Today I will visit the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) Base in East Honiara. The 15-nation RAMSI has been a major success and demonstrates what Pacific countries can achieve when working together.

RAMSI has been critical to re-establishing and maintaining peace and stability in Solomon Islands over the past 13 years.  As a close neighbour, Australia has a significant national interest in the ongoing security of Solomon Islands.

As a key component of RAMSI’s work, the mission has helped successive Solomon Island governments develop the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) into a modern, effective and independent police force.

There is widespread agreement that the RSIPF is ready to assume full policing and national security responsibilities. Given this progress, RAMSI is on track to conclude as expected on 30 June 2017.

Although the Australia-led RAMSI mission is nearly complete, Australia will continue to help improve policing services to the community where the Solomon Islands Government seeks our assistance.

At the request of the Solomon Islands, Australia led the deployment of RAMSI in 2003 to help restore law and order, stabilise the nation’s finances and re-start the machinery of government following five years of ethnic tensions and armed conflict.  Since 2013, RAMSI had been solely a policing assistance mission.

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