Solomon Islands will be the host of the 2023 Pacific Games, President of the Pacific Games Council, Mr Vidyah Lakhan declared this when announcing the outcome of this morning’s vote on two bids for the hosting of these regional games.
Solomon Islands and French Polynesia were the two contenders for the 2023 Pacific Games hosting right.
The declaration sent the Solomon Islands high-powered delegation into standing ovation at the Warwick Le Lagon Conference centre in Port Vila, Vanuatu where the Pacific Games Council convened for the bids’ presentation and voting.
Solomon Islands was represented at the event by Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Sports, Hon Manasseh Maelanga, Minister for Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening, Hon David Tome, Opposition Leader, Hon Jeremiah Manele, MP for North West Guadalcanal and member of the Independent Group, Hon Bodo Dettke, Vice President International National of the National Olympic Committee of Solomon Islands (NOCSI), Mr Ronald Bei Talasasa, Chair of the Solomon Islands 2023 Pacific Games Bid Committee, Mr Gabriel Suri, NOCSI President, Mr Martin Rara and the Deputy Mayor of Honiara, Mr Eddie Ngava.
An elated Prime Minister Sogavare said the outcome of the bid voting process undertaken by the 22 member countries of the Pacific Games Council is a vote of trust and confidence in the ability of Solomon Islands to fulfil the commitments outlined in its bid document.
Hon Sogavare said the entire Solomon Islands is united behind its bid to bring the 2023 Pacific Games home and the outcome of the 2023 Pacific Games bid voting process this morning is a dream come true for a country that has never hosted this regional event before.
The Prime Minister said the immediate task now before Solomon Islands is to focus on putting the necessary infrastructure in place before 2023.
He said the Solomon Islands Government has already secured financial support from one of its traditional donors for the immediate construction of the main stadium and other supporting infrastructure and also received assurances of support by a number of other aid donors.
Prime Minister Sogavare said a new legislation to be enacted by the Solomon Islands Parliament will provide for the creation of a Trust Fund, adding that each financial year, Parliament will appropriate funds for payment into this fund for the exclusive management and control of the governance of the 2023 Pacific Games.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs, Hon Maelanga said as the Minister responsible for sports and sports development in Solomon Islands, he is keen to ensure the implementation of Solomon Islands commitment in its bid document in preparation for the 2023 Pacific Games.
He said Solomon Islands 2023 Pacific Games bid outcome is thrilling news for Solomon Islands.
Opposition Leader, Hon Manele said the Opposition Group in its watchdog role will ensure the government fulfils what is required of it in preparing Solomon Islands for this significant regional event.
Meanwhile, Vice President International of the National Olympic Committee of Solomon Islands, Mr Bei Talasasa who headed the bid presentation by Solomon Islands was all smiles when he exited the Warwick Le Lagon Conference Centre after the announcement or the bid voting result.
“I am so excited by this positive outcome and the next task before us is to prepare for the hosting of this regional event.
“The right to host any Pacific Games comes with great challenges but with the support of the Solomon Islands Government and its stakeholders and the people of Solomon Islands, we can prove to our regional brothers and sisters that we can do it.” He said.