3 May 2005

EU advises against change of Solomons constitution

3:50 pm on 3 May 2005

A European Union report on Solomon Islands has advised against rushing into a review of the country's constitution when the underlying causes of the conflict had not been dealt with.

Solomon Islands is considering changing to a federal system of government after some provinces became disgruntled with the quality of management provided by Honiara.

The report from an ACP/EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly Fact Finding Mission says reviewing the constitution now may lack political wisdom and might jeopardise the proper functioning of the state in the future.

It says more effort still has to go into governance, capacity building, reconciliation and rehabilitation.

The report says EU funding will support the reconciliation process.

It says the EU's positive intervention will help to normalise relations and deal with post conflict trauma issues and social reconciliation.

The report called on the Solomons' Government to have a longer time frame than the current three year plan for economic rehabilitation to ensure that development is sustainable and that the country can avoid any recurrence of tension.

It also advises that efforts should be made to ensure that developing tensions within parliament over the Regional Assistance Mission are not allowed to become an issue in next year's election.