PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare yesterday commissioned the country’s new High Commissioner to Australia, Colin David Beck.
The commissioning ceremony held in the Cabinet Chamber was presided over by the Secretary to Cabinet, James Remobatu and Chief of Protocol in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Kereta Sanga in the presence of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Milner Tozaka and Acting Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Joseph Ma’ahanua.
The ceremony was witnessed by the spouses of the Prime Minister and Mr Beck, Member of Parliament for Ranonga-Simbo, Charles Sigoto, senior government officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade and Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Beck children and relatives.
In commissioning the new Solomon Islands High Commissioner to Australia, Mr Sogavare said:
“I am confident that you are eminently fitted both in your personal qualities and experience in the affairs of State for the charge the Government of Solomon Islands has entrusted on you and to which you have now pledged your allegiance.
“As High Commissioner to Australia, your task is first and foremost to represent and promote the interest of the Government of Solomon Islands in the country to which you have been accredited.”
The Prime Minister told Mr Beck that the Government and People of Solomon Islands expect him to provide sound advice and deliberation on all matters during his tenure of office.
He said the matters to be dealt with could be political, economic, social and cultural but they should not be compromised by personal interests or other forms of persuasions.
“Your full commitment is expected. You are the link between Solomon Islands Government and the Government of the country to which you have been accredited.”
The Prime Minister also told Mr Beck that, “In true Solomon Islands tradition, your office and home will be the safe haven for Solomon Islanders in time of need.”
In response, Mr Beck assured the Prime Minister of his continued allegiance to the service of the Solomon Islands Government and people in his new country of accreditation.
“It is a humbling experience and with humility and honour I take on this new assignment entrusted on me as Solomon Islands High Commissioner to Australia.
“I commit myself to break from business approach and with a sense of purpose to do more and pushing boundaries of diplomatic relations to realise the true and full potential of the Solomon Islands- Australia relations.
“I commit myself to work with passion, energy and respect and use all my skills and experience acquired in the last 28 years to live up to the expectation of the office and the charges read out by the Prime Minister.
“I will endeavour to work closely with the (Solomon Islands) Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade to take the evolving, multi- dimensional and strategic partnership between Solomon Islands and Australia to new heights.”
Prior to his new appointment as High Commissioner to Australia, Mr Beck served as Solomon Islands Permanent Representative at the United Nations from November 2003 until October this year.
His other previous overseas posting was at the Solomon Islands Permanent Mission to the European Union where he served as Counsellor from September 1993 to January 1995.
Mr Beck holds a master’s degree in international relations and South-East Asian politics from the University of Queensland, a Foreign Services Certificate from Oxford University and a bachelor’s degree in administration and political science from the University of the South Pacific.
He hails from the Western Province. He and wife Hellen have two children.