Minister for the Ministry of National Planning and Development Coordination (MNPDC), Hon. Rexon Ramofafia has signed a grant Financing Agreement with the European Union (EU) for the EUR 5.6 million (SBD51.7 million) Strengthening Electoral Cycle in Solomon Islands Phase III project (SECSIP).
The SECSIP phase III project aims to contribute to the democratic development in the Solomon Islands by strengthening the sustainability of electoral processes in the country, building on the work of phase I (2013-2016) and phase II (2017-2020).
Hon. Ramofafia signed the grant Financing Agreement in Honiara on Thursday 10 August, 2023.
Countersigning on behalf of the European Union was the European Commission’s Director for Middle East, Asia and Pacific Directorate-General for International Partnerships, Mr. Peteris Ustubs.
The grant provides budget support to sustainably strengthen the capacities of key electoral institutions to deliver credible elections. More specifically, supporting the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission and the Electoral Office to deliver the next electoral cycle events.
The total EU contribution is EUR 5.5 million. This action is co-financed in joint co-financing by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for an amount EUR 134,163.
It is geared towards supporting longer-term electoral law reforms, assist with the design and delivery of activities to strengthen voters’ understanding of the role of elections within the broader democratic framework, and to support the promotion of political role of women.
When signing the Financing Agreement, Hon. Ramofafia thanked the EU for supporting the electoral reform process. He said this would strengthen the electoral institutions to ensure inclusive, transparent and credible elections.
Besides national general elections, the proposed action will also support provincial and Honiara City Council elections.
The outputs to be delivered by this action are:
- Strengthened institutional and operational capacities of the electoral authorities;
- Strengthened capacity of national authorities and local networks to provide accessible voter information and awareness and to encourage civic engagement;
- Laws and policies in the field of elections developed/revised and better implemented; and
- Enhanced access to political participation and leadership for women around the country.
The Financing Agreement includes 10 special conditions, which will be in effect for 60 months from the date of the signing of the agreement by EU and SIG.
Its overall objective is to foster a functioning pluralistic, participatory and representative democracy in Solomon Islands.