United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, accompanied by Madam Ban Soon-taek, arrived in Honiara from Canberra on Saturday evening, 3 September. En route, his aircraft made a low pass over Gizo and Marovo Lagoon, in the Solomon Islands, so that the Secretary-General could see the effects of deforestation and climate change.
In Honiara that evening, the Secretary-General, accompanied by Madam Ban Soon-taek, attended a dinner hosted by Danny Philip, the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands.
The next morning, the Secretary-General had a breakfast meeting with representatives of development donor countries based in Honiara. The Secretary-General later told reporters they had assured him they would continue development assistance. He said he hoped such assistance would be used with a sense of accountability and transparency, a message he said he took to other leaders on his travels too.
After meeting United Nations staff, the Secretary-General held talks with Prime Minister Philip and members of the Solomon Islands Cabinet. The Secretary-General also met separately with Frank O. Kabui, the Governor General; Allan Kemakeza, the Speaker of Parliament; and Derek Sikua, the Leader of the Opposition.
In those meetings, the discussions focused on the challenges of climate change and sustainable development, including green growth, economic growth linked to the oceans, and education.
The Secretary-General also emphasized the importance he attached to raising the status of women and to ending violence against women. He urged the Government, Opposition and Parliament to follow through on the Prime Minister’s pledge to reserve five seats for women in Parliament.
The Secretary-General and his Solomon Islands interlocutors also discussed the role of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI), the headquarters of which the Secretary-General also visited for a briefing on its mandate, achievements and transition plans. The Secretary-General praised the Mission as a good example of regional cooperation.
Separately, the Secretary-General also received a briefing on climate change adaptation funding from Rence Sore, Permanent Secretary for the Environment of the Solomon Islands.
The Secretary-General, accompanied by Madam Ban, left Honiara on the afternoon of Sunday, 4 September, to fly to Tarawa, Kiribati.