THE Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) is looking at decommissioning the Regional Assistant Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) in September.
PIF senior representatives made the consideration after hearing the priorities and plans of the Solomon Islands government (SIG) and RAMSI at the 12th meeting of the Enhanced Consultative Mechanism (ECM) held in Honiara on Thursday last week.
“These include the ongoing preparations for RAMSI’s drawdown and the staged limited rearmament of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF),” a statement from RAMSI revealed.
“Acknowledging that Leaders authorised the RAMSI mission in 2003, the ECM meeting participants anticipated PIF Leaders may wish to decommission RAMSI formally when they meet in September later this year,” it said.
Meanwhile, senior representatives from PIF nations welcomed the strong partnership between SIG and RAMSI and preparations for the drawdown of RAMSI at the 12th meeting of the ECM, it added.
“It was very pleasing to have the opportunity to demonstrate to the region the close collaboration and alignment between SIG and RAMSI as the RSIPF prepares to take over the last remaining policing responsibilities in Solomon Islands when RAMSI exits in mid-2017,” said Quinton Devlin, Special Coordinator of RAMSI.
“I believe the visiting regional officials will leave Solomon Islands with a clear sense that the SIG and RSIPF have taken large strides towards developing a truly independent, modern, professional and accountable police force and that they are ready to assume the final elements of policing and national security responsibilities,” said Mr Devlin.
He added that the SIG as demonstrated, particularly through its commitments to further RSIPF budgetary support, that it is committed to the stability and security of this nation, which will be essential for further development and economic growth.
The meeting also confirmed that the Solomon Islands, Australia and New Zealand were having in-depth talks about ongoing bilateral security support to Solomon Islands after mid-2017.
RAMSI helped restored law and order and stabilised the finances of Solomon Islands following the Tensions that burst nearly to decades ago.
The ECM is an annual meeting that monitors the performance of RAMSI.
It involved representatives from six Pacific Islands Forum countries, SIG and RAMSI, and was organised by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.