GOOD governance and customary land are the two central themes emphasized in the Sogavare’s led Democratic Coalition for Change Government’s (DCCG) policy priority programmes for the next four years.
Speaking at the policy launch Tuesday, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said, the two central themes emphasized in his government’s programmes are the pursuit for good governance and opening of customary lands for economic development.
Sogavare said, his government has a long agenda for the achievement of good governance.
He said, in their pursuit to achieving this, his government is committed to strengthen the country’s integrity institutions.
Including the Leadership Code Commission (LCC), Office of the Ombudsman and the Parliamentary Entitlement Committee (PEC).
Sogavare said, his government is determined to fight corruption head on and would invite relevant civil organizations to join the government on this endeavor.
He said, a comprehensive National Anti-Corruption Strategy will be developed with the enactment of an Anti-corruption legislation and establishment of an Independent Commission against Corruption.
The PM said, these are essential elements of his government to fight against corruption in the country.
Adding his government will continue with the political reform agenda of the last government to review the Political Parties Integrity Act and the strengthening of the electoral process and search for a desirous electoral system the people wants to deepen democratic values in the country.
“We are also fully committed to continue the process of national healing and nation building and to finally adopt our federal system of government during this term of the DCC Government,” Sogavare added.
He said, on the theme of customary land reform, his government is determined to pursue the recording and registration of tribal lands beginning this year 2015.
He said, despite its significance, it will be a long drawn out project.
“But it is critically important that we now make a beginning in the implementation of this project given its potential to unleash the economic development potential of our country with accompanying benefits to our people at the rural areas and urban centres,”Sogavare said.
However Sogavare clarified that the approach to this land reform project was not to force landowners to formally register their lands.
Adding whilst the government is desirous to speed up recording and registration of economically viable tribal lands for national economic development interests, other tribal landowners could also do so if they wish to.
He said the right of tribal land owners over their tribal lands will always be respected and guaranteed.
However PM Sogavare said his government is confident that sooner or later, landowners will find it beneficial to avail their lands for economic development.
Meanwhile Sogavare said, his only hope now is for people to own and embrace these policies and work together with the DCC government where necessary in shaping these development programmes to be as effective as they can be.
Calling on development partners to jump on board and support DCC’s mission of change for Solomon Islands.
By DANIEL NAMOSUAIA