Melanesian Spearhead Group

MSG Trade and Economic Meetings in Fiji

The meetings are being held at the Tanoa International Hotel, Nadi, Fiji. 

Senior officials and representatives from Fiji, PNG, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu will be in attendance as part of talks towards a new and more comprehensive trade agreement - MSGTA3 – that will now include Trade in Services, and new chapters such as Labour Mobility, Investment, and Telecommunications. 

MSG Leaders have directed that a draft legal text of the trade agreement must be ready by November 2015.

The meetings include: 

'MSG denied us' - ULWMP

This was revealed at the closing of the MSG 20th summit at the Heritage Park Conference Centre during a press conference with the West Papuan delegation.

Secretary General to ULMWP Octovianus Mote said, at the MSG summit in Noumea (Kanaky) in 2013, MSG recognised West Papua for self-determination, and at the special MSG leaders meeting in Port Moresby in 2014, a criteria was set requiring West Papuans be united before they could be considered for MSG membership.

Germany helps MSG cope with climate change

Team leader of GIZ, the German International Cooperation Agency based in Suva, Fiji, Dr. Wulf Killman (pictured) told the MSG meeting in Honiara, Solomon Islands on 26th June that under the EU GIZ ACSE program the four Melanesian countries have been awarded €1m each for projects on climate change adaptation and sustainable energy.

GIZ is a fully German Government–owned technical cooperation agency. With about 20,000 staff it is assisting many countries worldwide, among them the 14 independent Pacific Island Countries, on sustainable development issues.

Melanesia urged to embrace change

In a statement to MSG Leaders in Honiara, Solomon Islands, Assistant Vice-Chancellor, Maori and Pasifika, Massey University in New Zealand Dr Selwyn Katene congratulated the leaders on the positive outcomes of their recent summit including admitting Indonesia as an associate member of MSG and ULMWP as an observer.

“This is indeed a watershed period for the MSG,’’ he said.

United Liberation Movement for West Papua still determined for self determination

The organisation’s General Secretary, Octo Mote says, there’s still a lot be done.

Being granted Observer status, adds a new chapter for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua.

A movement that champions self-determination.

Last week’s ruling by the MSG has boosted the confidence of the Movement.

MSG leaders must respond to issues - O’Neill

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

Indonesia is into the MSG, says PNG

In a break from tradition where announcement of the MSG Leaders decision is supposed to be made by its chair, host of the summit, Prime Minister Mannaseh Sogavare of Solomon Islands, O’Neill’s office announced that Indonesia is an associate member of the MSG and that the United Liberation Movement of West Papua has been granted observer status.
“Today is very a important day for peace and goodwill for our brothers and sisters living in Indonesia’s Melanesian provinces,” said O’Neill’s press announcement.

PM likens West Papuans to Kanaks movement

However, he said what the MSG leaders will be focusing on is to try and find the right organisation that is going to represent them at MSG.

He said in order for that to happen, West Papua leaders must be elected, mandated and properly appointed to participate in the MSG.

“We cannot expect anybody coming up from the streets and telling us that we represent these groups of people,” he said  

However, O’Neill emphasised that “we have to do it properly and that is in an orderly manner that we want to allow our brothers and sisters in West Papua to participate.

We back MSG Peace-Keeping: Fijian PM Bainimarama

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama confirmed this to the Fiji Sun. He suggested Black Rock in Nadi as the best place to train the proposed peacekeeping force.
Bainimarama said this had been a topic discussed by the MSG Police Commissioners. The MSG Police Commissioners met in Honiara last month.
The Prime Minister said if this issue was brought up at the meeting in Honiara this week, Fiji would support it.

West Papuans would take MSG observer status

The secretary general of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, Octo Mote, says membership is needed to highlight the human rights abuses in the Indonesian region.

The leaders of the MSG, representing Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Kanaks of New Caledonia, meet this week in Honiara.

At least two of the countries are pushing for the ULMWP to get observer status.

Mr Mote says the decision is for the leaders to make.