25 Oct 2006

Forum leaders agree proposal to review RAMSI operations

12:06 pm on 25 October 2006

The Pacific Islands Forum is to review the operations of the Regional Assistance mission RAMSI, following a push by the Solomon Islands Prime minister Mannaseh Sogavare for changes.

Mr Sogavare had presented a 5 point plan to leaders calling for the restoration of the mission's regional character, a clear demarcation between RAMSI and Australia and the establishment of a ministerial forum team to oversee operations.

The forum didn't make a commitment to those points but did agree to hold a review.

Linda Skates reports from the Forum meeting in Nadi.

"The communique states that a Task Force will be set up to review RAMSI. But until that reports back, the assistance mission will continue in its present form. A three-way consultation process is to be introduced between the Solomon Islands government, RAMSI and the Forum. The review has the support of Mr Sogovare, according to the New Zealand Prime Minister, Helen Clark. And Miss Clark also announced a seasonal workers scheme for Pacific Islanders to access New Zealand, details of which are to be released today."