The Government Services Integrated Committee (GSIC) of the Prime Minister’s Office and Cabinet on Friday 11th November 2022 met with the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) to present the Safe and Green Games Strategic Action (SGGSA) Plan, which will support the successful hosting of the 2023 Pacific Games in Honiara.

This gave the opportunity for the Prime Minister’s Office to represent an overview of the SGGSA to get Honiara City clean and green for the Pacific Games ready for international and provincial visitors and to see where private sector can support with some of the activities and actions.

GSIC is currently finalizing the Safe and Green Games Strategic Action (SGGSA) plan, which basically involves beautifying and cleaning Honiara City and its surroundings before the Games.

SICCI, as the peak body representing private sector, requested clarity on the governance of resources and funds raised for activities in this strategy and an assurance that it will go towards what it is intended for.

“SICCI on behalf of our members is expressing our willingness to support provided actions, costs and governance are made clear. We would like to see actions and activities, associated costs, resources, or manpower needed with the proposed timelines provided as a next step,” SICCI said in a statement today (Tuesday 15 November 2022).

SICCI also highlighted the need to ensure health is a key part of the strategy.

“More specifically personal hygiene targeting betel nut and that we all need to take the lead to set an example for the public and importantly our children.

“The Chamber also supports policies that will ban chewing of betel nut by by workers during working hours and in their respective work places; and for the general public a ban of chewing of betel nut in public spaces as this is critical to sending the right message to the public,” the SICCI statement added. The private sector has started taking these measures and will continue to expand the practice amongst businesses.

SICCI suggested legal measures to ban the spitting and possibly chewing betelnut in public places during the games as was the case in Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu and setting a legal age limit on betelnut chewing to reduce betel nut chewing by children and students.

Presenting an overview of the strategic framework, Bernard Bataanisia of the Office of Prime Minister and Cabinet said this was developed purposely to ensure the successful hosting of the Pacific Games 2023 and coordination between Government, and all relevant stakeholders and partners, to achieve a common goal, which is “a safe and beautiful Honiara for the games and beyond”.

It is an initiative of SIG, facilitated by the Government Services Integration Committee (GSIC), OPMC, supported by all Government Ministries and Stakeholders.

“The Safe and Green Games is an initiative led and driven by the Government and supported by the Host City (Honiara City Council), in partnership with all stakeholders-, GOC, the Private Sector, Business Community, Diplomatic Partners, Churches, Schools and Honiara City Residents.

“The success of this exercise calls up the support of all working together with the Government in spirit of Unity and for the common good,” Dr Jimmy said.

The Safe and Green Games initiative will begin in the last quarter of this year 2022 until the hosting of the Games in November/December 2023.

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