RAMSI special coordinator Quinton Devlin urges the nation’s youth to engage in activities that make a positive contribution to their community.
He was speaking at the closing farewell ceremony at Lawson Tama last night.
In his final message to the young people of this nation, Mr Devlin said:
“Fourteen years ago, RAMSI arrived to find a nation ravaged by lawlessness, fear and tragedy caused by men with guns.
“Never forget the lessons of the past.Violence leads only to sorrow, pain and trauma.
“Find something that you love doing that makes a positive contribution to your community or your nation, and this nation will continue to grow from strength-to-strength and will remain the Hapi Isles for ever more.”
Mr Devlin further stated that RAMSI has been an unprecedented and highly successful exercisein regional cooperation, restoring law and order, and resetting national institutions.
“Never before had the region stepped in on such a large scale to help a friend in need and to rebuild thatfriend so completely.
“There was no blueprint; nor any template to follow.
“Still, Solomon Islanders and RAMSI police, military, advisers and diplomats from 15 nations proved that all challenges could be overcomewith a sharedgoal and commitment to the reconstruction of this nation and the reconstituting of the Hapi Isles.
“Together, with God’s guiding hand we returned peace to this nation and made it a safe place to live, work and raise children.
“We delivered greater prosperity by turning around the economy and putting it on a stable path.
“We made progress by making governments and democratic institutions more accountable, and better able to serve their citizens; andwe provided the time, space and environment for healing, nation building and returning joy to the Hapi Isles.”
He added the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force, which has been RAMSI’s main partner during the final four years of the Mission, is now a capable, accountable and professional force.
He said the RSIPF is a force that deserves the trust of the people it serves and one that is ready to resume full responsibility for policing and national security.
The special coordinator said things are back to normal and – in most respects – better than they were before the Tensions.
“RAMSI’s job is done. But that does not mean that RAMSI contributing nations won’t continue to support Solomon Islands long after this ceremony concludes.
“Indeed, Australia and New Zealand begin bilateral police assistance programs on Saturday.
“Nor does RAMSI’s departure mean that the process of recovery and nation-building ends here.
“There is more work to be done and RAMSI is confident that Solomon Islands is up to the task.”
Mr Devlin also thanked the 15 nations that contributed to the successful work of RAMSI.
Furthermore, he thanked the Solomon Islands government and its people.
“We honour the unsung heroes, whose contributions in their area of expertise or through community service have made this country a better place.
“We honour those who were touched by the Tensions, sometimes through the death of loved ones, but were still willing to have peace in their heart.
“We pay tribute to the thousands of Solomon Islanders who worked with RAMSI and supported us in big and small ways.
“We thank you, our partners and the people of Solomon Islands, for showing us such kindness, friendship and hospitality over the last 14 years.
“It means so much to us that you still hold us in the same high regard today, as you did when we first arrived.
“RAMSI will leave with pride and optimism for this country. We will miss you.
“We will always remember you and you in will be in our prayers.”
By TEDDY KAFO