20 Aug 2012

MSG pleased with Noumea Accord progress in New Caledonia

3:06 pm on 20 August 2012

The Melanesian Spearhead Group says it is pleased with New Caledonia's progress in implementing the Noumea Accord on greater autonomy

An MSG ministerial delegation toured the French territory last week and it will present its findings to a special leaders summit in Nadi tomorrow.

In a statement, it says there needs to be more awareness about the process leading up to New Caledonia's 2014-2018 referendum, including the referendum itself, as well as agreement to clear guidelines for this process.

It also says the role of the UN Committee of 24 is not clearly understood in some parts of New Caledonia and established institutions.

The mission, which was delayed by several weeks, was led by Fiji's foreign minister, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, instead of the MSG chair, Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

Several politicians in Noumea were opposed to the Fiji regime leader's planned tour, saying there was no call to host the region's only dictator.