MINISTER for Health and Medical Services Dickson Mua has met with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Minister for State & International Cooperation Reem Bint Ibrahim Al Hashimi at the margins of UNGA, Wednesday.
Both ministers during the bilateral meeting acknowledged the friendly relations and recent active engagements through visa waiver arrangements and World Expo 2020 as indicators to further strengthen relationship between the two countries.
Minister Mua also discussed cooperation on the health sector between both countries. The refurbishment of the National Referral Hospital to cater for the SPG 2023 Pacific Games was one of the topics discussed.
The health minister highlighted that with the large number of visitors expected during the 2023 Games, this does provide impetus for NRH to upgrade its services.
He said the support for the health sector would target major renovation work at the NRH, expansion of the emergency centre and supplying of medical equipment.
The UAE State Minister also indicated UAE’s interest to support the 2023 Pacific Games which was welcomed by Minister Mua.
A proposal is already in place for the UAE to develop an Aqua Sports facility under the auspices of the bilateral arrangement.
The Aqua Park would be the premium water sport facility for the SPG2023 Games, with the idea of adjoining beach soccer and volleyball facilities.
“This facility will open up opportunities for participation of young Solomon Islanders in water sports events as this will be the first to be constructed in Honiara.
“Furthermore, it will increase Solomon Islands ability to host large sporting events in the future, and most importantly it will be a lasting legacy of UAE’s goodwill gesture to the people of Solomon Islands and the Pacific,” Minister Mua said.
Minister Al Hashimi in response has indicated UAE’s support would be comprehensive and inclusive sports facilities as well as training coaches.
Minister Mua in response has conveyed the goodwill and interest expressed by UAE to assist Solomon Islands with its development aspirations stating a site has already been identified.
Meanwhile, Minister Mua said Solomon Islands would support UAE to secure the bid for World Expo due to be held in Dubai in 2020.
He said Solomon Islands is prepared to provide a sizeable pavilion to showcase products, arts and cultural performance over the 6month festival.
Work towards the Expo is ongoing through the joint efforts of MFAET, MCT, MCILI and the private sector.
UAE has also renewed their support to the renewable energy sector, building on an earlier solar project and indicated willingness to expand its support to other renewable energy plans and initiatives.
Solomon Islands and UAE established diplomatic relations in April 2010.
– PM Press Secretariat