RAMSI Special Co-ordinator
The Combined military task force co-ordinates with RAMSI’s Office of the Special Co-ordinator, headed by an Australian official from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The first Special Co-ordinator was Nick Warner, Australia’s former Ambassador for Counter-terrorism; followed by DFAT officer and former High Commissioner James Batley, Tim George and currently Graeme Wilson.
RAMSI Special Co-ordinator
- Nick Warner July 2003 – August 2004
- James Batley August 2004 – November 2006
- Tim George November 2006 – December 2008
- Graeme Wilson January 2009 –
Office of the Special Co-ordinator, RAMSI website
“The Office of the Special Coordinator is the central office responsible for the overall coordination of RAMSI’s work, liaising with and overseeing the work of all civilian, police and military components of RAMSI. It is also responsible for liaison and consultation with the Solomon Islands Government and with other parts of Solomon Islands society.”
Special Coordinator To Solomon Islands, Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Downer, Media Release FA91, 22 July 2003
“Australian diplomat Nick Warner will leave for Honiara on 24 July 2003 to take up his appointment as Special Coordinator to Solomon Islands. As Special Coordinator, Mr Warner will be responsible on behalf of the Pacific Island Forum, for overseeing the implementation of the strengthened assistance program to Solomon Islands. This is a unique and complex initiative involving contributions from a number of South Pacific Governments and the deployment of police, military and civilian personnel. Experts from Pacific Islands nations will also be attached to advisory positions in key Government ministries…. Prior to taking up the appointment of Special Coordinator, Mr Warner was Australia’s Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism.”
Nick Warner, RAMSI Special Coordinator, 2003-04, Australian War Memorial (AWM) photograph
“Australian diplomat Nick Warner, of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Special Coordinator of the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI), at a public information meeting in the village of Rame’ai. He is wearing a flower garland presented by local children. Mr Warner, a former High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, headed RAMSI’s multi-national policing and military intervention, Operation Helpem Fren.”
Special Coordinator to Solomon Islands, Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Downer, Media Release FA103, 5 July 2004
“I have today announced the appointment of James Batley as the Special Coordinator of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI). Mr Batley will replace Nick Warner who has served as Special Coordinator since RAMSI’s inception in July 2003. Mr Batley is expected to take up his appointment in August. As Special Coordinator, Mr Batley will be responsible for overseeing the implementation of RAMSI’s program of assistance. This unique operation involves numerous Australian Government agencies as well as civilians, military and police from a number of Pacific Islands Forum countries.”
Special Coordinator to Solomon Islands, Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Downer, Media Release, 19 October 2006.
“I have today announced the appointment of Tim George as the Special Coordinator of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI). Mr George will replace James Batley who has served as Special Coordinator since August 2004. Mr George is expected to take up his appointment in November. The Australian Government has consulted the Solomon Islands Government and our regional partners in RAMSI on Mr George’s appointment. As Special Coordinator, Mr George will be responsible for the overall coordination and strategic direction of RAMSI’s program of assistance in Solomon Islands. Now in its fourth year, this unique operation involves police, military and civilian personnel from 15 countries in the Pacific region, working in partnership with the Solomon Islands Government and people.”
Special Coordinator to Solomon Islands, Foreign Minister Stephen Smith, media release, 21 October 2008
“Mr Graeme Wilson has been appointed as Special Coordinator of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI). He will replace Mr Tim George who has served as Special Coordinator since November 2006. Mr Wilson is expected to take up his appointment in January 2009..As Special Coordinator, Mr Wilson will be responsible for the overall coordination and strategic direction of RAMSI’s assistance to Solomon Islands.”
Appointment of new RAMSI Special Coordinator Welcomed , Joint Media Release, Pacific Islands Forum, Solomon Islands Government and RAMSI Office of the Special Coordinator, 28 October 2008
“The Foreign Minister of Solomon Islands, the Hon William Ni’i Haomae, and Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum, the Hon Tuiloma Neroni Slade, and RAMSI Special Coordinator, Mr Timothy George, today welcomed the appointment of Mr Graeme Wilson as the next Special Coordinator of RAMSI. Nominated by the Australian Government, Mr Wilson’s appointment was confirmed following consultation with the Solomon Islands Government (SIG) and the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF). Mr Wilson is expected to take up his position in January 2009, when he will replace Tim George….Mr Wilson already had strong experience in the Pacific region, particularly in his most recent role of Head of the Pacific Islands Branch in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Australia.”
Intergovernmental co-ordination during RAMSI, Submission, DFAT, Senate inquiry into Australia’s involvement in Peacekeeping Operations, 2007
“Australia adopted an integrated, whole-of-government approach to its involvement in RAMSI, including careful planning and clear articulation of goals, with strong leadership and delegation of responsibilities among lead agencies. AFP, Defence, DFAT and AusAID, working closely with the intelligence agencies, had a very good understanding of the problems in the Solomon Islands. At an early stage, Finance and Treasury were incorporated into the planning of a long-term intervention that would address the specific financial challenges facing the Solomon Islands Government, as well as the associated costs for the Australian Government. The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Attorney-General’s Department provided high-level political and legal support respectively.
“A strong in-country coordination mechanism, the Office of the Special Coordinator, was created at an early stage, with the position and powers of the Special Coordinator ratified by the Prime Minister. The mission head – a senior DFAT official, the Special Coordinator – has a comprehensive, overall leadership and coordination role. The Special Coordinator has responsibility for all aspects of the mission, including providing strategic direction on policing, military and development aspects of assistance. This role is supported by a Deputy Special Coordinator (a senior official from NZ), an Assistant Special Coordinator (a senior official from Fiji) and three other principals (the Development Co-coordinator, Commander Participating Police Force and Commander Combined Task Force).
“In Canberra, Australian Government agencies meet regularly, and consult frequently on RAMSI issues. The NZ High Commission is also represented at interdepartmental meetings. It is important not to underestimate the intensity and complexity of managing such a whole-of-government process of planning and implementation, and the need to devote sufficient resources to the coordination task.”