Solomon Islands PM vows to deliver Pacific Games

Athletes pose with their delegations' respective flags during the Opening Ceremony for the 14th Pacific Games, on August 27, 2011, in the French South Pacific city of Noumea, in New-Caledonia. AFP. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

HONIARA, Jul 24, 2020, RNZ. Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare says the country remains on course to host a successful Pacific Games in 2023. Honiara hosted the inaugural Pacific Mini Games in 1981 but has never previously hosted the regions largest sporting competition, Radio New Zealand reported.

The Prime Minister officially opened the 2023 Pacific Games office in Honiara on Wednesday, which will host the National Hosting Authority and its partners – the Games Organising Committee, the Facilities Committee, the National Sports Council and the Cabinet Subcommittee for the 2023 Pacific Games.

Manasseh Sogavare said that compared to previous Pacific Games, preparations in Solomon Islands were ahead of schedule three years out from the start of competition.

However, the Prime Minister insisted the country must not be complacent.

“I do realise and accept that the biggest challenge is my government’s ability to live up to its financial commitment to fund the Games,” he said.

Sogavare said the 2023 Pacific Games is the government’s flagship project.

“As the Minister responsible for delivering the successful 2023 Pacific Games and as the Prime Minister that has fought hard to bring the Games to our country, I am committed to secure and allocate the funds agreed to by the government in a timely manner to ensure the NHA can deliver the games on time.”

The Prime Minister also thanked Solomon Islands’ development partners for supporting the project, including the governments of China, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, New Zealand, Japan, and the United Kingdom.

He said the government remained committed to staging the Pacific Games, despite the ongoing impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“My government will look at our financing capacity within the constraint posed by the Covid-19 pandemic on our economy to ensure our commitment to the region and to the Pacific Games Council is steadfast and firm,” he said.

“We fought hard to be given the honour to host the Games. We will NOT let go of the Games.”

The Prime Minister said the National Hosting Authority had been in regular consultation with the Pacific Games Council and both parties remained confident the Games would get underway as planned on 14 July 2023.

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