Sunday 16 May 2021 | 06:41 | SYDNEY
Sunday 16 May 2021 | 06:41 | SYDNEY

Putting the 'R' back in RAMSI


Jenny Hayward-Jones


21 February 2008 15:56

It’s not often tiny Niue makes comments to the media in a field usually occupied by Australians. Courtesy of its role as host of the Pacific Islands Forum meeting this year, Niue is part of the Pacific Islands Forum Ministerial Standing Committee on the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI), which has its inaugural meeting in Solomon Islands on 22 February.

Foreign Minister Stephen Smith, accompanied by Duncan Kerr and Bob McMullan, the parliamentary secretaries for Pacific Island Affairs and International Development Assistance, are also attending this meeting, along with foreign ministers from Papua New Guinea and Tonga. It will be interesting to see if the high-powered Australian delegation can encourage this Forum Committee to speak up for RAMSI. Despite strong regional support for the mission, Australia has been defending and promoting RAMSI on its own for too long, resulting in Australia rather than the region being blamed for the mission’s weaknesses or perceived failings. It’s time to put the 'R' back into the debate.