A keyword in Governor General Sir Frank Kabui’s 2018 New Year’s address to the nation was “peace”.
Peace is fundamental to the country’s future and is needed to pursue development goals, he said.
Although the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands left the country last June, Sir Frank said citizens should not be alarmed or disappointed.
“We can look after ourselves if that is our objective,” he said. “The future of this country is in our hands — you and me.”
In the new year, the Ministry of National Unity, Reconciliation and Peace will continue its work on programs to help maintain peace in Solomon Islands.
“I think we now have to think hard to find ways of ensuring that we have lasting peace in our country,” Sir Frank said.
He said there must be efforts to reduce conflict, including identifying and addressing flashpoints, instead of wishes for peace without action.
The Governor General expressed his support for the new government until the upcoming general election and mentioned land issues concerning Honiara and other parts of the country.
He also recognised nine individuals in the annual awards and honours for their contributions to various sectors, including rural and community development, public service, nursing and education.
Sir Frank thanked all Solomon Islanders for being good citizens despite trying times and encouraged them to tackle the issues facing the country with determination.
“We have to think outside of the box,” he said. “We have to be visionary.”
By Fredrick Kusu