Prime Minister, Hon Manasseh Sogavare, MP, has officially launched the Solomon Islands Government Virtual Engagement Policy.
In his National Address this afternoon, (17 December 2021), Hon Prime Minister stated that the Solomon Islands Government Virtual Engagement Policy (VEP), involves a two-pronged strategy.
Strategy 1 deals with VEP Mechanism to ensure Public Servants can access and attend to international virtual meetings and engagements, and Strategy 2, deals with the coordination mechanism of all national virtual meetings and engagements to strategically align national goals and objectives to our international and national engagements and commitments.
Solomon Islands Cabinet in November 2021 approved the Solomon Islands Government Virtual Engagement Policy.
With the closure of international borders and travel restrictions imposed by Foreign Governments, many countries and Organizations, including Solomon Islands, are now resorting to the virtual platform in conducting their meetings and conferences (bilateral & multilateral)”, says Prime Minister.
This means, officials can remain at home and participate in meetings and conferences virtually and on line with other participants locally and overseas.
This policy will also enable our Government officials to hold virtual meetings with Leaders, officials and other stakeholders in the Provinces.
Launching the policy, the Honourable Prime Minister stated its objectives as follows;
- Ensure Solomon Islands remain engaged with its bilateral and multilateral partners during the COVID-19 pandemic,
- Ensure Mechanisms and arrangements are in place for conduct of bilateral and multilateral meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic,
- Ensure mechanisms are in place for conduct of virtual meetings locally and in the provinces,
- Ensure meeting outcomes are conveyed to the Government for appropriate action and follow up, and
- Contribute to elevate national concerns and pressing agendas in respective of regional and international platforms.
“For Solomon Islands, having mechanisms in place and formalizing our Virtue Engagement policy, will ensure SIG continue its regional and international engagements and commitments, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic, and after,” says Prime Minister Sogavare.
Solomon Islands will also be the first country in the Pacific to have such a Policy in place.
In implementing the policy, Ministries, Provinces and Government Agencies are to budget for necessary equipment and facilities for Virtual Engagement in their respective offices.
The Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet/Task Force will later conduct awareness and implementation process of the Virtual Engagement Policy to all Government Ministries, Provinces and Government Agencies.