24 Oct 2007

Aid agencies called on to help more Island personnel work for RAMSI

8:24 pm on 24 October 2007

New Zealand and Australia are being asked to provide back up so civilian officials in island countries can join the regional assistance mission to Solomon Islands, RAMSI.

A review of RAMSI was endorsed at last week's Pacific Islands Forum summit, despite the Solomons' Government boycotting the event in protest.

It calls for the mission to take on more regional characteristics.

One of the review's writers, former New Zealand diplomat, Neil Walter, says this would be enhanced by having more officials from island countries involved, but would need the assistance of NZAID and AUSAID.

"It's quite a sacrifice for any of the smaller countries around the Pacific to put some of their best and brightest people out for that purpose, so that is where AUSAID and NZAID, we think can provide some back up in filling those gaps, to allow the island countries to release their people more freely."