After 14 years, the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) will conclude on 30 June 2017. RAMSI was originally deployed in mid-2003 at the invitation of the government of Solomon Islands Prime Minister Sir Allan Kemakeza with a mandate to restore law and order, to revitalise public finances and the economy, and to help rebuild critical national institutions. Since 2003, thousands of police, military and civilian personnel from 15 member countries of the Pacific Islands Forum have taken part in RAMSI - without doubt one of the most ambitious and extensive examples of regional cooperation in the post-Independence era in the Pacific. For Australia, RAMSI has represented an unprecedentedly large, and long-term, commitment of both personnel and funding in support of a regional neighbour.
In this address, the last RAMSI Special Coordinator, Quinton Devlin, reflects on the lessons of RAMSI for Solomon Islands, for Australia and for the region. He considers the state of Solomon Islands at this juncture in its history, and asks whether the collective experience of RAMSI might hold any significance for the region’s future. Mr Devlin’s address is followed by expert commentary from His Excellency Mr Collin Beck (Solomon Islands High Commissioner to Australia), Ms Sue Ingram and Professor Hugh White and then a question and answer session.
Quinton Devlin speaking notes from the RAMSI address: Speaking notes