6 Mar 2006

Call for MSG countries to set up quick response group

8:34 pm on 6 March 2006

The Professor of Governance at the University of the South Pacific says there needs to be more effective ways of resolving issues between Melanesian Spearhead Group countries.

Graham Hassall was speaking after the United Nations made a request to investigate the ongoing presence of Fiji former soldiers on the Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville.

He says there needs to be quiet diplomacy where a quick response group can act in situations where a crisis arises.

Professor Hassall says this has become evident due to a lack of resolution over the former soldiers' presence.

"It is a tense issue and it's tense because the governments don't yet have an effective method of dialogue on this issue, and it's probably taking up a lot of heir time and resources to try to clarify the situation. And, what we know from previous expisodes is that tense situations can escalate, small matters can become larger."

Professor Graham Hassall of the USP.