20 Jul 2006

RAMSI says there are limits to its efforts in Solomon Islands

8:12 pm on 20 July 2006

An official with the regional assistance mission to Solomon Islands, or RAMSI, says, in a sense, the organisation is victim of its own success.

RAMSI is defending itself from criticism from OXFAM that it is not engaging enough with the community, and that this will undermine efforts to rebuild the country.

The deputy special co-ordinator for RAMSI, Paul Ash, says the organisation has enjoyed strong public support from the start and it continues to consult widely with the community.

Mr Ash says RAMSI has had to work closely to convince the people that there are limits to what it can achieve.

"There are things that we can do and have directly worked on in areas like law and order, in areas like stabilizing government finances and in rebuilding the capacity of local institutions and the public service. However the primary responsibility for setting and implementing that policy, including in relation to rural development, peace and reconciliation, rests with the elected government."