Solomon Islands: 2003 - 2013

The Regional Assistance Mission (RAMSI) effort in Solomon Islands was preceded by the International Peace Monitoring Team which deployed in late 2000.

RAMSI was in the Solomon Islands at the invitation of the Solomon Islands Government.

The Facilitation of International Assistance Act 2003, passed unanimously by the Solomon Islands Parliament in July 2003, provides authority under Solomon Islands domestic law for RAMSI’s activities.

RAMSI’s mandate was determined by the Pacific Islands Forum.

RAMSI's mission was to work together with the people and government of the Solomon Islands to build a secure, well-governed and prosperous nation.

In 2003, the Solomon Islands Government and the countries of the Pacific Region, through the Pacific Islands Forum, agreed on a mandate for RAMSI to address civil unrest and lawlessness, economic decline, and a dramatic drop in service delivery and government administrative standards. The key elements of the mandate were to:

  • Restore civil order in Honiara and throughout the country
  • Stabilise government finances and fight corruption
  • Promote long-term economic recovery and revive business confidence
  • Rebuild the machinery of government

RAMSI’s military contingent was made up of personnel from Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Tonga. The military presence supports RAMSI by acting as a deterrent to destabilising events and providing support to the Participating Police Force (PPF) and the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF).

New Zealand contributed to RAMSI from its inception in July 2003. New Zealand Army platoons deployed to the Solomons for four month rotations and have worked alongside other South Pacific nations - Australia, Tonga, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.

In 2007, the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting endorsed the findings of a special Forum Taskforce Review of RAMSI, recommending that the forum Ministerial Standing Committee (FMSC) be established to provide oversight and guidance to RAMSI operations, and that the mission’s draw-down over time should not involve a single exit deadline but rather a series of jointly agreed indicative and performance-based timelines.

In February 2008, the inaugural FMSC meeting decided these timelines could be best determined through the development of a Partnership Framework between the Solomon Islands Government and RAMSI.

New Zealand’s contribution, which ended in August 2013, was an infantry platoon made up of both Regular Force and Territorial Force soldiers. Military forces are committed to enhancing the safety and security of all Solomon Islanders, not just the police and other RAMSI personnel.

The military patrols and presence reduced the threat of violence by providing extra security to enable the PPF and the RSIPF to work in a safe and secure environment. This allows the Solomon Islands to continue to develop and prosper.

Patrols are conducted in Honiara in conjunction with the PPF and the RSIPF. The military also assists with provincial patrolling and visit every province of the Solomon Islands, making contact with as many people as possible.

It is important for RAMSI’s military contingent to engage with the local community. All members receive training in cultural awareness and basic Solomon Islands pijin.

“It’s all that good work that we’ve put in which has paid off, and you can see it now. It’s why we’re looking to withdraw. It’s the right decision, and it’s time.” ‒ Senior National Officer, Major Syd Dewes

This page was last amended on 18 March 2015