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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, July 25)—The special co-ordinator for the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands, James Batley, has marked the third anniversary of the intervention saying there is a clear link between strong nations and strong institutions.

He says RAMSI is in Solomon Islands to help restore national sovereignty by building stronger, more vital institutions, stronger more stable finances and to grow the nation’s capacity.

Mr Batley said that all Solomon Islanders have an interest in effective, efficient and accountable government.

He says there are no shorts cuts and if the challenges are not faced, not only will poverty and crime increase, but the country’s ability to decide and shape its future - its sovereignty - will lessen.

Mr Batley was addressing students at the USP Centre in Honiara, and urged them to demand more from their leaders, to take responsibility and behave in ways that enhance the country’s sovereignty.

July 25, 2006

Radio New Zealand International: http://www.rnzi.com

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