11 Feb 2020

MSG meeting in Suva targets members' commitment

8:38 pm on 11 February 2020

Officials attending this week's Melanesian Spearhead Group meeting in Suva have been urged to consolidate their countries' commitment to the MSG's work.

Melanesian Spearhead Group meeting chair Barbara Age, left, and MSG Director-General Amena Yauvoli.

Melanesian Spearhead Group meeting char Barbara Age, left, and MSG Photo: Facebook/Fiji Govt

The meeting chair, Barbara Age of Papua New Guinea, told delegates a key feature of the meeting is to review and finalise the work programme for the Melanesian sub-regional grouping.

The MSG's full members - PNG, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia's FLNKS movement - are joined at the meeting by associate member Indonesia and observers including the United Liberation Movement for West Papua.

Questions of various MSG members' commitment to the group have increased in recent years as its secretariat faced funding constraints.

Fiji media outlets have reported that MSG officials are determined for member states to use this week's meeting to reaffirm the spirit of working together as a collective.

According to the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation, Ms Age said that the ever-changing landscape of regional geopolitics required firm commitment and recognition to bond together as a united sub-regional force.

The Fiji Times reports the group was also to discuss the secretariat's budget for the next financial year, behind closed doors.

MSG foreign ministers will be having discussions tomorrow, before the overall meeting concludes on Thursday.

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