Archbishop David Vunagi, who chaired the Round Table, said: “This was a first for the Church, as there has never been a meeting before of so many of our partners together with the Bishops and many representatives of other parts of the Church at one time, and we hope to repeat this in about two years when it will be a good moment to review developments.”
Priorities and communication were the key words throughout the conference.
At the conference, Abraham Hauriasi, General Secretary of ACoM, first reviewed the Church’s priorities for development over the next three years, which were based on its latest Strategic Plan.
Detailed situations were then presented and discussed by the group in the context of each of the priorities, leading to a series of agreed actions and next steps.
Many of the agencies and NGOs said that ACoM was seen as a natural development partner in both Solomons and Vanuatu, because of the strength of its position in society in the two nations.
There was a major emphasis on leadership training, capacity building and project management skills during the conference.
Overseas participants came from Australia, New Zealand, UK and USA. Honiara-based participants included delegates from OXFAM, World Vision, Save the Children and SIDT, as well as the UNDP Global Environment Fund’s small business financing unit.
Melanesian Mission UK had assisted ACoM in making the arrangements for the Round Table
The British High Commissioner, Dominic Meiklejohn, was one of the Keynote speakers at the conference, and also hosted a Reception at his residence for all the delegates and other invited guests at the end of the second day.
His Excellency the Governor General was present at the Reception.
The Round Table had been planned before the tragic events here in April. All those present agreed that these events underlined the importance of good cooperation between all parties including the church as being vital to the effective delivery of relief and development services then and in the future.