Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare MP was today the guest of honour of ‘International Day of Democracy’ commemoration.
The International Day of Democracy is celebrated around the world on 15th September annually to uphold and promote democracy and the principles it stands for.
This year’s theme is “Inclusive Participation for a Stronger Democracy in Solomon Islands”.
Delivering the key note statement, Prime Minister Sogavare stated, participation is the key role of citizens in democracy. It is not only our right, but our duty.
The Prime Minister explains, standing for and voting in elections, becoming informed, debating issues, attending community or civic meetings or being members of Political Parties are among forms of citizen participation.
Prime Minister Sogavare underlined, the country has the highest rate of female participation in elected legislature that Solomon Islands has ever achieved.
“I am proud to say that Solomon Islands have enacted policies and laws to eliminate violence against woman and girls in line with our commitments to Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Woman (CEDAW) and the Beijing Platform for Action.”
Under the 2016-2020 National Financial Inclusion Strategy, the government took steps to address gender disparity, he elaborated.
The National Government also ensure our bright students get equal opportunity in pursuing tertiary studies in regional and international universities by providing scholarships that is fully funded by the Solomon Islanders based on nothing but merit.
The government’s 2016-2035 National Development Strategy aims to improve gender equality through actions such as community engagement programmes and establishing targets for the representation of women in parliament, ministries, state-owned enterprises and in local government.
He highlighted, the strengthening of independent and good governance institutions such as the Leadership Code Commission, the Office of the Ombudsman, the Political Parties Commission, and more recently the Solomon Islands Independent Commission against Corruption testify to the government’s seriousness in fighting corruption, nepotism and promote good governance and human rights.
A new and improved Constituency Development Fund Act and Regulation to safeguarding the interest of potential recipients of the fund and allow Solomon Islanders to be fully engaged and participate in our economic activities and development of this country is in the making and will reach parliament in upcoming sittings.
The government is committed to ensure the whole registration and voting process during the National General Election next year is free and fair…. “these are sacred rituals of our democratic practice since our independence in 1978”.
PM Sogavare is of the view that Multi-Party System is a democratic power. A multi-party system allows for opposition to the party, which wins the election. This helps provide the government with different viewpoints on issues. Additionally, a multiparty system provides voters with a choice of candidates, parties, and policies to vote for.
The Prime Minister concludes, while we acknowledge our democratic Solomon Islands and strive to use the democratic powers to engage all our citizens, our democratic rights and democratic powers comes with a responsibility… “no democracy is perfect, and no democracy is ever fixed”.
-PM Press Sec