Premising on the theme “Oceans of Democracy and a Sustainable Indo Pacific”, the 49th General Assembly and 83rd Council of the Asian Pacific Parliamentary Union convene its meeting on the 5th to 7th of August in Taipei, Republic of China (Taiwan).
The Solomon Islands delegate to the meeting, led by the Speaker of the National Parliament includes Hon. Peter Kenilorea (MP East Areare), Hon. Jamie Vokia (MP North Eeast Guadalcanal), Hon. Rollen Seleso (MP South Guadalcanal), Hon. Chachabule Amoi (MP Marovo) and Hon. Levi Filualea (MP North Malaita).
Twelve member countries including an observer State Thailand, have participated and discussed issues and resolutions relating to the management of ocean. When presenting the country’s report to the Assembly, Hon. Patteson John Oti elaborated on the land based activities that posed pressures and threats to the ocean to which small island states like Solomons Islands are succumbed to daily. He emphasizes that without embarking on proper management schemes and a sustainable use of the ocean spatial and marine resources, it would undermine the health and ability of the ocean to sustain our way of life.
In briefing the delegates prior to the trip, the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management & Meteorology and the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources highlighted that of its oceanic territorial boundaries, only two percent is of Solomon Islands is landmass. Hence Solomon Islanders depend heavily on the ocean for social, economic, food and cultural benefits. Thus the ocean crucially has a bearing on the past, now and future development of the country.
Hon. Oti reiterated that Ocean 12 was a timely initiative that the Solomon Islands Government has taken to effectively engage all stakeholders on issues relating to the Ocean and beyond. However the legislature will remain the platform for national debate on issues and passages of legal frameworks that to safe guard Solomon Islands Ocean related interests.
In his closing remarks, Oti appeals for an honorable cooperation within the Asian and Pacific region on the Ocean resolutions and undertaking; and called on manufacturing countries, partied to APPU to take the leading role in advocating for the proper disposal of plastic products.
Signatories to the Joint Communique of the 49th General Assembly and the 83rd Council Meeting of the AAPU were Japan, Kiribati, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Republic of China (Taiwan) and Guam.