On Wednesday 11th May, the Correctional Service of Solomon Islands (CSSI) held a half day zoom forum for its National Peacebuilding, Prevention, Rehabilitation Advisory Board (NPPRAB) at the SIBC conference room.
This was the first of its kind with the theme, “Iumi Tugeda Waka Fo Bildim Peace, Stopem Crime, Stretem Life Fo United and Prosperous Solomon Islands”
The core sector members of NPPRAB evolves around CSSI, RSIPF Crime Prevention and the Ministry of Traditional Governance, Peace and Ecclesiastical Affairs (MTGPEA). Board membership comprises of, Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Permanent Secretaries, SICA, SIFGA, Development Services Exchange (local and national NGO’s), SI Red Cross, Donor and Diplomatic agencies.
MTGPEA Minister, Hon. Samuel Manetoali, was the key note speaker for the inaugural Board forum. This was followed by the Rehabilitation Director of Singapore Prison Service, and their presentation was mainly on the Yellow Ribbon Project that has significantly impacted ex-offenders and the nation as a whole. MTGPEA presentation focussed on peacebuilding, review of relevant policies and challenges; RSIPF was more on crime prevention strategies, with emphasis on the five drivers of criminal activities; and CSSI highlighted the rehabilitation of ex-offenders, and the roles and functions of the NPPRAB structure and framework at the national, provincial, ward and village levels.
Hon. Minister expressed his gratitude to be rendered the opportunity to present the official opening remarks. He stated that the forum is closely related to the core fundamental aspect of our constitution, such as protection, peace and the rule of law. As reflected in the preamble of our constitution, sections “B” and “C” highlight the importance of equality, social justice, human dignity, communal solidarity, and human dignity that are the very basis of our peace loving and protected society.
“This Board will not only address the issues but also provide that much needed advice in terms of social security, reintegration, acceptance into society, and most important peace building” he added.
He said that the Ministry of Police, National Security and Correctional Services with his Ministry, together value the purpose of this Board. This was so as it plays an integral part in achieving our strategic plan and goals. He pledged his hope that serious discussions on these matters will enable more insights in enhancing our togetherness to address them.
Meanwhile CSSI Commissioner Gabriel Manelusi mentioned that the NPPRAB zoom forum is a historical event between the two Ministries (MTGPEA and MPNS&CS). Significantly, this joint forum is based on “sharing and working together” to develop a framework by mapping a way forward for our beloved country Solomon Islands.
The Commissioner said that the collaborative approach is where we all shall share together to identify issues raised during the presentations and to tackle these issues in a more holistic and collaborative manner. This is highly achievable through proper structure, whether it’s governance or leadership issues within the people, program, or process.
Commissioner reemphasized the importance of members’ response to help the working committee map the way forward and to develop a framework with possible options for the betterment of our country more so on peacebuilding, crime prevention and rehabilitation.
He further stressed the need to have workable, effective strategies and programs. Hence, all government sectors and key stakeholders must have appropriate mindset shift to shape attitudes and behaviours, adhering to the 21st century requirements. Excelling beyond the old normal activities after the global pandemic is crucial.
In gesture, Commissioner Manelusi sincerely acknowledged and thanked the Permanent Secretaries, Ministerial representatives, Donor partners, key Stakeholders and Churches for accepting the invitation. More so, it is valuable and rewarding for the connectivity via zoom, despite the busy schedules. CSSI’s regional partner, the Singapore Prison Service was duly acknowledged, including their support on the rehabilitation process through the Yellow Ribbon Project.
The Commissioner thanked and gave credit to the Australian Government, DFAT through the Australia Solomon Islands Justice Program (ASIJP), for the financial support for the forum to eventuate at the SIBC Conference room and Heritage Park Hotel for members’ lunch buffet.
Together let us work to build peace, prevent crime and rehabilitate our fellow citizens, the ex-offenders.