Natuman wants permanent RAMSI model

VANUATU’S Deputy Prime Minister says the Pacific Islands Forum should consider a Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands type arrangement for member countries.

Joe Natuman said the Forum should consider having a permanent model or arrangement like that of the RAMSI which concluded a 14-year peace and state building mission in Solomon Islands last month.

It was hailed by some as an overwhelming success of Pacific regionalism.

Mr Natuman, who was in Honiara to witness the end of the mission, said the Melanesian Spearhead Group is already working on establishing sub-regional policing arrangements to help countries in times of crisis or natural disaster.

He said the Forum should also consider establishment of a standing force or arrangements for its member countries.

“We are still facing problem with every, the problem with disaster, cyclones and what have you. So it is those issues and of course we have illegal and unregulated fishing in our waters,” he said.

“There are a lot of things happening in our world and I think in our region together with Australia and New Zealand we should have some kind of arrangements that we can fall back on in times of need.”