Speaking at a high-level panel of heads of states and Government at the international conference on the post 2015 Development Agenda in Dili, Timor Leste, Mr Lilo said:
“We need to build on the gains made on the MDGs and add on other targets that address emerging development challenges such as, peace and security, environment and climate change, and food security.”
He said that in response to that Solomon Islands has already closely aligned its National Development Strategy (NDS) to the MDGs.
The NDS is a blueprint for sustainable development in Solomon Islands, which sets out the country’s vision and priorities to advance both human, as well as, economic development and it is anchored on the four pillars of building better lives, taking better care, improving the livelihoods of the people and creating and maintaining an enabling environment.
Mr Lilo said that in September 2000, when UN member states adopted and committed themselves to achieving the Millennium Development Goals, Solomon Islands was still engulfed in an ethnic conflict.
“We are therefore a late starter in terms of implementing the MDGs.
“Furthermore, the common set of principles and targets of the MDG’s were aimed at bringing a large number of the world’s poorest people to at least a minimum level of human development.
“They did not respond directly to the problem of violent conflict and peace and security, even though violent conflict or the absence of it is related to the achievement of all of the goals,” the Prime Minister told the conference in Dili.
Mr Lilo has also highlighted the importance of education and health as important priority areas for his government in achieving the MDGs.
He said while education and health will remain priorities for Solomon Islands, this has to be supported by sustainable economic growth and called for the removal of barriers to trade, and support for LDCs and post conflict country’s efforts to address the supply side constraints of their economies to ensure long term development and reduce dependence on aid flows.
The Prime Minister also highlighted the importance of the creation of the Solomon Islands National University, in order to provide more tertiary education opportunities for Solomon Islanders and contribute to meeting the manpower needs of the country.
Meanwhile, Mr Lilo said the national level service delivery modality for whatever post 2015 development goals that the international community will eventually agree on must be cost effective and sustainable.
“This means the cost of service delivery should not be higher than the quality of service being delivered.
“In our case, it would also include the establishment of appropriate infrastructure to facilitate the implementation of the development targets in our rural and remote communities.
“It would also mean that we improve our current structures and strengthen state institutions and provide them with the necessary capacity to effectively deliver services to our people,” he said.
attending the meeting is the Minister of Finance and Treasury Rick Hou and the
Minister of National Peace, Unity and Reconciliation Hypolite Taremae.
Robert Iroga, press secretary to the PM
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