The Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) today welcomed a visiting delegation of senior military and government personnel from the United States National Defense University in Washington to the Mission’s base at Guadalcanal Beach Resort, Henderson, east Honiara.
The 19 personnel from the US National Defense University are in Solomon Islands as part of their study of infrastructure, security, health and rule of law in post conflict and fragile states. One of the main reasons for visiting Solomon Islands is to take away lessons learned from the RAMSI civil/military intervention.
The group had an engaging discussion with RAMSI civilian and police personnel. RAMSI Deputy Special Coordinator, Richard Griffith briefed the delegation on the Mission’s formation including the RAMSI Partnership Framework and the components that made up the RAMSI mission prior to transition. RAMSI Assistant Special Coordinator, Mr Masi Lomaloma facilitated a discussion on RAMSI’s transition and examined some of the challenges faced by the Mission during its ten years of operations.
“RAMSI is the first mission of its kind in the Pacific region whereby a member of the Pacific Islands Forum, in this case Solomon Islands, requested assistance from members of the Forum under the Biketawa Declaration. The Declaration, approved by Forum Leaders in 2000, establishes a mechanism whereby any member of the Forum can request assistance in times of a crisis,” said Mr Griffith, RAMSI’s Deputy Special Coordinator.
The delegation was also briefed on the current focus of RAMSI’s work as a regional policing mission. Superintendent Eric Grimm of RAMSI’s Participating Police Force (PPF) briefed the group on the PPF’s work to support and develop the capacity of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF).
“We are working in partnership with the RSIPF to strengthen the force across a range of areas – including training and leadership, logistics and mobility, policy, governance, infrastructure and corporate support. RAMSI is also supporting the RSIPF to maintain law and order and maintain public confidence in security following the recent flooding and earthquakes,” said Superintendent Grimm
RAMSI Deputy Special Coordinator Mr Griffith told the meeting: “Given its uniqueness, people studying post-conflict and fragile states want to learn more about the formation of RAMSI, the challenges it has faced, and its achievements. RAMSI is a very good example of how a group of countries, in this case members of the Pacific Islands Forum, can rally behind a member country in crisis and help it return to normalcy.
“Why has RAMSI worked so well? I would say because of the commitment shown to it by the Solomon Islands Government and its people, the Pacific Islands Forum and participating members countries. RAMSI’s regionality has always been one of the mission’s greatest strengths,” said Mr Griffith.
The group from the US National Defense University was also given a tour of the RAMSI base at the Guadalcanal Beach Resort.