1 Aug 2002

Solomon Islands seeks honorary consuls

4:11 pm on 1 August 2002

The Solomon Islands government has launched a programme in Sydney to seek out honorary consuls in key locations around the world.

The programme is being headed by Australian James Harker-Mortlock.

This report from George Atkin.

"The programme seeks prominent people to serve as Solomon Islands honorary consuls in their own countries. Mr Harler-Mortlock's appointment was announced in Sydney in a function hosted by the Solomon Islands Friendship Association and attended by the foreign minister Alex Bartlett. The 46-year-old Australian is the Association's secretary and a family member. He told the gathering the Solomon Islands is right next door to Australia and despite close historical links there is very little being done to help Solomon Islands at the community level. Mr Harker-Mortlock says his association sees the honorary consul programme as a way of making a difference to Solomon Islands which has been going through a very troubled period. Already Honiara has approved the first nine consul generals, consuls and vice consuls in Australia, Malaysia, Britain and Europe. Mr Harker-Mortlock says about twenty consuls will be appointed by the end of the year and more than double that next year."