The Office of the Prime Minister & Cabinet (OPMC) with the Ministry of Traditional Governance Peace and Ecclesiastical Affairs (MTGP&EA) together with the Anglican Church of Melanesian has successfully completed one week long consultation and dialog on Russell Islands.
The consultation and dialogue is made possible by OPMC and MTGP&EA, purposely to consultation and dialogue with indigenous people, settlers and former workers on Russell Islands to identify issues that hinder development.
“The consultation is a first step taken by the Government through OPMC and MTGP&EA to resolve issues that hinder development on Russell Islands”
The team consults seven communities on Russell Islands, the communities are indigenous people, settlers and workers. During the consultation communities shared same concern of wanting the National Government to quickly re-open and develop Russell Islands.
Speaking at the consultation OPMC Director RIPEL Cabinet Sub-Committee Daniel Fenua said Russell Islands is one of the Democratic Coalition for Advancement Government (DCAG) flagship project and the government is still committed on implementing development program and priority on Russell Islands.
He said the sole focus of the government is to reopen the RIPEL operation and also other development on Russell Islands and those development is subjected to the communiqué signed such as 99 rock communiqué etc, whiles some of the issues within the documents requires technical intervention and this is why the Ministry of Traditional Government Peace and Ecclesiastical engaged to address and resolve those issues.
He added the purpose of the consultation is to identify issues that hinder development and find ways whereby government through the MTGP&EA to resolve those issues through reconciliation between parties of concern.
“The consultation is a first step taken by the Government through OPMC and MTGP&EA to resolve issues that hinder development on Russell Islands” Says Daniel.
Also during the consultation mind shifting presentation has presented at the session by ACOM Justice, Peace and Reconciliation Commission.
Representing the commission Lesley Filiomea said the greatest challenge we face today is mindset, so to solve the problem is we need to find solution for mind, in order for development take place we must beginning with mind, every solution happen here in Russell Islands is started within, which means we must solve our mindset.
“We need to identify bad and good, if we want to move forward in our community we must change our mindset” He Say.
Meanwhile, MTGP&EA consultation team leader, Moses Aipuru thanked the communities at Russell Islands for the outcomes and contributions during the consultation.
He assured the communities that there will be a follow-up program, he added “After this consultation the team will put together all the recommendations and plan for the next follow-up program”.
Joint Press Statement from the Office of Prime Minister and Cabinet and MTGP&EA