Second Solomon Islands Government Development Partners Joint Dialogue 2018

November 22, 2018

UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji Country Director Bakhodir Burkhanov during discussions at the DFA-SIFF Launch in Honiara. UNDP/Merinda Valley

Hon. Jeremiah Manele, Minister of Development Planning and Aid Coordination

Hon. Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, senior Government officials

Officers of the legislature

Excellencies – High Commissioners and Ambassadors

Representatives of International and Regional Organizations

Civil society representatives

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:

It is my privilege to be here at this bi-annual Government-Development Partner dialogue and to join the launch of the Development Finance Assessment for the Solomon Islands and the Solomon Islands Integrated Financing Framework.

Through the National Development Strategy, the Solomon Islands set out ambitious plans to improve the social and economic conditions of all Solomon Islanders. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the efforts of the Government in mainstreaming SDGs in the national strategy.

But how do we resource the ambition of the NDS and what would it take to achieve the 2030 Agenda? In the era of SDGs, we know that attaining these objectives will require taking a more coordinated, coherent and efficient approach that recognizes that challenges are inter-connected. We also know that SDGs and national development strategies are everyone’s business, and not only for Governments to finance and implement.

Now more than ever before, development efforts must make the best possible use of all available resources, blend them towards shared outcomes, and harness new partnerships. And this is where the Development Finance Assessment (or DFA) comes in.

The first DFA was conducted in Papua New Guinea in 2014. Since then 20 plus countries around the world went through this exercise with UNDP’s support, including our Pacific neighbours – Fiji, Marshall Islands, Samoa and Timor-Leste.

UNDP is very encouraged that the Solomon Islands Government took full ownership of the analysis emanating from the DFA, and spearheaded the development of the Integrated Financing Framework (or SIFF) which is launched today as well.

This work is a culmination of many months of work, drawing on expertise based here and around the world. Foremost credit goes to the Ministry of Development Planning and Aid Coordination and P.S. Shadrach Fanega, whose ownership throughout the process has made this result possible.

The Solomon Islands DFA is the first attempt to take stock of all the sources of development finance available to the Solomon Islands – public and private, domestic and international – and carefully compare them with what’s needed to achieve the NDS and the 2030 Agenda. It examines the kinds of investments and services that will be needed to realize the agreed goals, and considers the types of financing that can deliver them.

These tools are not just for resource mobilization. They are about creating shared values and building partnerships around common goals and objectives.

The analysis is relevant for anyone with an interest in the sustainable and inclusive development of the Solomon Islands – private sector, development partners, NGOs and civil society, faith-based organizations, or the Solomon Islands Government at all levels.

As you will hear from the presentations shortly, there are some striking findings. Despite the ambition for the private sector to be a driver of sustainable development, current financing flows are dominated by the domestic and international public sector. The outlook for public finance in the Solomon Islands is uncertain, a fact emphasized by substantial cuts to the development budget this year. Funding through sub-national governments is fragmented, and alignment of local development actions with national priorities is often weak.

These are important issues that merit serious attention – and soon. We have only 12 years before 2030.

The Solomon Islands Integrated Financing Framework, which builds on the DFA, is a guide on how to accelerate efforts in addressing some of these key challenges. This will not be an easy task, with progress requiring concerted action, vision and discipline.

For our part, UNDP is grateful for the opportunity to contribute to this important work and stands ready to assist, where possible, in driving some of the medium-term recommendations of the DFA forward.

On behalf of UNDP in the Pacific and our office in Solomon Islands, I would like to once again thank the Government through the Hon. Minister Jeremiah Manele and P.S. Shadrach Fanega for the leadership and support to ensure the assessment was completed.

I understand many of you in this room have contributed to the discussions and analysis in the report. Thank you for your contributions. We look forward to working together to realize the ambition of the national and global goals, and to jointly making a difference in the lives of Solomon Islanders across the country.

Tagio tumas.