BY BEN BILUA
A SHIFT in National Security context in Solomon Islands needs more theoretical knowledge to address, says Professor David Gegeo of the Solomon Islands National University (SINU).
Speaking during the first day of a virtual National Security Training yesterday for journalists, he said national security concerns in the Solomon Islands has been transformed from traditional perspective to modern context and this requires collective brains to establish effective policies and strategic approaches.
“In the olden days, immediate action towards security was based on experience. People locked doors to avoid burglars, plant more foods in preparation for possible disasters, and prepare bride price to avoid retaliation that threatens lives,” Gegeo said,
“Furthermore, villagers built their homes on higher grounds to avoid flooding or storm surge,” he added.
“The concern now is sovereignty and we need to change on how we define security.”
Gegeo said modernization has brought in new and more sophisticated security issues which brings new paradigm of approach that differ from cultural and traditional security practices.
“Now security concern has shifted to a more modern context.
“We need to redefine security concerns with line of thinking must focus on both national and international security threats,” Gegeo said.
He said interventions to step up security in Solomon Islands should be improvement of border security need such as resources, keeping international seaports on alert in every situation, police and immigration must be given best training, importation of goods from medicine, materials to foods must be from genuine lenders and trading partners must be examined before going into business.
Gegeo adds that Solomon Islands’ diplomatic relationship must be built based on shared values and respect.
He stressed that the most important step towards developing a sound national security approach is to provide quality training for people including journalists and institutions that deals with national security.
Gegeo said a secure Solomon Islands is secured Pacific.
However, he said most Solomon Islanders especially those living in rural communities so as urban centers do not take security issues seriously and this wrong has to be made right.
Gegeo said Solomon Islands still need Australia and New Zealand when it comes to national security.
“I have an unsettling feeling that Solomon Islands is exposed without Australia and New Zealand support.
“We need Australia and New Zealand to help with security,” he said.
The Canberra-based Australia Pacific Security College is conducting the workshop in partnership with the Media Association of Solomon Islands (MASI).
Journalists from local media companies are attending virtually.