SOLOMONS LEADER CALLS FOR UN HELP TO REMOVE GUNS

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UNITED NATIONS, New York (September 18, 2002 – Radio New Zealand International/SIBC/PINA)---The Solomon Islands has called on the United Nations to help the government rid of the nation of a continuing armed threat.

Prime Minister Sir Allen Kemakeza told the UN General Assembly in New York that the continued presence of guns in the community poses a major threat to the country’s peace, security and stability and any hope of economic recovery is constantly threatened by lawlessness.

Sir Allen said the international community, through the UN, has a pivotal role to play in assisting the country, suggesting that the UN could take more ambitious actions to curb the arms culture in the Solomons.

Most aid donors have restricted their aid since the Guadalcanal-Malaita ethnic unrest, and say the lawlessness must be resolved before they will fully re-engage support.

During his speech, Sir Allen also called on the UN to readmit Taiwan to full and equal membership in the world body.

Taiwan is the Solomon Islands’ largest bilateral aid donor.

Sir Allan also paid tribute to the many people who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks on the United States of America just over a year ago.

He condemned terrorism, and affirmed Solomon Islands full cooperation in efforts, including activities of the United Nations, to counter terrorism.

The Solomon Islands has taken measures to enact legislation that would discourage and counter terrorist activities in the country, Sir Allan said.

He explained that said his government is also taking steps to accede to a number of international conventions relating to counter terrorist activities.

As Sir Allan spoke in New York, another man was reported killed in continuing shooting incidents in the Gold Ridge-Guadalcanal Plains area.

The Peace Monitoring Council said it has reports some houses were also burned.

For additional reports from Radio New Zealand International, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio New Zealand International.

For additional reports from the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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