Police Commissioners of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) countries have been reminded of their ‘serious’ responsibility to ensure the peace and safety of the Melanesian sub-region.
The Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare made the reminder in his key-note address to the fifth MSG Police Commissioners conference in Honiara on Wednesday morning.
“You occupy very important positions of trust in our respective MSG member countries and collectively you are directly responsible for the peace and safety of our sub-region.
“You provide the expert panel that advise leaders on the finer details of the strategic concepts approved by leaders on security and policing issues. This responsibility is a very serious one because the job involves bringing sense to the big ideas that political leaders would come up with overnight.”
Prime Minister Sogavare said the theme of the conference, “Enhancing Policing Through Regional Cooperation” falls neatly within the scope of the Memorandum of Understanding signed at the 2013 summit on police cooperation and is an expression of commitment to a regional approach to addressing the security and policing needs of MSG member countries.
He said the conference must accept the fact that the collective concern of leaders of the MSG subregion is primarily the security and safety of nearly 10 million inhabitants of the five MSG member countries.
The Prime Minister said if the MSG bloc is to progress as an economic, social, political and development force to be reckoned with in the next 25 years, MSG member countries have a collective responsibility to remove the stigma that is overshadowing them as the ‘arc of instability’ and cooperate with the broader pacific security strategy.
“There must be concerted and deliberate policy moves to represent the MSG subregion as the arc of stability and immense opportunity.
“This responsibility lies squarely on the shoulders of each and every country within the arc. We have a duty not to place our countries in a position to destabilise the greater pacific region and pose threat our pacific neighbours.”
Mr Sogavare said, Solomon Islands had suffered irresponsibility and carelessness by its political leadership which resulted in the spending of millions of dollars by Australia and New Zealand to restore stability.
“What I am saying is that our strategic policies must strive for lasting peace and unity, security and enduring prosperity.
“Concern for sustainable development must be the core of our development strategies and our region must be prepared to deal with the effects of climate change, acts of God and other man-made disasters. These concerns strike directly at the heart of the mandate of the MSG sub-committee on security which the Police Commissioner’s Conference is an integral part of.
He said these concerns are also shared by the broader pacific community which includes Australia and New Zealand as the biggest and important players and he would want to believe that when it comes to the security of the region, MSG countries have a duty to cooperate with regional security strategies for their very own benefit and that of the broader pacific region and the world.
“We must be cognizant of the fact that the security concerns of the MSG subregion is also shared by the wider community of Pacific nations and we should act strategically to benefit from the broader pacific regional strategies.
“I look forward to the day when our broader Pacific region can stand tall and take full charge of our security needs and able to have the capacity to help other regions, all in the greater interest of making our pacific region and world a better place to live,” Prime Minister Sogavare added.
– PM Press Secretariat