Ambassador McKee vows to strengthen SI defense

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The United States of America has pledged to work with the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) and appropriate ministries to strengthen the capacity and capability of the Force.

New Ambassador of the United States to Solomon Islands, PNG and Vanuatu Erin Elizabeth McKee says while presenting her letter of credentials to the Governor General His Excellency Sir David Vunagi at the Government House today.

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“We will work with the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force and appropriate ministries to strengthen the capacity and capability of the police force, and law enforcement generally, to promote a rules-based order in the region, including in the maritime and cyber domains,” she says.

She adds that U.S will focus on increased resilience and disaster risk management and mitigation through improved capacity.

“And, we will also expand our physical presence to institutionalize this partnership.”

Her Excellency says that another priority objective area she hope to executive is to build prosperity in the region by advocating for sustained, mutually advantageous and high-quality commercial investment by American companies and other investors that conforms to best practices for transparency, good governance, rule of law and debt sustainability (vs. servitude). Together, we will work to level the playing field for investors and attract further American companies and American products.

She also vows to promote good governance and transparency at all levels of government and civil society, with a focus on gender equality and empowering women.

“We recognize that societies that empower women to participate fully in civic and economic life are more prosperous and peaceful, and this is the future we want for Solomon Islands.

“By delivering on mutual security, mutual prosperity and good governance, we will strengthen both of our countries – not just for today, but for generations to come,” she adds.

H.E Sir Vunagi says he is honoured honored to receive and accept the Letter of Credence from The President of the United States of America on Ms. McKee’s appointment as the Ambassador of the United States to Solomon Islands.

He says over four decades since the formal establishment of diplomatic relations on the 9th of October 1978, Solomon Islands and the United States relations have flourished, reflecting on increasing engagements, in security, economic sector and people to people interactions.

“Solomon Islands have shared close bond with the United States of America with respect, it is a relationship that is embedded in the history of World War II. 

“The history of World War II that the United States and Solomon Islands share is a history that connects our beautiful isles to the great nation of America. 

“The World War II battle on Guadalcanal, remind us of the atrocities of war, but the same urge us to value the stories of bravery, courage and enduring human spirit.  Many lives were lost in the cause for liberty and freedom – it is the duty of the present generation and those to come to uphold and honour the values in which they stood for,” H.E Sir Vunagi says.

“We have noted the United States steadfast interest and presence in the Pacific region, as it is symbolic to the importance it attaches to regional security.  With the challenges that Pacific Island nations face, it is of great importance that the United States commitment and presence have contributed to the safeguard of the Asia Pacific region.

“On that note, I do acknowledge the Security Partnership and Cooperation with the United States in terms of trainings and capacity building initiatives being provided to Solomon Islands security personnels.

Solomon Islands non-security challenges are most eminent – the threat of climate change, food security, internal instability and non-communicable diseases present a greater threat to the population.  Therefore, addressing these challenges is a priority for us.  As such, we look forward to working with the United States, through genuine partnership and cooperation,” he adds.

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