THE Solomon Islands Government is committed to developing a smooth transition strategy and ensure a well-connected national system to facilitate a transition and preparatory period for Solomon Islands graduation from a Least Developed Country’s status.
Minister of National Planning and Development Coordination (MNPDC), Rexon Ramofafia said: “The government view this as a framework of solution.”
The Minister was speaking during a High-Level Thematic Round Table on the theme ‘Supporting sustainable and irreversible graduation from the least developed country category during the 5th UN Conference on Least Developed Country’s (LDC) which ended in Doha, Qatar last week.
“The development of the smooth transition strategy will be guided by evidence of our current socio economic context that will create a path for our people to thrive and prosper as we convert potential to prosperity.
“It is our global shared vision to ensure the Least Developed Countries fade as a group supported by more transformative partnerships and enhanced UN presence in the marginalized countries,” Hon. Ramofafia said.
The Cabinet has endorsed a three-year extension to the country’s planned LDC graduation in December 2024.
Minister Ramofafia said Solomon Islands is seeking to delay the graduation, and extend the preparatory timeframe to allow the country to properly prepare for a sustainable and irreversible graduation.
“Preparing for smooth transition and sustainable graduation would require supporting the diversification of our productive capacities. This means improving critical enablers such as infrastructure and connectivity, telecommunications, energy, trade arrangements, development financing technological transfer and put in conditions to trigger a digital revolution,” Minister Ramofafia said.
A UN Joint technical mission assessment conducted in January 2023 concluded that Solomon Islands remains above the graduation thresholds even with the negative macroeconomic, socio-economic, socio-political and environmental impacts of the multiple crises directly related to the LDC Graduation criteria indicators.
The country is not ready for graduation in 2024, as it has lost three critical years that were intended for wide and inclusive consultations on graduation and preparing a national Smooth Transition Strategy as well as to embark on initiatives that will enable a sustainable graduation.
These were due to the Covid-19 global Pandemic, the November 2021 civil unrest and by multiple crises and two earthquakes between the years, 2020 -2022. The Solomon Islands Government (SIG) has taken initial steps to prepare a smooth transition strategy in 2019 with support from UNDP but work was disrupted by the aforementioned unforeseeable crises, as well as climate change which remains the single greatest threat to development and security for Solomon Islands.
Therefore, the Cabinet has recommended that it is necessary for Solomon Islands to recalibrate a smooth transition strategy that will be fit for purpose, responds to a changing development context and addresses vulnerabilities and threats that arise from domestic and external shocks.