MSG leaders must respond to issues - O’Neill

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says leaders of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) need to be responsive to issues that are brought up by community leaders.

He said this after the MSG group granted Indonesia application to be an Associate member and gave the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) Observer Status.

“As a Melanesian Group, it is important that we hear what our communities are demanding,” O’Neill told leaders at the closing of the MSG meeting.

He says the decision to include Indonesia and ULMWP is one that is very historic.

“As everyone else in the region, we want the same things. We want peace, we want security and we want better standards of living for our families.” Says O’Neill

He says it is important as leaders in the region they must continue to work together in achieving goals that our people expect of them.

In 2011 Indonesia was granted observer status at the MSG and in 2013 the West Papua National Council for Liberation (WPNCL) applied for membership of the group but a decision was never made.

Now at the MSG the ULMWP will represent the welfare of Melanesian people living outside of Indonesia while the Indonesia is to be represented by elected leaders of its Melanesian provinces.