RAMSI OFFICIALS TESTIFY AT REVIEW HEARING

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Solomons parliament examines progress, reviews agreement

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Times, June 11, 2009) -RAMSI Special Coordinator, Graeme Wilson, the outgoing Commander of the Participating Police Force, Denis McDermott, and other senior RAMSI officials appeared before Solomon Islands National Parliament Foreign Relations Committee 'RAMSI Review' yesterday.

The Special Coordinator, Mr. Wilson, in his opening statement, thanked the committee for the opportunity to contribute to its deliberations at the conclusion of what he described as 'an important and comprehensive review'. "I have been impressed by the high level of engagement shown by Solomon Islanders in this review and the deep level of respect for the process and the Committee," he said. "I congratulate Committee members for the energy and commitment with which you have pursued your task, including by ensuring that the voices of all Solomon Islanders have been heard, whether in rural areas or the main centre of Honiara, Auki and Gizo."

Mr. Wilson said RAMSI had closely followed the Foreign Relations Committee's consultations and had been encouraged by the overwhelming support for RAMSI shown by Solomon Islanders. "We certainly do not take this support for granted," he said. It was important to listen not only to the praise and statements in support of RAMSI, but also to the concerns and criticisms directed towards RAMSI.

The Chairman of the Committee, Hon Peter Boyers, welcomed RAMSI's appearance at what was the last day of public evidence for the Committee's inquiry into and review of the Facilitation of International Assistance Notice 2003 (commonly known as the RAMSI Review). Mr. Boyers said that he wished to thank all those, including RAMSI, who had been involved in assisting the Committee in this historic inquiry. "I also wish to welcome RAMSI here today and to thank you for the positive way that you have approached this inquiry and the assistance you have provided throughout." The Committee's report is expected to be tabled next month.

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