18 Jun 2003

Pacific Islands Forum supports proposed police force for Solomon Islands

12:24 pm on 18 June 2003

The Pacific Islands Forum is supporting a proposal to send a police force into Solomon Islands in order to restore law and order.

The secretary-general of the Forum Secretariat, Noel Levi, says Solomon Islands will be on the agenda of the Forum Regional Security Committee meeting which opens today.

Mr Levi says he believes that member countries will contribute to the force.

"The Forum supports the initiative that was announced by Australia and in fact we are in the process of discussing this with Australia and New Zealand. So in principle we do welcome the initiative."

Mr Levi says the Forum is waiting for the report from the scoping mission sent to Solomon Islands and a Foreign ministers meeting will then be convened to discuss what contributions can be made.

He says it's his understanding that unarmed police officers will be sent to Honiara initially.