Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs Richard Marles will depart today for Nauru and Solomon Islands where he will discuss a range of bilateral and development assistance issues, including Nauru’s recent inclusion in the Seasonal Worker Program (SWP), and participate in talks on the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI).
In Nauru, Mr Marles will meet President Sprent Dabwido.
“The Seasonal Worker Program is a great opportunity for eligible workers from both Nauru and Solomon Islands to earn a good wage and develop skills,” Mr Marles said.
In Solomon Islands, Mr Marles will represent Australia at the annual Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Ministerial Standing Committee on RAMSI, which provides oversight and governance of RAMSI operations.
“This year’s Forum Ministerial Standing Committee is an excellent opportunity to discuss RAMSI’s future work program and ongoing drawdowns with the Solomon Islands Government and other RAMSI contributors," Mr Marles said.
The Committee was established in 2008 in response to a recommendation of the PIF RAMSI Review Task Force Report. The meeting will include participants from Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Cook Islands, RAMSI and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.
Mr Marles will meet Solomon Islands Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo, host a round-table discussion with former prime ministers, and meet other senior Solomon Islands parliamentarians.
“Australia is firmly committed to assisting Solomon Islands achieve a stable and prosperous future through both our bilateral development program and our contributions to RAMSI,” Mr Marles said.
Mr Marles will also visit Malaita Province where he will meet provincial leaders and visit RAMSI-funded law and justice projects, including Auki Magistrate’s Court and Auki Correctional Centre.
- Parliamentary Secretary's Office: (02) 6277 4330
- Departmental Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555