAMSI on 18 May, Ministers from Australia, Cook Islands, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea Solomon Islands and Vanuatu noted the success of the Solomon Island Government-RAMSI partnership in improving the nation’s security situation and welcomed the improved confidence and capability of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force.

The Ministers discussed a regional approach to RAMSI’s transition, including the withdrawal of military personnel.

RAMSI Special Coordinator Nicholas Coppel believes the meeting was an important opportunity for Pacific neighbours to come together to discuss progress on RAMSI’s mandate, and said that RAMSI’s transition needs to be task-bound, and not time-bound.

“The meeting marks nearly nine years of operations for RAMSI and provided an opportunity to acknowledge what has been achieved,” Mr Coppel said.

“The Solomon Islands of today is a different place to what it was in 2003. Law and order has been restored, the economy is growing strongly, government finances are healthy, and ministries are functioning and open for business.”

The Forum Ministerial Standing Committee on RAMSI was established by Pacific Islands Forum Leaders in 2006 as a consultative mechanism between the Solomon Islands Government, RAMSI and the Pacific Islands Forum to discuss the broad policy directions of RAMSI and progress achieved.