The outgoing chairman of the Melanesian Spearhead Group says laying the foundation for a Melanesian regional peacekeeping force is among the top achievements of the MSG under his two-year chairmanship.
Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama last night officially handed over the chairmanship to the spokesman for New Caledonia's FLNKS movement, Victor Tutugoro, at the 19th MSG leaders summit in Noumea.
The Commodore says the MSG has done much to be proud of in recent years.
"Notable achievements have been made in the areas of customs cooperation and biosecurity, fisheries and cultural preservation. We have committed to regional cooperation between our law enforcement agencies to tackle transnational crime, a department of peacekeeping operations has been established at the MSG secretariat to help establish a MSG peacekeeping unit."
Frank Bainimarama says there are still many challenges for the MSG to overcome and that the report by an Eminent Persons Group will help map the future direction of the MSG.