31 Mar 2011

Bainimarama says Pacific leadership is to come from MSG

4:00 pm on 31 March 2011

Fiji's interim Prime Minister says that the onus is on him and other Melanesian leaders to provide new visionary leadership for the Pacific region.

Commodore Frank Bainimarama made the call during his opening speech today at the 18th Melanesian Spearhead Group leaders summit in Suva.

Johnny Blades reports from Suva.

"Commodore Bainimarama says that since Melanesia has the bulk of the Southern Pacific Islands region's population, trade and natural resources, it therefore has greater responsibility to the rest of its Pacific Island neighbours to provide that leadership. He says his government will direct all assistance possible to ensure greater trade and economic cohesion between the MSG countries, facilitating free movement of goods, services, capital and labour across their borders. He and other leaders present have also signalled their desire for improved collaboration between their law enforcement agencies to tackle transnational crimes."