MSG Chair, Solomon Islands Prime Minister Hon Sogavare and the Manager of SPC Solomon Islands Country Office, Ms Rimon during their meeting.

    The Secretariat of the Pacific Community is introducing a ‘Youth At Work’ programme for the Melanesian sub-region.

    The Manager of the SPC (Secretariat of the Pacific Community) Solomon Islands Country Office, Ms Mia Rimon revealed this to the MSG Chair, Solomon Islands Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare when they met in Port Vila yesterday.

    The MSG has engaged SPC as the implementing arm for its coastal fisheries programme due to the lack of technical staff and resources for the execution of an agenda of such magnitude.

    The meeting was organized at the request of Ms Rimon to obtain guidance from the MSG Chair other areas he would like to see the SPC assist the MSG with in terms of resources and technical assistance so as to enhance the standing of the SPC Solomon Islands Country Office under his chairmanship and beyond.

    The MSG Chair told Ms Rimon at themeeting that he would get back to her on what other areas that the MSG Secretariat would need the assistance of SPC with but one significant agenda on his mind was the need to get the SPC Youth At Work Programme down to all Solomon Islands Provinces and the MSG sub-region.

    “I shall come back to you on what other specific areas I see appropriate for the SPC to assist Solomon Islands with under the auspices of the MSG Secretariat but one agenda for sure is the need to get the SPC Youth At Work Programme to cover all the provinces in Solomon Islands and the other MSG countries.

    “Currently the direct SPC Youth At Work Programme for Solomon Islands only covers Choiseul and Malaita Provinces from Honiara but I’m very keen to see this worthwhile programme extended to all Solomon Islands provinces and the Melanesian sub-region.”

    In response, Ms Rimon said, “ I am glad that you brought up this issue because we have secured some funding for our Youth At Work programme and we are introducing an SPC-MSG Youth At Work Programme. In terms of SPC’s direct Youth At Work Programme for Solomon Islands, we are working towards establishment in one more province and step by step and we are certain to cover the whole of Solomon Islands.

    “I think the method that suits the MSG is the alignment of its proposed Youth At Work Programme with its exisiting  programmes being implemented by the SPC such as the MSG Coastal Fisheries programme rather than implementing them separately. This approach proves to be effective in Solomon Islands.

    “We can actually engage youths under the SPC’s Youth At Work Programme for MSG to implement the MSG coastal fisheries programme and other programmes on agriculture and agro-forestry in their respective countries,” she added.

    Ms Rimon said she has already met with the MSG Secretariat’s Director Governance, Mr Stanley Wapot about this prospect and he was very supportive.

    The engagement of SPC as the project implementation arm of the MSG sees Ms Rimon travel constantly between Honiara and other MSG capitals and MSG’s allocation of an office for her at the MSG Secretariat office in Port Vila.

    Present with the MSG Chair at the meeting with the Manager of the SPC Solomon Islands Country Office was the Special Secretary to the MSG Chair, Mr Rence Sore and the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Mr Joseph Ma’ahanua.