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President of the OACPS Parliamentary Assembly, Hon. Peter Kenilorea Jr., at the European Parliament Headquarters in Strasbourg, France.

Chairman of the Parliamentary Foreign Relations Committee and MP for East Are’Are Hon. Peter Kenilorea Jr. is in Strasbourg, France this week to preside over his first face-to-face meetings in his capacity as the President of the Organization of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) and the Co-President of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) currently underway.

The meetings begin on the 28th March and ends 3rd April.

Since taking up his appointment in June 2021, Hon. Kenilorea Jr., presided over the meetings of the two parliamentary bodies virtually, due to COVID -19 restrictions.

The 60th Session of the OACPS Parliamentary Assembly and the Plenary Session of the 41st Session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly will be the first physical meetings of the parliamentary bodies since the COVID-19 outbreak.

President Hon. Kenilorea Jr. expressed, “It is good to finally meet in-person with other OACPS parliamentary colleagues. I look forward to leading the discussions that will put us in a good position on the future of the parliamentary institution under the new OACPS-EU Partnership Agreement.”

The meetings will be preceded by parliamentary committee meetings and special sessions for OACPS parliamentarians to discuss pertinent issues, including an update on the status of the new OACPS-EU partnership agreement.

President Hon. Kenilorea Jr. also presided over the OACPS Speakers of National Assemblies – Roundtable Discussion with the Secretary-General of the OACPS H.E Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti, who took the opportunity to commend the achievements of the OACPS Parliamentary Assembly and the active and dynamic participation of all members to meetings held virtually and across different time zones.

The Secretary General further commended the achievements of the OACPS Parliamentary Assembly with six Resolutions adopted, two Women’s Forum, two Youth Conferences, one meeting with Civil Society Organizations, and ten meeting sessions of the drafting committee on the Rules of Procedures of the JPA under the new agreement.

Of particular mention, was the parliamentary dialogue on COP26 that led to a Joint Declaration by the JPA Co-Presidents, which elevated the concerns of the JPA on climate change issues, to a wider international community.

President, Hon. Kenilorea Jr. acknowledged the opportunity to have exchanges with the Secretary General and the Honorable Speakers of the OACPS National Parliaments and assured the support of the OACPS Parliamentary Assembly as a vital institution under the auspice of the OACPS as an organization.


Hon. Rick Hou

THE Parliamentary House Committee (PHC) has rejected the Police Commissioner’s request for local and foreign-armed police to guard in and around the Parliament precinct.

Chairman of the Parliamentary House Committee Hon Rick Houenipwela said the Police Commissioner’s request was ill informed, ill advised and based on poor intelligence.

Hon. Houenipwela said last week the Commissioner of Police wrote to the Speaker of Parliament requesting RSIPF and the Solomon Islands International Assistance Force to provide security around Parliament House during the meeting of Parliament starting on Monday 28 March 2022.

He said the Police Commissioner also advised that local and foreign police would be armed with firearms.

“The Speaker referred the request to my committee, and advised that he would go along with the decision of my committee. My committee deliberated on it last week, which we asked the Commissioner for a full briefing by the police to enable the Committee to decide on their request,” Hon Houenipwela explained.

The Parliamentary House Chairman said questions raised with the police include:

  1. Police assessment of the level of security threat to MPs, the Prime Minister, Ministers or Parliament staff;
  2. Who are the Solomon International Assistance Force?
  3. Why does RSIPF need the support of the Solomon International Assistance Force?And to describe what sort of firearms police will be using while on guard, and why they have to carry such firearms?

Hon. Houenipwela said the Committee was disappointed because the Police Commissioner himself did not attend the briefing to answer these questions but only sent police representatives on his behalf.

“There were important matters that the Police Commissioner should be present to answer but it was unacceptable that he opted not to attend,” he said.

However, Hon Houenipwela said from the response from police during the briefing, the committee has concluded that:

  1. Police intelligence assessment itself is that the level of security risk is low and there is no threat on the Prime Minister, any minister, any MP or staff of Parliament.
  2. The Police representatives were unclear in their answer to the question on the Solomon International Assistance Force. However, the Committee assumed this force would include the foreign forces currently in the country.
  3. As to why RSIPF need this international force to guard Parliament, they said they have to be fully prepared for all situations;
  4. On types of firearms, police said these would include both non-lethal and lethal weapons.

“Therefore, the House Committee decided that based on police briefing and advice, the level of threat does not warrant armed police guards in and around the Parliament precinct and the Police Commissioner’s request was ill-informed, ill-advised and based on poor intelligence,” he said.

“The Committee has since relayed its decision to the Speaker” he said.

Hon. Houenipwela also said that under the Rules of Admission to the Parliament, the admission of law enforcement officers and carrying of firearms is a matter subject to conditions agreed under a Memorandum of Understanding between the Commissioner of RSIPF and the Speaker of National Parliament.

However, he said should the Police Commissioner remain doubtful about their own assessment, the police is duty-bound to ensure public security - outside Parliament precinct.


Clerk to National Parliament, Mr. David Kusilifu(second from right) received the PPEs from UNDP PPEI national local coordinator, Mr. Ezekiel Parairae.

UNDP is supporting the Solomon Islands Parliament since 2016, through two major parliamentary development projects: the Pacific Parliamentary Effectiveness Initiative (PPEI) project funded by New Zealand, and the Strengthening Legislatures in the Pacific Island Countries (SLIP), funded by the government of Japan.

For the National Parliament of Solomon Islands (NPSI), UNDP so far supported a number of activities that includes procurement of most needed ICT and Media equipment, support to reform of parliamentary procedures, general resourcing and mobilization of resources to parliamentary programs and initiatives, preparing and adhering to COVID-19 protocols, etc.

On Wednesday 30th March 2022, Clerk to National Parliament; Mr. David Kusilifu thanked UNDP for supporting the National Parliament Office to procure Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), for staff and Members to comply with COVID-19 standard protocols.

Items such as: Surgical masks, Latex hand gloves, Safety Face Shield, Medical Disposal Protective suit and pure hand sanitizers were handed over to the Clerk by Mr. Ezekiel Parairae - UNDP national local coordinator with the National Parliament.

Since 2016, UNDP is also assisting the National Parliament of Solomon Islands (NPSI) to host an annual “Pacific Floating Budget Office” mission that provides an independent parliamentary analysis on the National Budget to Members of Parliament, so that they can debate and vote on the budget in an informed manner.

In 2020 UNDP, under its SLIP and PPEI projects reached out to assist with equipment that will enable Parliament to have zoom conferences and virtual meetings.

NPSI is now enjoying the ease of using this equipment to conduct meetings in a virtual fashion.

The Parliamentary Civic Education program and Committees have also benefitted a lot from UNDP assistance as they were able to mobilize Committee enquiries and outreach programs to other provinces with full support from SLIP and PPEI-II parliamentary development projects.

The PPEI project is funded by the Government of New Zealand and its phase II ends in 2023. The SLIP project is funded by the government of Japan and ends in 2022.

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