BY LORETTA BRIGIDIA MANELE
PRIME Minister Rick Houenipwela says sustaining peace and stability is the priority if his government. He thus welcomes support from the United Nations.
Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela said this at the launching of the Joint Programme Initiative, Consolidating Peace, Stability and Social Cohesion in Solomon Islands Post RAMSI 2018 at the Heritage Park Hotel yesterday.
Initially acknowledging the UN Peacebuilding supported programme, he referred to it as an initiative that the government will work towards to achieve lasting peace and stability in the country.
Moreover, the Prime Minister also expressed how encouraged he is given the strong partnership of UN agencies like UNDP and UN Women which have been working competently with respective ministries under the first peacebuilding programme for the last 18 months.
“The cooperation that exists between these agencies is an affirmation of that commitment. Be assured the Government will on its part work towards cementing this partnership,” he said.
Speaking of UNPBF (United Nations Peacebuilding Fund), Prime Minister Hou voiced its importance for two reasons; to strengthen peacebuilding and to ensure the integrity of upcoming elections.
Stressing on the former, he said that since RAMSI has left the country last year, there is a collaborative need for us to sustain many gains and achievements to strengthen peacebuilding by deepening development and reform.
On another note, Hou said the programme itself is looking at peace in a broader sense hence embodies aspects such as accelerating development, inclusive partnership and nation building.
“In addition, the current UN programme design should allow for open dialogues on key development issues connecting to peace and stability in the country,” he said.