By EDDIE OSIFELO
TERRORISM or invasion by another state is not the real security threat to Solomon Islands.
Minister of Police, National Security and Correctional Services, Lanelle Tanangada confirmed this during the formal welcome ceremony of the National Security Summit at the National Museum Auditorium yesterday.
Mrs Tanangada said the real security concerns to the country are climate change, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and lack of economic opportunities because they cause distress to the citizens.
She said distress if not managed adequately can lead to tensions which they know can be destructive.
“Fortunately, none of these require investment in military arsenal.
“No we don’t need these,” she said.
“Instead what we need is sensible and well-targeted policies to improve our resilience against climate change, deal with NCDs and foremost, a robust economy that is capable of creating opportunities for our people.
“That said, we must have a minimum arsenal capacity especially to safeguard our maritime borders and EEZ and also deal sufficiently with criminal activities especially involving mobs,” she said.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare opened the three-day NS Summit at Forum Fisheries Agency yesterday.
The summit attracted participants from the Provincials’ governments, chiefs, government ministries, Members of Parliament and donor partners like Australia and others, who will validate the draft report of the National Security Strategy (NSS).
Minister Tanangada said her Ministry looks forward to this because then the country will have a blue print to pursue implementation of strategic actions that will impact Solomon Islands national security.
She said the NSS is a first for their country, therefore the actions they are embarking on now are in many ways historical.
“It’s a delightful feat to be part of history.
“For it may imply pioneering work that will have enduring long term implications for our national sustainable development,” she said.
“The aspiration is for our nation to be safe and secure.
“These are the tenets of nation building to ensure stability in order to build a buoyant and growing economy to create jobs and prosperity for our citizens, so that we can hope for enduring peaceful co-existence,” she said.
“A developing country such as ours cannot hope to achieve prosperity without first ensuring that the fundamentals that I have spoken of are in place.
“Therefore just embracing the NSS, whilst is my earnest hope, is insufficient to realize the ends that I have mentioned,” she said.
The Summit ends on Thursday.