The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade is the government organ responsible for conducting the diplomacy and international relations of the Solomon Islands. Regional co-operation is a key element of the country’s foreign policy, demonstrated by membership in several regional organisations such as the Pacific Islands Forum and the Melanesian Spearhead Group. The Solomon Islands also maintains diplomatic missions in several other countries around the world.
A small number of countries maintain permanent diplomatic missions in the Solomon Islands. All are based in the capital, Honiara, on the island of Guadalcanal. Several nations, including the United States, Canada and France, use their diplomatic mission based in nearby countries to conduct relations with the Solomon Islands. Diplomatic missions in the Solomon Islands carry out a range of activities that include providing consular assistance, visas and travel advice and the co-ordination of bilateral relations. An example is the High Commission of Australia which, through its bilateral aid programme, aims to support development efforts in the Solomon Islands and strengthen the relationship between the two countries.
The Solomon Islands maintains diplomatic relations with many countries – the majority of these are through the form of representative consulates in nearby countries such as Australia. However, the country does maintain some five permanent missions abroad. Some of these act as channels for relations with multiple countries, such as the Solomon Islands Mission to the United Nations in New York which maintains relations with both the USA and Canada. As well as serving as intermediaries for bilateral diplomacy, the county’s foreign missions also provide various consular services and promote the interests of the Solomon Islands abroad.