Defenceless at 40

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Hon Derrick Manuari.
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Solomon Islands without national security policy, gov’t scrambles for one

BY JENNIFER KUSAPA

DESPITE being 40 years old, Solomon Islands still does not have a national security policy (NSP), says Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, Mr Derrick Manuari.

National security policy is the overall strategy a government takes to advance national security and the course of action it pursues to accomplish the strategy. It is one of the elements which enables a government to ‘ensure domestic tranquillity’ and ‘promote the general welfare’.

Opening a national security consultation workshop on Wednesday, Manuari says the lack of such policy has rendered Solomon Islands’ government handicapped to address its security challenges ‘in a coherent, consistent and coordinated manner’.

Manuari says therefore the government of the day has made it one of its priorities to ensure Solomon Islands has one such policy.

“Government in valuing and recognising the importance of NSP and sovereignty of Solomon Islands, affirm its commitment to establish a long term vision for a safe, peaceful and prosperous Solomon Islands.

“In doing so the Government has placed priority in its policy framework to establish a NSP that encompasses the whole of SIG approach of all stakeholders to cooperate in addressing security threats of country.

“The absence of an effective NSP and strategy in place gives rise to all sorts of security challenges confronting us internally and externally, and the ineffectiveness for Solomon Islands as a country to effectively address these challenges.

“The Government’s primary responsibility is the safety and well-being of its people. To achieve this, it is important to have a strategic framework that provides security to Solomon Islands and our people.”

He says in a world of uncertainties where threats are real, it is imperative that government reviews its security apparatus and establish a cohesive system which would enable it to respond to any security challenges.

“This proposed policy represents a major milestone, it fulfils the government’s commitment to provide enhanced security for its entire people.”

And, while addressing the country’s security challenges, government believes that everyone needs to work together ‘to ensure a secured, safe environment and ultimately prosperity in Solomon Islands’.

“Therefore important that we must all collectively work together to develop a NSP that is home grown and is relevant to our needs and aspirations for a safe, secured, peaceful and prosperous Solomon Islands.

“I believe that our new National Security Policy that is currently being developed will identify the security challenges facing Solomon Islands and will also identify the strategies in dealing with the threats.”

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