Tourism Organisation signs MOU with MSG

The South Pacific Tourism Organisation is expected to work with the grouping of Melanesian countries in areas like planning, policy, information sharing, product development and marketing.

The Memorandum of Understanding signed in Port Vila also includes collaboration with airlines on products, capacity building and training.

The tourism body's CEO Chris Cocker has highlighted the great potential for Solomon Islands and PNG in the area of cruise and niche tourism.

He's also pointed to the example of Fiji which has 40 percent of the Pacific's regional market share.

MSG chairman says talks in PNG fruitful

Mr Sogavare, who is also Solomon Islands' prime minister, met with his PNG counterpart Peter O'Neill in the last leg of his consultations with MSG leaders.

It's his second and final such tour since taking up the chairmanship of the sub-regional grouping in 2015.

Regarding West Papua, the Chair confirmed with Mr O'Neill that an application for full MSG membership by the United Liberation Movement of West Papua would be dealt with under revised MSG Membership criteria.

Solomon Island PM in country for MSG talks

According to his press secretary Deli Oso, Sogavare already visited two other MSG capitals of Port Vila, Vanuatu, and Suva, Fiji in January.

He did not travel to Port Moresby because his counterpart, Peter O’Neil was unavailable at the time.

Sogavare also met New Caledonia’s FLNKs representative in his January visit to Port Vila.

And while in Suva, Sogavare witnessed the signing of the new Melanesian Free Trade Agreement by Fiji’s Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama.

MSG secretariat begin study to improve shipping in region

The study will also including feasibility of establishing an intra-MSG shipping service.

The need for the study was endorsed by MSG Leaders at their meeting in New Caledonia in 2013 and is in line with one of the recommendations in the MSG 2038 Prosperity for All Plan.

In a declaration made at the end of their meeting in Port Moresby in November 2014, the MSG Trade Ministers also made a commitment, among other things, to undertake the study by end of 2015. However due to funding difficulty, the study was deferred to later this year.


SI, Vanuatu, FLNKS, ULMWP maintain support on West Papua

They are also in support of full membership of ULMWP to the Melanesian Spearhead Group .

The MSG members said they are committed to advocating for West Papua and strongly adhere to the principles that are at the core of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, which is the ‘Political aspirations of self- determination of our Melanesian people.’

There is recognition that such a commitment will require bold and ethical leadership and a clear understanding of our Melanesian values.

MSG leaders defer West Papua membership decision

According to RNZI, the group's leaders said there was a criteria issue with the West Papuans' application, and the group's secretariat needed to establish guidelines for membership.

They said a decision would now be made when they next meet in September.

MSG chair urges UN intervention in West Papua

Mr Sogavare, who is the prime minister of Solomon Islands, has also declared his country's support for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua's bid to be a full member of the MSG.

Mr Sogavare has just been in Port Vila where he met with his Vanuatu counterpart Charlot Salwai whose proposal to give the Liberation Movement full membership at the MSG is to be discussed at an upcoming MSG leaders summit in Papua New Guinea.

MSG differences sorted, PNG to host MSG Leaders meeting

During their meeting, Prime Minister Sogavare expressed appreciation on behalf of the government and people of Solomon Islands to the Government and people of Vanuatu for backing Solomon Islands bid to host the 2023 Pacific Games.

He said with the support of Vanuatu, the other two MSG Member countries, Partners to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) from the Micronesian region and a few Polynesian countries, Solomon Islands successfully secured the hosting right for the regional games in 2023.

Vanuatu not giving up after controversial MSG appointment

In a statement, the chair of the MSG, Solomon Islands prime minister Manasseh Sogavare, said Mr Yauvoli has been appointed and signed his contract.

Mr Yauvoli replaces Peter Forau who resigned four months ago.

New and stronger MSG trade agreement needed before finalisation of PACER plus: Sogavare

This was revealed by the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands and MSG chairman, Manasseh Sogavare, during a press conference at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva.

PACER Plus is a trade and economic integration agreement that aims to create jobs, raise standards of living and encourage sustainable economic development in the Pacific region.

Sogavare said they needed to discuss the issue at the MSG Leaders' Summit and were hoping to finalise the MSG trade agreement between the MSG countries by May this year.