OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL COORDINATOR
REGIONAL ASSISTANCE MISSION TO SOLOMON ISLANDS
MEDIA RELEASE Thursday 19th October 2006
New Special Coordinator
RAMSI Special Coordinator James Batley announced today that he would be departing Solomon Islands in early November. He would be succeeded as Special Coordinator by senior Australian diplomat Mr Tim George.
Mr Batley took over as Special Coordinator from Nick Warner in August 2004. He previously served as Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands from 1997 to 1999.
Mr Batley said he felt privileged to have served as the head of such a significant regional undertaking as RAMSI, and took pride in RAMSI's contribution over the past two years. “I am convinced that RAMSI has a lot more to offer Solomon Islands, and in this respect I am sure that Tim George will serve with distinction as Special Coordinator,” Mr Batley said.
Until recently Mr George was Australia’s Ambassador to Israel, and prior to that he served as Australia’s Ambassador to Spain. He previously served in a senior diplomatic capacity in Fiji and in New Zealand.
Mr Batley noted that, in accordance with the international agreement signed in 2003 which established RAMSI, the Government of Australia was responsible for nominating the leader of RAMSI, in consultation with the Government of Solomon Islands. Mr Batley noted that the Government of Solomon Islands had formally provided its concurrence to Mr George’s appointment as the next Special Coordinator.