What role for Canadians?In July 2003, Solomon Islanders watched as close to 2,500 troops, members of an international police and military force, spilled from planes and ships into their capital city of Honiara. The intervention, entitled Operation Helpem Fren, led by Australia and supported by New Zealand New Zealand (zē`lənd), island country (2005 est. pop. 4,035,000), 104,454 sq mi (270,534 sq km), in the S Pacific Ocean, over 1,000 mi (1,600 km) SE of Australia. The capital is Wellington; the largest city and leading port is Auckland. and several Pacific nations, represented the first phase in what many believe will be a decade-long intervention to address the breakdown of democratic institutions and the crisis of development that has unfolded in the Solomon Islands Solomon Islands, independent Commonwealth nation (2005 est. pop. 538,000), c.15,500 sq mi (40,150 sq km), SW Pacific, E of New Guinea. The islands that constitute the nation of the Solomon Islands—Guadalcanal, Malaita, New Georgia, the Santa Cruz Islands, over many years.
For many Solomon Islanders, the intervention has provided a welcome respite from years of internecine in·ter·nec·ine
1. Of or relating to struggle within a nation, organization, or group.
2. Mutually destructive; ruinous or fatal to both sides.
3. Characterized by bloodshed or carnage. violence that has threatened their security and undermined economic gains made over the past 20 years. But for others, the military action is akin to re-colonization, to the roots, some say, of the poverty and conflict themselves. From whatever vantage point one takes, however, the vista is unforgivingly clear: Solomon Islanders are becomingly steadily poorer and prospects for future development appear nowhere in sight.
Ranking 123 out of 175 on the U.N.'s Human Development Index, and with a GDP GDP (guanosine diphosphate): see guanine. growth rate of negative 10 per cent annually, the Solomon Islands is among the poorest nations of the world. Its population of just under half a million people live primarily in rural areas, speak collectively more than 120 indigenous languages and dialects, and are scattered over about 350 of the nation's 992 islands. Almost half the population is under the age of 15, and youth alienation and disaffection are among the most urgent challenges confronting the nation today. While the Solomons is rich in several natural resources, including timber, gold, lead and bauxite bauxite (bôk`sīt, bŏk`–), mixture of hydrated aluminum oxides usually containing oxides of iron and silicon in varying quantities. , many of these resources remain untapped, and indeed efforts to exploit them have led to protracted pro·tract
tr.v. pro·tract·ed, pro·tract·ing, pro·tracts
1. To draw out or lengthen in time; prolong: disputants who needlessly protracted the negotiations.
2. ethnic violence and environmental devastation. Many argue that the source of today's problems lies in the Islands' entangled en·tan·gle
tr.v. en·tan·gled, en·tan·gling, en·tan·gles
1. To twist together or entwine into a confusing mass; snarl.
2. To complicate; confuse.
3. To involve in or as if in a tangle. history of tribal conflict, colonial rule, embrace of modernism and development itself.
Indeed, few would disagree that this history is complex. Religious divisions superimposed su·per·im·pose
tr.v. su·per·im·posed, su·per·im·pos·ing, su·per·im·pos·es
1. To lay or place (something) on or over something else.
2. by rival missionary groups exacerbated long-standing ethnic divisions that the archipelago's geography only seemed to heighten. These tensions deepened further under the colonial administration that encouraged migration across traditional tribal boundaries, and tended to favour one tribal group over another. At the same time, efforts to thrust the Solomon Islands into the vast global economy--through the development of export commodities such as tuna and copra--pit this tiny island nation against a sea of savvy giants. Exposing the economy to the fierce competition and erratic forces of the global market place has only served to increase the country's economic vulnerability.
Moreover, the clash of ancient and modern traditions in both the political and economic realm, has also determined the course and speed of the nation's development. The long-standing Big-man patron-client wealth distribution system was clearly at odds with modern market principles being introduced. And centuries-old social and political traditions challenged the practices upon which the success of new democratic institutions was predicated. To make matters worse, the colonial administration invested little to train and develop the cadre of bureaucrats necessary to ensure the efficacy of the modern governance system. Corruption flourished, the economy stagnated, struggles over land access and title were ubiquitous. And when independence from Britain came suddenly in July 1978, Solomon Islanders found themselves ill prepared and equipped. In the end, as former Prime Minister Solomon Mamaloni Solomon Mamaloni (1943 - January 11, 2000) was the prime minister of the Solomon Islands three times:
The past five years have been particularly challenging as armed militants have opposed or protected entrenched en·trench also in·trench
v. en·trenched, en·trench·ing, en·trench·es
1. To provide with a trench, especially for the purpose of fortifying or defending.
2. political and economic interests. When the current prime minister finally sought Australia's military assistance, there was little semblance of law and order, at least on the main island of Guadalcanal. More than 200 people had been killed during the conflict, though no official count has been conducted, and corruption in government has bankrupted the national treasury.
Today, the international troops continue to keep the peace, having decommissioned what was essentially a corrupt and ineffective police force, implemented what appears to be an effective plan for disarmament, and created an interim governing body Noun 1. governing body - the persons (or committees or departments etc.) who make up a body for the purpose of administering something; "he claims that the present administration is corrupt"; "the governance of an association is responsible to its members"; "he that is trying to stabilize the budget and implement economic reforms. But what does the future hold for the majority of Solomon Islanders?
After extensive community-based consultations, the Solomon Islands Christian Association The Solomon Islands Christian Association (SICA) is an ecumenical Christian non-governmental organization in the Solomon Islands. The association comprises the five largest Christian churches in the country, the Anglican Church of Melanesia, the Roman Catholic Church, the South , a newly formed and increasingly influential coalition of civil society organizations, is seeking parliamentary approval for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, modeled after those created in South Africa South Africa, Afrikaans Suid-Afrika, officially Republic of South Africa, republic (2005 est. pop. 44,344,000), 471,442 sq mi (1,221,037 sq km), S Africa. and East Timor East Timor (tē`môr) or Timor-Leste (–lĕsht), Tetum Timor Lorosae, republic, officially Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (2002 est. pop. , to deal with the immediate racially divisive and traumatic impacts of the conflict, and to seek ways to rebuild trust within and between communities. Other smaller, but significant efforts are being made by local women's groups, youth associations, churches and community-based organizations to rebuild schools, markets, and the bonds of community life. Aid, which continues to arrive from Australia, New Zealand, and other Pacific nations, is focused on enhancing the judiciary, strengthening the educational and health sectors and rebuilding the foundations of the nation's democratic institutions.
What role should Canada play in this challenging new era? PPP (Point-to-Point Protocol) The most popular method for transporting IP packets over a serial link between the user and the ISP. Developed in 1994 by the IETF and superseding the SLIP protocol, PPP establishes the session between the user's computer and the ISP using and our Canadian partners believe that small, strategically allocated contributions of technical, financial, and institutional support--support focused on our strengths in peace-building, conflict resolution and post-conflict reconstruction--can have a significant and meaningful impact on long-term development prospects in the Solomon Islands.
Over the next year, Pacific Peoples' Partnership, along with the Anglican and United Churches of Canada, will be working with groups in the Solomon Islands to develop a uniquely collaborative programme focused on rebuilding local organizations and their capacity to reunite re·u·nite
tr. & intr.v. re·u·nit·ed, re·u·nit·ing, re·u·nites
To bring or come together again.
[-niting, -nited communities and build a national consensus towards a new development vision for the nation.
(As this issue goes to press, PPP's executive director is meeting with a host of community organizations and leaders in the Solomon Islands, implementing the first phase of a new long-term programme of development, solidarity and support between Canadian organizations and counterparts in the Solomons.)