BY LYNTON AARON FILIA
A Team from the National Security Policy Division of the Ministry of Police National Security and Correctional Services recently held one week consultation talks on the proposed Solomon Islands National Security Policy with selected schools in and around Honiara.
The consultations were held with staff and students from Selwyn College, Honiara High School, Betikama Adventist College, Don Bosco Technical Institute at Henderson, King George VI Secondary School and St Joseph’s Tenaru.
Led by the National Security Policy Consultant, Mr Bernard Bata’anisia, the team also comprised of Chief Immigration Officer, Mr Chris Akosawa and Foreign Relations Officer, Mr Ronny Horo.
The discussion with the staff and students are focused on the proposed National Security Policy with aim to seek views and inputs from the staff and students.
National Security Policy Consultant, Mr Bernard Bata’anisia, said the Policy is important so that the country could devise strategies and mechanisms to address many security challenges confronting Solomon Islands.
He added since independence Solomon Islands did not have a National Security Policy in place and such makes the country vulnerable to all sorts of security challenges, both internal and external including threats to national interest, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Bata’anisia adds another important issue is how to manage and effectively coordinate our two international maritime borders with Papua New Guinea in the North bordering Western Choiseul and Malaita provinces and Vanuatu in the eastern border of Temotu province.
It is therefore important that we address these border issues security challenges in a more effective, coherent and coordinated way to ensure the country is safe and secured as well as its citizens and resources, says Bata’anisia.
Chief Immigration Officer Akosawa informed the students they need to keep Solomon Islands and its borders safe to keep an eye on who is entering the country.
He added with the proposed New National Security Policy, it would enhance work of the various Law Enforcement Agencies in carrying out their work more effectively and coordinated.
Meanwhile, Students from the various schools in the discussions raised issue of influx of foreigners and businesses entering the country and the need to properly check and monitor these so that their activities are not detrimental to the safety and wellbeing of all Solomon Islanders.
The students also supported the development of the National Security Policy to ensure a proactive and coordinated approach in addressing security issues.
Such programme is part of the National Security Policy wider Consultation with stakeholders in the country with a view of presenting the final report to Cabinet by end of October or early November 2018.
The team will also meet with provinces, the private sector as well as civil society and non- governmental organisations.