20 Jun 2013

Somare cites APEC as model for Papua's role within MSG

6:13 pm on 20 June 2013

A former Papua New Guinea prime minister, Sir Michael Somare, says granting West Papuan membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group must be done on the basis that it is a Melanesian community and not because it is a sovereign independent state.

Sir Michael made the comment in New Caledonia where the MSG passed the leadership to the FLNKS Movement.

Sir Michael says a not too dissimilar arrangement can be found in the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation where Taiwan and Hong Kong, regarded by many as part of China, participate in development with independent sovereign states.

He says if West Papua eventually becomes a member of the MSG, it will serve as the venue for both Indonesia and West Papua to dialogue and regularly brief MSG countries on developments in West Papua.