The 5-day awareness consultation on the 2nd 2014 Draft Federal Constitution of Solomon Islands held in Suva, Fiji successfully concluded on Friday.
Solomon Islanders studying and working in Suva were part of this follow on consulta- tion, which was conducted by the Constitutional Reform Unit (CRU) and DCC Gov- ernment’s Fundamental Reform, and facilitated by the SI High Commission’s Office and Solomon Islands Students Association in Suva, Fiji.
In His Excellency’s closing remarks, High Commissioner Patteson J. Oti acknowledged the Fiji Government and Parliament of Fiji for availing their former Parliament venue free of charge for the whole week and the Fiji Police for providing furniture for the meeting.
“I will be thanking the Parliament of Fiji for this very valuable contribution to our constitution-making process, which they also did theirs recently the result of which they re- viewed and had feedback on theirs,” His Excellency said, “so in a way they understand why Solomon Islands is holding its consultations for those who are here.”
Both the CRU team and SI High Commission’s Office in Suva, Fiji also worked together on cost sharing for other costs for the efficient operation of the awareness meeting.
The Commission’s contribution was providing light refreshments, PA systems and other office equipment.
His Excellency said that all of these put together is a reflection of a multi-stakeholder contribution to such an important undertaking.
CRU and DCC Government’s Fundamental Reform officials noted that the conduct and contributions from participants of the Suva-based awareness meeting was lively and professional, in that there was a wealth of knowledge, experience and views shared during the 5-day consultation.
Mr. Warren Paia, Policy Secretary of DCC Government’s Fundamental Reform also highlighted this in his closing remarks on behalf of the team at the end of the final meeting day.
“I’m moved a little bit this afternoon because as I look around, you are a very different generation from us and the burden of running a country falls on you,” he said.
“The fact that you have availed yourselves to contribute to this very big reform of the gov- ernment means that you are serious and that you can make up your mind with your skills and expertise to take this message further,” said Mr. Paia.
The participants also appreciated the opportunity to go through the awareness of this Draft and thanked the team for considering their contributions to this consultation.
Speaking on behalf of the participants Mr. George Ho’oau thanked CRU team and wished the team well in seeing the process through.
The Suva-based Solomon Islands participants unanimously endorsed the 2nd 2014 Draft Federal Constitution and their contributions to this draft will be put together as part of the review of contents during the 2015 Awareness Program.
In terms of the awareness program on the 2nd 2014 Draft Federal Constitution, this round of consultation is for scholars, civil society organizations, national stakeholders and the institutional workforce.
The fifty (50) selected participants in this awareness were students from USP and Fiji National University, and Solomon Islands nationals working in key positions within various academic institutions and regional organizations in Suva.
The awareness was held from Monday 19 to Friday 23, October 2015.