Foreign Minister Murray McCully and Solomon Islands Foreign Minister Peter Shanel Agovaka have today signed a Joint Commitment for Development which sets out New Zealand support for sustainable economic development in the Solomon Islands.
The agreement also clearly sets out the joint accountabilities and responsibilities for the delivery and management of the aid program in the Solomon Islands.
"This is an important step in the relationship between our two countries. To make aid effective both countries need to own and take responsibility for development solutions. Both countries have agreed to step-up in this regard,” said Mr McCully.
"Crucially, this agreement signals New Zealand's continued investment in Solomon Islands as the RAMSI draw-down progresses,” he said
“The focus of our joint effort will be on improving critical transport infrastructure, fisheries development, improving the enabling environment for business, education, policing, law and justice.”
“Reflecting the priority the Solomon Islands Government is placing on improving transport links, New Zealand will invest up to $25 million in the redevelopment of Munda runway, Nusatupe runway, and the redevelopment of key roading infrastructure in Western Province,” Mr McCully said.
“Fisheries is an important source of revenue for all Pacific countries. A component of our programme in the Solomons will support the development of a sustainable fisheries sector.”
“We will also continue to work with the Solomon Islands Government to improve literacy and numeracy rates at primary school level and increase the number of certified teachers,” he said.
“New Zealand’s support for education in the Solomon Islands has contributed to a 36 percent increase in the number of children enrolled in primary school since 2003, training for 1,706 teachers, the building of 394 classroom blocks, and new English and mathematics textbooks in 96 percent of schools,” said the Minister.
Solomon Islands Foreign Minister Peter Shanel Agovaka is currently in Auckland for the 42nd Pacific Islands Forum.