Politicians at this week's Pacific Islands Forum need to restore confidence in the battered image of the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (Ramsi), Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon says.
"The Solomons had been going through a lot of upheavals for the past 15 years, and we do have to give assistance where we can help stabilise, reduce the fragility and hopefully build a bit of trust there which right now is probably wanting," Mr McKinnon said.
The former New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister is attending the forum in Fiji to meet Pacific leaders, brief them on trade talks and discuss Commonwealth-funded aid programmes.
After the meeting he will visit the Solomon Islands, where he is scheduled to deliver a message conveying the Commonwealth's support of Ramsi. Those plans had not changed, he said.
"We are working with Ramsi. Ramsi, by its very name, is a regional assistance programme, which means that everyone in the region has bought into it and has committed funds to it and is committed to see it work.
"There's always, obviously, going to be discussions about how it's running, its objectives, that sort of thing, but nonetheless I don't believe anyone is saying it's time for it to go at all. That would be most inappropriate."By Mike Houlahan Email Mike