The United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support, Oscar Fernandez-Taranco has acknowledged Solomon Islands post-conflic transition and called on Members of the UN Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) and partners who attended the special PBC hearing on Solomon Islands case as a post-conflict nation to support the country’s peace-building efforts.
Mr Fernandez-Taranco made the remarks during the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission’s special session on Solomon Islands peace-building process and the challenges faced.
Responding to the presentation by Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare’s on Solomon Islands peace-building process and challenges ahead, the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support said, “The transition which is now taking place in the Solomon Islands, provides the PBC with an excellent opportunity to put to good use its convening and advisory functions in support of Solomon Islands own national efforts and to hear diverse voices and views.”
He said it is also an opportunity to prove the benefits of the Commission as a partnership forum that can catalyse joint action by the UN system and, more importantly, a forum that will induce all relevant partners to redouble their assistance to the Solomon Islands in this critical transition phase it is going through.
Mr Fernandez-Taranco said Solomon Islands achievement of remarkable process since 2003, with the rebuilding of key institutions, restoration of core services and law and order and prioritiSation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals at the top of its agendas as stated by Prime Minister Sogavare in his address, reflects a true commitment to people-centered and inclusive approaches that take the interests and needs of all sections of the society into account.
He also commended Solomon Islands aspiration to link reconciliation and dialogue, reduce horizontal inequalities, build a peaceful, inclusive and just society, and create new opportunities for economic and social development, in its pursuit of lasting peace as highlighted by the Prime Minister in his address and assured that the UN and its partners will stand beside the Solomon Islands in these efforts.
The United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support said the United Nations system collectively works to support the building of inclusive societies in Solomon Islands in collaboration with the Solomon Islands Government under the ‘strong’ leadership of Prime Minister Sogavare.
He said currently under the UN PBF (Peacebuilding Fund) project a total of $2.5 million is given to Solomon Islands and this project is implemented by UNDP and UN Women which supports the Solomon Islands in moving towards reconciliation and peaceful and inclusive societies.
Mr Fernandez-Taranco said the project has two arms. The first is establishing inclusive space for dialogue and the other is ensuring reconciliation and supporting women and youth engagement in building peace.
“The project ensures that there is an inclusive space for dialogue at a critical time, with a particular focus on the engagement of women and youth.
“The project has supported provincial dialogues in Guadalcanal, Malaita and Western Province. In light of the RAMSI drawdown, the PBF project has also facilitated consultations on reconciliation, trust and confidence-building in hotspot communities in Kwaio and the Weather Coast,” he explained.
Mr Fernandez-Taranco said the PBF has also invested in women and youth in peace-building, supporting the National Women’s Summit to build consensus on the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, and advancing women’s participation as well as the National Youth Policy and youth engagement mechanisms to ensure the youth agenda is prioritised.
On that note he said, “I would like to call on the Members of the PBC, as well as partners invited to this discussion, to join these efforts led by the Prime Minister.
“On our part, we will continue our discussions with the Government of the Solomon Islands, together with the Resident Coordinator, the UN Country Team and the Department of Political Affairs, the ways and means the United Nations system we can continue to support them in the coming years. We will continue to provide support, through the PBF’s Immediate Response Facility.”