Australia-Oceania :: Solomon Islands

Introduction ::Solomon Islands

    The UK established a protectorate over the Solomon Islands in the 1890s. Some of the most bitter fighting of World War II occurred on this archipelago. Self-government was achieved in 1976 and independence two years later. Ethnic violence, government malfeasance, and endemic crime have undermined stability and civil society. In June 2003, then Prime Minister Sir Allan KEMAKEZA sought the assistance of Australia in reestablishing law and order; the following month, an Australian-led multinational force arrived to restore peace and disarm ethnic militias. The Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) has generally been effective in restoring law and order and rebuilding government institutions.

Geography ::Solomon Islands

    Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Papua New Guinea
    8 00 S, 159 00 E
    total: 28,896 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 144
    land: 27,986 sq km
    water: 910 sq km
    slightly smaller than Maryland
    0 km
    5,313 km
    measured from claimed archipelagic baselines
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    continental shelf: 200 nm
    tropical monsoon; few extremes of temperature and weather
    mostly rugged mountains with some low coral atolls
    lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Mount Popomanaseu 2,310 m
    fish, forests, gold, bauxite, phosphates, lead, zinc, nickel
    arable land: 0.62%
    permanent crops: 2.25%
    other: 97.13% (2011)
    44.7 cu km (2011)
    typhoons, but rarely destructive; geologically active region with frequent earthquakes, tremors, and volcanic activity; tsunamis
    volcanism: Tinakula (elev. 851 m) has frequent eruption activity, while an eruption of Savo (elev. 485 m) could affect the capital Honiara on nearby Guadalcanal
    deforestation; soil erosion; many of the surrounding coral reefs are dead or dying
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    strategic location on sea routes between the South Pacific Ocean, the Solomon Sea, and the Coral Sea; on 2 April 2007 an undersea earthquake measuring 8.1 on the Richter scale occurred 345 km WNW of the capital Honiara; the resulting tsunami devastated coastal areas of Western and Choiseul provinces with dozens of deaths and thousands dislocated; the provincial capital of Gizo was especially hard hit

People and Society ::Solomon Islands

Government ::Solomon Islands

    conventional long form: none
    conventional short form: Solomon Islands
    local long form: none
    local short form: Solomon Islands
    former: British Solomon Islands
    parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm
    name: Honiara
    geographic coordinates: 9 26 S, 159 57 E
    time difference: UTC+11 (16 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    9 provinces and 1 capital territory*; Central, Choiseul, Guadalcanal, Honiara*, Isabel, Makira, Malaita, Rennell and Bellona, Temotu, Western
    7 July 1978 (from the UK)
    Independence Day, 7 July (1978)
    7 July 1978
    mixed legal system of English common law and customary law
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    21 years of age; universal
    chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Frank KABUI (since 7 July 2009)
    head of government: Prime Minister Gordon Darcy LILO (since 16 November 2011)
    cabinet: Cabinet consists of 20 members appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister from among the members of parliament
    (For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
    elections: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch on the advice of parliament for up to five years (eligible for a second term); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of a majority coalition usually elected prime minister by parliament; deputy prime minister appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister from among the members of parliament; Gordon Darcy LILO elected on 16 November 2011
    unicameral National Parliament (50 seats; members elected from single-member constituencies by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
    elections: last held on 4 August 2010 (next to be held in 2014)
    election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - SIDP 14, OUR 4, SIPRA 3, RDP 3, IDP 2, DDP 2, PCP 1, PFP 1, RUPP 1, SILP 1, SINP 1, independents 17
    highest court(s): Court of Appeal (consists of the court president, and ex officio members to include the High Court chief justice and its puisne judges); High Court (consists of the chief justice and puisne judges as prescribed by the National Parliament)
    judge selection and term of office: Court of Appeal and High Court president, chief justices, and puisne judges appointed by the governor-general upon recommendation of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission, chaired by the chief justice to include 5 members, mostly judicial officials and legal professionals; all judges appointed until retirement at age 60
    subordinate courts: Magistrates' Courts; local courts; Customary Land Appeal Court
    Direct Development Party or DDP [Dick HA'AMORI]
    Independent Democratic Party or IDP [Snyder RINI]
    People's Alliance Party or PAP [James MEKAB]
    People's Congress Party or PCP [Fred FONO]
    People's Federation Party or PFP [Rudolf DORA]
    Ownership, Unity, and Responsibility Party or OUR [Manasseh SOGAVARE]
    Reform Democratic Party or RDP [Danny PHILIP]
    Rural and Urban Political Party or RUPP [Samuel MANETOALI]
    Solomon Islands Democratic Party or SIDP [Steve ABANA]
    Solomon Islands Liberal Party or SILP [Derek SIKUA]
    Solomon Islands National Party or SINP [Francis HILLY]
    Solomon Islands Party for Rural Advancement or SIPRA [Job D. TAUSINGA]
    United Party [Sir Peter KENILOREA]
    note: in general, Solomon Islands politics is characterized by fluid coalitions
    Isatabu Freedom Movement (IFM)
    Malaita Eagle Force (MEF)
    note: these rival armed ethnic factions crippled the Solomon Islands in a wave of violence from 1999 to 2003
    chief of mission: Ambassador Collin David BECK
    chancery: 800 Second Avenue, Suite 400L, New York, NY 10017
    telephone: [1] (212) 599-6192, 6193
    FAX: [1] (212) 661-8925
    the US does not have an embassy in the Solomon Islands; the US ambassador to Papua New Guinea is accredited to the Solomon Islands
    divided diagonally by a thin yellow stripe from the lower hoist-side corner; the upper triangle (hoist side) is blue with five white five-pointed stars arranged in an X pattern; the lower triangle is green; blue represents the ocean; green the land; and yellow sunshine; the five stars stand for the five main island groups of the Solomon Islands
    name: "God Save Our Solomon Islands"
    lyrics/music: Panapasa BALEKANA and Matila BALEKANA/Panapasa BALEKANA
    note: adopted 1978

Economy ::Solomon Islands

Energy ::Solomon Islands

Communications ::Solomon Islands

Transportation ::Solomon Islands

Military ::Solomon Islands

Transnational Issues ::Solomon Islands

    since 2003, the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands, consisting of police, military, and civilian advisors drawn from 15 countries, has assisted in reestablishing and maintaining civil and political order while reinforcing regional stability and security
    current situation: The Solomon Islands is a source and destination country for local and Southeast Asian men and women subjected to forced labor and forced prostitution; women from China, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines are recruited for legitimate work and upon arrival are forced into prostitution; men from Indonesia and Malaysia recruited to work in the Solomon Islands' mining and logging industries may be subjected to forced labor; local children are forced into prostitution near foreign logging camps, on fishing vessels, and at hotel and other entertainment venues; some local children are also sold by their parents for marriage to foreign workers or put up for "informal adoption" and then find themselves forced into domestic servitude or forced prostitution
    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - The Solomon Islands does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the government has formed an ad hoc Solomon Islands Trafficking-in-Persons Advisory Committee and established an informal victim assistance referral procedure for law enforcement; the government did not pass the necessary implementing regulations for anti-trafficking legislation enacted in 2012, preventing authorities from using the new law to prosecute alleged traffickers; the government continues to rely on civil society or religious organizations to provide limited services to victims; the Solomon Islands is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol (2013)