17 Oct 2002

New Zealand and Australia will fund national peace council for Solomon Islands

12:10 pm on 17 October 2002

The Solomon Islands Minister of National Reconciliation and Unity says New Zealand and Australia have committed to funding the new National Peace Council.

Nathaniel Waena says New Zealand and Australia will provide funds to finance the work of the transitional council which replaced the Peace Monitoring council.

He says this committment was made during a recent visit of Australian and New Zealand government officials to the Solomon Islands.

Mr Waena says funding will help the National Peace Council carry on the unfinished work of the PMC particularly in the area of persuading ex militants to hand in their weapons.

"That is the area of interest that the Australian and New zealand governments would like to fund. Unless they are now thinking otherwise, were are anticipating the two governments to honour their understandings to ensuring that peace and normalcy is regained throughout the country."

Nathaniel Waena says a permanent peace council will be established in mid January next year.