Solomon Islands
After the conclusion of the Townsville Peace Agreement (TPA) in 2000, a Peace Monitoring Council was established to assist in the implementation of this agreement. In 2002, this was changed into the National Peace Council. The NPC deployed a number of local peace monitors that assisted in local conflict resolution processes. A Ministry for National Unity, Reconciliation and Peace (MNURP) was also established after the TPA, tasked mainly with a reparations program.
However, the TPA was not followed by the necessary assistance in disarmament. This meant that government institutions, which had never been fully developed after independence, were further compromised by corruption and extortion by armed criminals. The compensation payment scheme envisaged in the TPA became severely corrupted and the MNURP lost all credibility.
It was only in 2003 that Australia led the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) into the country, affecting a rapid disarmament process, assisted by the NPC. The MNURP regained some of its credibility and began to reassert its role in the peace process. A lack of cooperation between the NPC and the MNURP was at least partially behind the discontinuation of the NPC's mandate in 2007. Although the MNURP established a successor organization in the Peace and Integrity Council, at the time all attention had turned to the process to establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the PIC remains largely moribund to this day. The TRC was established in 2009 but its work has been delayed and some lack of clarity surrounding its mandate remains. The MNURP has also engaged in a national level reconciliation processes on Malaita and Guadalcanal, and between the two provinces.
Meanwhile, grassroots efforts in reconciliation and peacebuilding have continued by civil society and church organizations since the beginning of the conflict in 1999. AusAID also ran a large-scale Community Peace and Restoration Fund between 2000 and 2006 which attempted to strengthen peacebuilding at the local level through small-scale development projects. Although for many years, state-led and grassroots efforts were proceeding largely parallel to one another, more recently there are signs of more cooperation between grassroots civil society-led peacebuilding and the MNURP's national level reconciliation programs on Malaita and Guadalcanal.
The 2005 national elections had seen the burning down of half of the capital city of Honiara, especially during the tense period of jockeying for the position of prime minister that followed the polls. In 2010, no violence occurred during or after the national elections. UNDP had supported a nationally-led truth and reconciliation process that helped heal wounds from previous rounds of violence and therefore helped reduce tensions. During and after the elections, a small joint UNDP/ DPA monitoring team assisted national negotiations with observation and facilitation.
In conclusion, there are elements of a peace infrastructure in Solomon Islands that are beginning to link together. Given the small scale of the country and the serious weaknesses in extending government authority beyond the few main towns, most of this infrastructure consists of civil society and community networks, led in particular through the churches which play a crucial role in community life in Solomon Islands. Most of this ‘infrastructure' remains informal.