BY JOHN HOUANIHAU
IN a major boost to beautify and clean Honiara City and its surroundings before the official opening of this year’s Pacific Games in the Solomon Islands on November 19, 2023, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare on Friday laid out the key strategic action plan to Boost 2023 Safe and Green Games.
Launching the Pacific Games (PG) 2023 Safe and Green Games Strategy Plan, the Prime Minister explained the two key objectives of the strategy for the Games: firstly to provide a safe and secure environment in our host city and support the Government to successfully host the PG 2023 Games and secondly to beautify our Capital City to achieve a long-lasting legacy that lives beyond the Games for the benefit of our future generations.
Sogavare said that the preparation to host a successful PG has two parts.
“1st belongs to the NHA and its constituent bodies and partners, and as you have just heard this part is on track and we will be ready with all the facilities and systems to host the Games before the Games’ day.
“The 2nd part falls on the Government and the people of the host country. It is for this second part that we are all here today to join the launch of Our Safe and Green Game strategy for the 2023 PG.
He said the opening ceremony will be witnessed lives by millions of people in our own country, in the Pacific region, and internationally.
“The opening ceremony will be a moment of pride for our nation when we hoist our national flag together with the flag of the 17th chapter of the Pacific Games and flags of other participating nations to the games.
“The count down to the 2023 Pacific Games has begun,” Sogavare told government officials, local business partners, international donors, and the general public at the official launch of the Pacific Games 2023 Safe and Green Games Strategy held at the Lawson Tama Stadium.
He said the next eight months will be the busiest eight months for the National Hosting Authority (NHA), Government Organizing Committee (GOC), and Games Facilities Committee (GFC), as they work to ensure we are fully ready to deliver the games that we can be proud of as a Nation.
“The NHA and Solomon Islands National Institute of Sports (SINIS) are also supporting our national federations through the national Olympic committee of Solomon Islands (SI) and the National sports council to prepare our athletes to compete at the games.
“The NHA has invested substantial resources to build and strengthen the capacity of the national sports council to manage the games facilities after the 2023 PG.
He said they are expecting to hand over all the facilities for the Games to NHA in August this year.
“Fellow, Solomon islanders, citizen we anticipate all the facilities for the games to be handed over to the NHA by August this year which gives the NHA, the Facilities Committee, and the GOC a couple of months to test all the facilities and ensure they all working to expectation before the actual Games.
“At this juncture let me convene the sincere appreciation of my Government to all our partners that are supporting us in our endeavor to host a successful PG in November this year.
“These partners include the People’s Republic of China, Australia, Indonesia, PNG, Japan, and NZ,” the Solomon Islands Prime Minister said.
He said that from the 12 of November to the 3rd of December this year, we will receive the largest number of overseas visitors to our country.
“We will welcome more than eight thousand people to our shores in these three short weeks. Almost five thousand will be athletes and officials from all participating countries and the rest will be relatives, supporters of the teams, and tourists.
“These eight thousand plus people will broadcast to the world their impressions and perceptions of our country but especially the impression of Honiara as our capital city. Already Honiara is regarded as one of the dirtiest Cities in our region with rubbish and betel nut stains everywhere.
“And I am sure you will agree with me that this is not the image of our country we wish our visitors to take back with them when they depart from our shores after the 2023 PG and thank you City mayor for that commitment.
“Instead ladies and gentlemen we will want each of our visitors to have a pleasant and memorable experience of our country and our capital city from the moment they step off their flight on arrival until the moment they board their flights to take them home.
“My office is working with the Honiara city council and the office of the attorney general to finalize the relevant by-laws needed by the Honiara city council to enforce measures to stop lettering and spitting of betel nut throughout the city area from cars onto the street,” Sogavare added.
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