Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare arrives back in Honiara today, from New York where he has been for the 71st United Nations General Assembly.
The 71st UNGA has been an extra-ordinary one for Solomon Islands participation as apart from the presentation of the country’s national address and attendance of UNGA side events, the country assumed the role as a Vice-President at the summit.
This vice-presidency role saw Prime Minister Sogavare and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Hon Milner Tozaka chair various sessions of the General Assembly debate sessions.
Fiji took up the Presidency role.
Other country’s that served as vice-presidents at the 71st UNGA alongside Solomon Islands were Chad, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Mauritania, Nigeria, Zambia, Bangladesh, Nepal, Turkmenistan, Armenia, Bahamas, Belize, El Salvador, Belgium and Germany.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister Sogavare-initiated Pacific Coalition on West Papua made an impact at the 71st UNGA with the expression of concern over human rights abuses in West Papua by all the leaders of all its six member countries, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Republic of Nauru, Tuvalu, Republic of Marshall Islands and the Kingdom of Tonga.
Prior to the establishment of the PCWP, only Solomon Islands and Vanuatu have been advocating on the issue of West Papua at the UNGA. The PCWP was established in Honiara in July this year at the margins of the 4th Pacific Islands Development Forum and the Melanesian Spearhead Group Leaders’ Summit.
Previously on Solomon Islands and Vanuatu that take to the UN podium their concerns over human rights abuses in West Papua.
– PM Press Secretariat