Senior officials from the Solomon Islands and New Zealand government had a fruitful High-Level Consultation (HLC) in Wellington on Thursday 22 June 2023.
The HLC was Co-Chaired by Dr Jimmie Rodgers, Secretary to the Prime Minister on behalf of Solomon Islands, and Bernadette Cavanagh, Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, on behalf of New Zealand.
During the HLC, senior governments officials engaged in constructive dialogue on a wide range of topics, including development cooperation, environment, climate change and disaster resilience, fisheries, aviation, education, tourism, geothermal energy, and reciprocal visa arrangements.
The HLC also covered discussions on economic resilience, trade and labour mobility, policing and security cooperation and regional and multilateral engagements.
Both countries underscored the importance of building strong partnerships to address common challenges and agreed mechanisms to seize opportunities for growth, progress and development in Solomon Islands.
It was the first face to face HLC between senior officials of both countries since 2019 following the impact of Covid-19.
Both countries agreed to review the Joint Commitment for Development, highlighting mutual priority areas targeting the various sectors of development cooperation.
Though the issue has been raised at the political level, Solomon Islands raise the issue of visa waiver arrangement for Solomon Islands passport holders during the HLC.
Following the HLC, officials of both countries work on agreed outcomes highlighting targeted action points for the next 12 months before the next HLC.
The Solomon Islands delegation expressed their gratitude to the New Zealand Government for hosting this year’s HLC in Wellington and reaffirm its commitment to work together and strengthen its partnership and bilateral cooperation with New Zealand.
–MFAET PRESS RELEASE