Solomon Islanders Take Another Step Forward towards Sustainable Peace
Honiara - For the past week, over 40 religious, private sector, and civil society leaders from around the Solomon Islands have participated a training course in peacebuilding.
The training on Peacebuilding and Conflict Analysis focused on conflict analysis, the difference between conflict and violence; as well as strategies for peace interventions. It prepared participants to return to their communities to effectively address opportunities for peaceful resolution of conflicts.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of National Unity Reconciliation and Peace, Lennis Rukale encouraged participants to build on the collaboration they had created at the workshop. He also encouraged the participants to continue to work closely with the Ministry so that together they could construct sustainable peace.
Solomon Islands United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative, Akiko Suzaki said that peace was every body’s business.
“The objective of the training was to bring together a critical group of champions within the CSOs of Solomon Islands and to ensure an effective strategy for the management of peace initiatives is set in place that would help to prevent outbreaks of new violent conflict. Our partnership is crucial in promoting peace and security.”
The training was, co-facilitated by Paulo Bale, an independent consultant from Fiji and Francis Kairi from the Ministry of National Unity, Reconciliation, and Peace.
“Women are struggling to find livelihoods and everyone is crowded into one space, if we do training with people who work at the local level, people will shift their minds. People need the tools, skills and information to show them that life can be different and that they can make difference in their own lives and set new directions for their communities. Peacebuilding has the tools and skills to do that,” said Mr Kairi.
Martha Rurai, from the Malaita Council of Women said the tools presented at the workshop were helpful.
“The tools that I learnt to use at this training will be very helpful in my organisation’s dealing with domestic violence and will help us to move forward.”
“Our main aim is to bring about peace to the rural community and we are focusing on ways to do that. We are learning, ideas and strategies of how to encourage people to come up with peace. This thing is helping me in the planning process so that we will get the results we want. In addition, this workshop has helped me to understand that so that we dig down into the roots because unless we get the roots up, the problem will emerge again later,” said President of the Toabaita Council of Chiefs, David Dauta.
Celement Tavoria of Guadalcanal, who attended such training for the first time was very impressed.
“This is my first time to attend a peacebuilding workshop. I work for a major company that deals with oil and employs many people from different provinces with different cultures and backgrounds so when they come into the company and there can be problems. The training has given me hope ,” he said .
The training was organized by the UNDP Solomon Islands Human Security project in partnership with the Development Sector Exchange (DSE), the Ministry of National Unity Reconciliation and Peace (MNURP) and with technical support from the Strengthening Capacities for Peace and Development (CPAD) project.
Crisis Prevention and Recovery Analyst
UNDP Solomon Islands Sub Office
Conflict Prevention and Recovery Specialist
UNDP Pacific Centre