Australia part of UN poll monitors in Solomon Islands
- Monday 3 April 2006

Australia will send a 10-member observer delegation to help monitor the Solomon Islands national election to be held on April 5. It will be led by Senator Marise Payne, and will comprise MPs Bob Sercombe and Michael Ferguson, former Queensland Electoral Commissioner, Bob Longland, and six officials from the Departments of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Defence and AusAID.

The election is the first for the Solomon Islanders since the arrival of the Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) in 2003 and the restoration of law and order.

An integral part of the RAMSI mission is an $A1.77 million Civic Education program. Australia is also providing $1.6 million in assistance to the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission to help them conduct a free and fair election.

The Australian observer delegation will join other international observer teams from New Zealand, Japan, the USA, the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. The UN Electoral Assistance Division will coordinate the consolidated international observer effort.

Department of Foreign Affairs:
Website: http://www.dfat.gov.au/
(02) 6277 7500