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By Martin A
29th August 2023

We look forward to the official opening of the new Terminal Building for Tari Airport in beautiful Hela Province today.

Nestled amidst the stunning landscape of Hela, this airport marks a significant milestone in enhancing connectivity and accessibility for this remarkable region.

The breathtaking beauty of Tari now stands even closer, with Tari Airport poised to serve as a gateway to this natural wonderland.

We also extend our sincere appreciation to the local communities, government authorities, contractor and all other stakeholders who supported in making Tari Airport a reality.

 Our appreciation to the National Goverment, Hela Provincial Administration and the Asian Development Bank.

#TariAirport #ConnectingPNG #CADIP #NACAviation

MSG 22 - The Chapter Untold, Indonesian Deligation 'Panic Button', 2023 Official Communiques

The defining moment for ULMWP diplomacy in the region arrived, and Indonesia scrambled to validate itself amidst changing vocabulary on decolonization.

On Wednesday 23 August, 2023, the  22nd MSG Leaders Summit began its deliberations in Port Vila, Vanuatu. ULMWP, the umbrella organisation that unites three main pro - independence movement in West Papua was represented by its Chairman Benny Wenda. He was added during the meeting by other members of the ULMWP executive.

He took the podium. And, instantly the Indonesian delegation walked out, the defining moment of the ' Look East Dollar Diplomacy' captured live, and it  soon became viral on social media.

The protest against ULMWP and its agenda tells the story of failed decolonization of West Papua. It troubled Indonesia that all its efforts to stop the rise of ULMWP had been dimmed by the time MSG Leaders Summit 22 convened on Port Vila, Vanuatu.

West Papua Christian churches leader Rev Dr Socrates Nyoman analysed the drama.

 ' ULMWP Chairman Benny Wenda and all ULMWP officials, and also all the people  of West Papua are always united, standing firm, strong, steadfast and working hard in supporting the struggle for their right to self-determination.'

His article published on August 22, 2023,on his FB wall entitled, 


According to him there were 4 possibilities that would happen on August 23, 2023 as the MSG Leaders Summit reached a decision on West Papua.

(1) ULMWP was accepted as a full member of the MSG on 24 August 2023.

 (2) Or the ULMWP is maintained and supported as an Observer in MSG but status escalated to Associate member or another category within the regional sub - regional political grouping.

(3) Indonesia as MSG Associate member of MSG will be compelled to allow the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit West Papua. 

4) If Indonesia does not allow the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to enter West Papua as resolved by PIF in 2019, then in the next 4 years ULMWP will in a position to legitimate its script on the roadmap to freedom through the momentum created in regional politics to  become a full member of the MSG.


MSG is a sub-regional political grouping of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF). The international best practice provides  that in the first instance 2019 PIF Communique must be implemented by the Government of Indonesia. 

There were 16 points that formed the MSG Leaders Summit 22 communique as it closed on 24 August, 2023.

 Point 12 of  the 16 points of the statement stated:

 "The 22nd MSG Leaders' Summit supports the Forum Leaders' call in 2019 for a visit by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to West Papua”

 Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape said:

 "regarding the issues raised in relation to West Papua...these issues will be dealt with at the [Pacific Islands Forum]".

 "Leaders from the Pacific will also visit Jakarta and Paris" to raise issues of sovereignty and human rights. 

In terms of political dynamics playing out, according to Rev Dr Nyoman  Indonesia will suffer the fate described by Yus Badudu in the book "Dictionary of Proverbs", due to two meanings of the sentence that refers to the evil. First, eating the fruit will bring harm any which way.

 Second, the proverb is a parable of someone who is faced with a tough choice because all of them bring misfortune. 

So, Indonesia must choose, does Indonesia invite the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to enter West Papua?

Or will Indonesia still refuse and not allow the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit West Papua?

The security approach to solving the West Papua issue lasting decades since 1960s places Indonesia in a big dilemma, namely if Indonesia allows the UN Human Rights Commission to visit West Papua there is a big risk for Indonesia. 

If Indonesia does not allow the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to enter West Papua, this is a smooth path for the MSG, PIF and ACP to bring the West Papua issue to a UN RESOLUTION most likely sponsored by Vanuatu  as a member state of PIF.

So far Indonesia set out to hinder the struggle for freedom by the people  of West Papua. Its prime target was ULMWP and the diplomatic option pursued since its birth in 2015.

"The Indonesian government has been lobbying, a costly exercise, to dampen the ULMWP diplomacy across the globe beginning with MSG, PIF, ACP and UN. 

' Indonesia cannot fool anyone, with stunts like a walk - out during MSG Leaders Summit 22.

' The massive funds to cover the trace of a struggle for freedom based on  truth, justice and human dignity demanded by the people of West Papua has gone to waste.'

The Christian church leader was confident the 22nd MSG Summit on August 22-23 translated a clear message to the international community.

Read. Here:

MSG leaders defer Papua membership decision to Forum

The leaders of five Melanesian countries and territories avoided a definitive update on the status of the United Liberation Movement of West Papua's application for full membership in Port Vila.

However, the 22nd Melanesian Spearhead Group Leaders' Summit was hailed as the "most memorable and successful" by Vanuatu's prime minister as leaders signed off on two new declarations in their efforts to make the sub-region more influential.

As well as the hosts, the meeting was attended by Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji and the FLNKS of New Caledonia.

But the meeting had an anti-climactic ending after the leaders failed to release the details about the final outcomes or speak to media.

The first agreement that was endorsed is the Udaune Declaration on Climate Change to address the climate crisis and "urging countries not to discharge potentially harmful treated nuclear contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean".

"Unless the water treated is incontrovertibly proven, by independent scientists, to be safe to do and seriously consider other options," Vanuatu Prime Minister Alatoi Ishmael Kalsakau said at the event's farewell dinner on Thursday.

The leaders also signed off on the Efate Declaration on Mutual Respect, Cooperation and Amity to advance security initiatives and needs of the Melanesian countries.

This document aims to "address the national security needs in the MSG region through the Pacific Way kipung, tok stori, talanoa, and storian and bonded by shared values and adherence to the Melanesian vuvale, cultures and traditions," Kalsakau said.

Kalsakau said the leaders "took complex issues such as climate change, denuclearisation, and human rights and applied collective wisdom" to address the issues that were on the table.

Passing on Papua

The issue of the United Liberation Movement of West Papua's membership was a big ticket item on the agenda at the meeting in Port Vila according to MSG chair Kalsakau.

However, there was no update provided on it and the leaders avoided fronting up to the media except for photo opportunities.

Benny Wenda at the 22 Melanesian Spearhead Group Leaders' Summit in Port Vila. 22 August 2023

Benny Wenda at the 22 Melanesian Spearhead Group Leaders' Summit in Port Vila. 22 August 2023 Photo: RNZ Pacific / Kelvin Anthony

ULMWP leader Benny Wenda (above) told RNZ Pacific late on Thursday he was still not aware of the result of their membership application but that he was "confident" about it.

"I don't know the outcome. Maybe this evening the leaders will announce at the reception," Wenda said.

"From the beginning I have been confident that this is the time for the leaders to give us full membership so we can engage with Indonesia."

According to the MSG Secretariat the final communique is now expected to be released on Friday.

However, it is likely that the West Papua issue will be referred to the Pacific Islands Forum to be dealt with.

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape said after the signing: "on the issues that was raised in regards to West Papua…these matters to be handled at [Pacific Islands Forum]".

"The leaders from the Pacific will also visit Jakarta and Paris" to raise issues about sovereignty and human rights," he said.

Kalsakau said he looked forward to progressing the implementaiton of important issue recommendations from the 22nd MSG Leaders' Summit which also include "supporting the 2019 call by the Forum Leaders for a visit by the OHCHR to West Papua".

MSG leaders drink kava to mark the end of the meeting and signing two declarations. Photo: RNZ Pacific / Kelvin Anthony

Indonesia proud

Indonesia's Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, Pahala Mansury, said Indonesia is proud to be part of the Melanesian family.

Indonesia is an associate member of MSG and have said they do not accept ULMWP's application to become a full member because it goes against the MSG's founding principles and charter.

During the meeting this week, Indonesian delegates walked out on occasions when ULMWP representatives made their intervention.

Some West Papua campaigners say these actions showed that Indonesia does not understand the Melanesian way.

"You just don't walk out of a sacred meeting haus when you're invited to be part of it," one observer said.

However, Mansury said Indonesia hopes to "continue to increase, enhance and strengthen future collaboration between Indonesia and all of the Melanesian countries".

"We are actually brothers and sisters of Melanesia and we hope we can continue to strengthen the bond together," he said.

Australia and China attended as special guests at the invitation of the Vanuatu government.

China supported the Vanuatu government to host the meeting.

Melanesian Leaders Sign Security and Climate Change Declarations

Melanesian Prime Ministers have affixed their signatures to two declarations addressing the pressing issues of climate change and national security.

The ceremonial signing took place at the Havannah Resort in north Efate yesterday, marking the culmination of the 22nd Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Leaders’ Summit Retreat.

The distinguished signatories of these declarations include Prime Minister (PM) Ishmael Kalsakau of Vanuatu, PM Manasseh Sogavare of Solomon Islands, PM James Marape of Papua New Guinea, PM Sitiveni Rabuka of Fiji, and Victor Tutugoro, spokesperson of the Kanak Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS).

The history of these agreements commenced with the inaugural accord inked in Lakatoro, Malekula, in 1994. Subsequent gatherings saw the signing of a second pact in Port Vila in 1998, followed by the third document signed during a Leaders’ Summit held in the Solomon Islands.

PM Kalsakau expressed satisfaction with the Summit’s proceedings, highlighting the successful collaboration that yielded two comprehensive documents. He noted that these papers are both content-rich and orderly in outlining MSG’s strategic course on matters of importance to the region’s populace.

He acknowledged the impactful presence of strong and visionary leadership, which serves to refine the direction and purpose of Melanesia, ensuring it remains steadfastly on the right course.He further expressed his contentment with the summit’s conclusion, characterising it as a joyous occasion.

“To ensure the safeguarding of Melanesia’s wellbeing and to achieve the highest levels of contentment among its people on the horizon, we have united as a collective whole,” PM Kalsakau remarked. He extended gratitude to his esteemed colleagues for their invaluable contributions to shaping the final outcomes.

Concluding his address, he invoked blessings upon the people of Melanesia and expressed his profound gratitude for the presence of all attendees. This unity and collaboration, he affirmed, is the cornerstone of progress for the entire region.

To further solidify this agreement, the leaders partook in a tradition deeply rooted in Vanuatu culture – sharing a shell of kava to conclude the regional diplomatic dialogue.

Benny Wenda appil long MSG lida mas tingim Melanesian pipol blong West Papua

Chairman blong United Liberation Movement for West Papua, Benny Wenda hem expressim hope se ol Melanesian leaders bae akseptem applikesen blong olketa Melanesian pipol blong West Papua and letem olketa bikam full memba blong Melanesian Spearhead Group.

Mr Wenda hem se olsem taem olketa lida blong Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and olketa FLNKS blong New Caledonia olketa mit long Port Vila tude and tumoro long mek 22 MSG Leaders Summit miting blong olketa.

Hem se hem hope bae olketa MSG lida letem olketa Melanesian pipol blong West Papua olketa sevaev, sapos nogat, bae olketa olsem ol indigenous pipol blong North Afrika, North Amerika and long Australia.

Long audio bae yu harem Mr Wenda ibin storian wetem niusman Hilaire Bule long Port Vila long Tuesday.


Wenda: West Papua Ready for Full Membership in MSG Today

Benny Wenda, the Interim President of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), has welcomed the Melanesian Spearhead Group’s (MSG) confirmation that the ULMWP’s application will be discussed at the 22nd MSG Leaders’ Summit in Port Vila today.

Wenda conveyed the anticipation of West Papua’s populace, including those in exile, who await their potential accession as an MSG member.

Reflecting on the unity of various West Papuan groups, including the West Papua Council of Churches, Wenda mentioned that 25 representatives are currently in Port Vila to celebrate the MSG leaders’ decision if it grants West Papua full membership.

Despite previous attempts during past Leaders’ summits, Wenda expressed confidence that this time their application will be accepted, reflecting their aspiration for a rightful place within the Melanesian family.

“Our dream, our desire — by blood and race — entitles us to be a member.

“Today in West Papua, seven regional executives support our cause. Our people support it. Intimidation and harassment from Indonesia are happening right now.

“We aren’t seeking independence, just full membership. In Indonesia, there is no hope, and now it is time for the leaders to make the right decision,” Wenda asserted.

Acknowledging their long-standing lobbying efforts, Wenda noted that their pursuit has been ongoing. He referenced the 2013 MSG Leaders Summit in Noumea, New Caledonia, where leaders voiced support for their self-determination, recognising the unity among the West Papuan people.

In 2014, Vanuatu hosted a meeting to gather all West Papua factions at the Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs nakamal.

“In 2014, we gathered all factions in West Papua for the ULMWP. In 2015, during the MSG Leaders’ Summit in Solomon Islands, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare advocated for full MSG membership for West Papua, but we were granted Observer status instead,” Wenda said. “We are now pushing for full membership because we’ve met the criteria, making it time for the leaders to agree.

“This is the moment the entire world, all Melanesians, are watching. It’s a test for the leaders to see if they will stand up for West Papua in the eyes of the world.”

He commented on their vulnerable position due to the atrocities committed against them by Indonesia, which has resulted in their minority status.

Presently, ULMWP holds observer status within the MSG, while Indonesia is an associated member.

The MSG consists of member countries Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji, and the Front de Libération Nationale Kanak et Socialiste (FLNKS) of New Caledonia.

The three visiting MSG Prime Ministers — Sitiveni Rabuka from Fiji, James Marape from Papua New Guinea and Manasseh Sogavare from Solomon Islands — are already in Port Vila.

The FLNKS will be represented by its former president, Victor Tutugoro.

The 22nd MSG Leaders’ Summit, chaired by Prime Minister Ishmael Kalsakau of Vanuatu, will commence with a ceremonial welcome by chiefs at Saralana at 9 o’clock this morning.

The official remarks will be followed by the unveiling of carvings at the MSG Secretariat, the Leaders’ Retreat at Warwick Le Lagon, and a plenary session.

West Papua on MSG Summit Agenda 23-24 August 2023

West Papua

This year's agenda also includes the issue of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua's application to become a full member of the sub-regional body.

The movement is present at the meeting, as well as a big delegation from Indonesia, represented by its vice minister for foreign affairs.

However, neither Seremaiah nor Louma made any mention of West Papua in their opening statements.

West Papua observers and advocates at the meeting say the MSG is like a "custom haus or nakamal" for the Melanesian people.

They say Vanuatu has the opportunity to make this more than a "normal MSG" if it can be the country that gets the MSG Leaders' Summit to agree to make the ULMWP a full member

Senior MSG official calls for sub-region to remain neutral in global power battle

Kelvin Anthony

Melanesian Spearhead Group Secretariat's director general Leonard Louma says the Pacific region continues to be the centre of geopolitical interests by global superpowers.

The 22nd MSG Leaders' Summit is taking place in Port Vila this week - the first full in-person meeting since the covid pandemic.

The prime ministers of Fiji, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and the president of the FLNKS of New Caledonia are confirmed to attend the leaders' session on Wednesday.

Louma said the battle for influence "impels the region to take sides, but it does not protect Melanesia and the region".

"There are some who would like us to believe that taking sides in that geopolitical posturing is in our best interest. May I hasten to add, I tend to defer, it is not in our best interest to take sides," Louma said

Senior MSG official calls for sub-region to remain neutral in global power battle

7:18 pm on 22 August 2023 

Kelvin Anthony, in Port Vila


Vanuatu's deputy prime minister Matai Seremaiah, left, and MSG director general Leonard Louma at the opening of the 22nd MSG Leaders's Summit Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Port Vila. 21 August 2023Vanuatu's deputy prime minister Matai Seremaiah, left, and MSG director general Leonard Louma at the opening of the 22nd MSG Leaders's Summit Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Port Vila. 21 August 2023 Photo: RNZ Pacific / Kelvin Anthony

Melanesian Spearhead Group Secretariat's director general Leonard Louma says the Pacific region continues to be the centre of geopolitical interests by global superpowers.

The 22nd MSG Leaders' Summit is taking place in Port Vila this week - the first full in-person meeting since the covid pandemic.

The prime ministers of Fiji, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and the president of the FLNKS of New Caledonia are confirmed to attend the leaders' session on Wednesday.

Louma said the battle for influence "impels the region to take sides, but it does not protect Melanesia and the region".

"There are some who would like us to believe that taking sides in that geopolitical posturing is in our best interest. May I hasten to add, I tend to defer, it is not in our best interest to take sides," Louma said.

MSG Leaders' Summit has a packed agenda duration4′ :05″ Playlist Download

MSG Leaders' Summit has a packed agenda

The director general also took aim at MSG member countries for not moving with "urgency" on issues that have been on the Leaders' Summit agenda.

"Certain decisions also made by leaders and the foreign ministers of past continue to languish on the shelf and there seems to be no real sign of a desire to implement."

Free trade

Louma said the MSG Free Trade Agreement has "somehow been tethered to other training and commercial arrangements".

"Our enthusiasm to cooperate appears to have waned. We need to rejuvenate this enthusiasm and appetite for industrial cooperation that once was the hallmark of MSG," said.

Vanuatu's Foreign Minister Matai Seremaiah has urged Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea to sign up to the trade agreement which has already been signed by Fiji and Solomon Islands.

Prime Minister Ishmael Kalsakau told RNZ Pacific he shared the concerns of his deputy on the issue of the free trade agreement.

"Vanuatu must adhere quickly. If you look at the theme of the meeting it's about being relevant and being relevant means that we've got got to participate as a core group so that we can advance all our interests together," he said.

Leonard Louma said the MSG needs to make concessions where it was needed in the interests of MSG cohesion.

"The nuclear testing issue in the Pacific could not have proceeded the way we had proceeded without MSG taking a strong position on it."


On Monday, MSG Secretariat officials said there were up to 10 issues on the agenda, including West Papua.

In his opening statement at the Foreign Minister's session on Monday, Seremaiah said there were two key draft declarations that will be put for the leaders' consideration.

The first one will be one climate action and "urging polluters not to discharge the treated water in the Pacific Ocean," he said.

"Until and unless the treated water is incontrovertibly proven to be safe to do so and seriously consider other options."

The second is a declaration on MSG region of peace and neutrality, adding "this declaration is aimed at advancing the implementation of the MSG security initiatives to address national security needs in the MSG region, through the Pacific way, talanoa or tok stori and binded by shared values and adherence to Melanesian vuvale, cultures and traditions.

West Papua

This year's agenda also includes the issue of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua's application to become a full member of the sub-regional body.

The movement is present at the meeting, as well as a big delegation from Indonesia, represented by its vice minister for foreign affairs.

However, neither Seremaiah nor Louma made any mention of West Papua in their opening statements.

West Papua observers and advocates at the meeting say the MSG is like a "custom haus or nakamal" for the Melanesian people.

They say Vanuatu has the opportunity to make this more than a "normal MSG" if it can be the country that gets the MSG Leaders' Summit to agree to make the ULMWP a full member


PORT VILA, VANUATU (19 August 2023): The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Pre-Summit Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) has just concluded at the MSG Secretariat.

Its outcomes will be deliberated on at the MSG Pre-Summit Foreign Ministers Meeting (FMM) scheduled for Monday. 
Both meetings precede the upcoming 22nd MSG Leader's Summit, the pre-eminent decision-making body of the MSG which begins on Wednesday.

Vanuatu is currently Chair of the MSG.

MSG Senior Officials Meeting Today

The 22nd Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Leaders’ Summit (LS) will be held in Port Vila, from 23 to 24 August 2023, under the fitting theme of “MSG, being relevant and influential”.

The 22nd biennial meeting is being hosted by Vanuatu as Chair of the MSG, and is being convened five years since the last Summit was held in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (PNG) in February 2018.

As Chair of the MSG, Prime Minister (PM) Ishmael Kalsakau has expressed his immense honour and pleasure at hosting MSG Leaders in Port Vila for the 22nd MSG LS.

Noting that Port Vila also hosts headquarters of the MSG Secretariat, and the recently concluded 7th Melanesian Arts and Culture Festival (MACFEST), which celebrated the rich and diverse Melanesian arts and cultural heritage.

He further asserted that the Meeting proffered an invaluable opportunity and platform for discourse, deriving common positions on issues of mutual interest, for leverage at subsequent regional and international platforms.

Leaders of the MSG, comprises Fiji, Front de Libération Nationale Kanak et Socialiste (FLNKS) of New Caledonia, PNG and Solomon Islands are expected to attend, with Indonesia participating as an Associate Member, and the United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMWP) as Observer.

In addition to significant policy issues pertaining to the MSG, such as Climate Change, human rights and nuclear issues, it is envisaged that the LS may also consider a bid for membership by the ULMWP. MSG LSs are normally divided into two parts, being an open plenary and a Leaders’ Retreat.

In his capacity as Chairperson of the MSG, the Vanuatu PM also extended Special Guest invitations to the Governments of Australia, China, Saudi Arabia, Serbia and Israel.

Invitations to Special Guests remain the prerogative of the MSG Chair and hosts of Leaders Summits. Special Guests and Observers will be given an opportunity to address MSG Leaders at the plenary on any cooperation matters.

Prior to the LS, Foreign Ministers of the MSG will also meet on Monday, 21 August, preceded by the Senior Officials Meeting of the MSG.

The latter is due to be convened today, Saturday, 19 August 2023

Ministerial Order Introducing New Visas Signed

The Minister of Internal Affairs, Rick Tchamako Mahe, yesterday signed a new order introducing new visa categories offering opportunities for foreign nationals wanting to do business, work, study and reside in Vanuatu.

Provisional investor visa, Business investor visa, Direct investor visa, Permanent investor visa, Short term employment visa, Employment visa, Residential leasehold owner visa, Agriculture leasehold owner visa, Commercial leasehold owner visa, Bridging visa, Religious worker visa, Development support visa, Close family visa, Social exchange visa, Retire visa, Diplomatic visa, Business multiple entry visa and Ni-Vanuatu descent visa will be launched in a few months’ time.

Each visa has its terms and conditions, including fees.

Provisional investor visa, Business investor visa, Permanent investment and Direct investor visa allow applicants to live and undertake business in Vanuatu.

Under the Provisional investor visa, a holder of the visa must not engage in any employment and is allowed to change visa status to business investor visa. A business investor visa holder may establish and conduct business activities subject to normal business requirement. A permanent investor visa holder is not allowed to change his or her visa status.

Business multiple entry visa will cater for individuals who intend to enter Vanuatu to conduct business activities.

An Employment visa allows an applicant to undertake skilled work not listed on the reservation occupation list for a period of more than five months.

A Short-term employment visa is given to people who come to do specific work for a short term period, one to four months.

To be eligible for a Residential leasehold owner visa, applicants must have a leasehold ownership of a property in Vanuatu certified by a bank operating in the country, a chartered accounting operating in Vanuatu or a registered value of VT10 million or more, and must reside in Vanuatu continuously for five years either under close family visa or investor visa or visa. Applicants must also secure a monthly income of at least VT250, 000 to VT1million maximum for each person included in the application.

Requirements for an Agriculture leasehold owner visa and Commercial leasehold owner visa are similar to a Residential leasehold owner visa.

A Bridging visa allows an applicant to remain in Vanuatu while waiting for his/her substantive visa to be processed.

A Religious worker visa enables a person to enter Vanuatu to engage in religious activity and the sponsoring organisation must be affiliated with the Vanuatu Christian Council. A security bond is a requirement if the applicant will be in the country for more than 90 days.

A Development support visa is granted to professionals nominated to work in a government and Non-Government Organisation development related field.

Close family visas allow people to move to Vanuatu with their close family members.

Social exchange visas are issued to foreigners who wish to participate in a community, education and engage in a film making or other media activity.

Retiree visa allows retirees to spend their retirement years in Vanuatu. An applicant must be at least 50 years of age and has a secure monthly income of at least VT250,000 to VT1million maximum.

Diplomatic visas are given to diplomats and their immediate family members.

A Ni-Vanuatu decent visa are given to former Vanuatu citizen or descendants of a Vanuatu citizen.

Minister Mahe put pen to paper in the presence of the Director of Immigration Jeffrey Markson and the Acting Director General (DG) of the Ministry, Leith Veremaito. He said the signing is a milestone in border management following consultations with stakeholders.

The new visas will support foreign investment, tourism and compliance activities, said the Internal Affairs Minister.

Director Markson said the Department of Immigration will begin awareness on the new visas to clients and the public following yesterday’s signing.

Markson said introducing new visas will also bring a lot of revenue.

The Department has been looking forward to the signing of the order since it started working on these new visas, he added.

Opposition fails to topple gov’t, still claims ‘majority’

The Opposition failed to topple the government in the no confidence session yesterday, as the Speaker of Parliament declared the session adjourned due to no quorum.

This clearly confirmed that neither side has an absolute majority in parliament.

Only 25 MPs from the Opposition side were present in the parliament resulting in the lack of quorum and the failure of the opposition to oust Prime Minister (PM) as they claimed in their press conference at their camp in Pango.

Yesterday, Opposition Bob Loughman said again that they will form the new coalition government next week. This can only happen if they have a majority of 27 MPs.

With the appointment of three signatories of the motion as state ministers the government has prevented the opposition to get a majority support.

As predicted by the Daily Post on Tuesday, Vanuatu is now in a political impasse where the bills could not be passed and seeking dissolution is not possible. The failure in parliament to reach a quorum yesterday means this situation will remain until next Wednesday.

The political crisis began when Loughman deposited his second motion with 29 signatures last Thursday.  The numbers shifted from Kalsakau to Loughman.

During the last session, Opposition benefited from the support of only 15 MPs. Since the motion deposited there were movement of MPs to both sides.

Even after the dissolution yesterday, Loughman was still claiming that he has the support of 29 MPs knowing that some of the signatories have defected from the opposition camp to join the government side.

PM Kalsakau said in a press conference yesterday with Presidents of political parties in government that they decided not to boycott the session to demonstrate that Loughman had no simple majority.

Kalsakau said he is confident he will defeat the motion.

 President of the Ground and Justice Party (GJP), Ralph Regenvanu rejected Loughman’s call for a session to debate the motion without having the required numbers.

Regenvanu said that during his reign as an Opposition Leader he has successfully deposited a motion in 2022 which resulted in the Council of Ministers requesting a dissolution.

President of the Reunification Movement of Change and one of the former PM, Charlot Salwai said Vanuatu is now facing a political crisis and is difficult to form a new government.

He appealed to the MPs to make national interest their priority.

President of the Leaders Party, Jotham Napat reminded all members of parliament that Kalsakau was elected unopposed and why suddenly after just eight months the opposition wants a new government to be elected.

Deputy PM and Foreign Affairs Minister, Matai Seremaiah during the press conference labelled the minimum wage increase which is one of the arguments of the motion as baseless.

 Matai said the Opposition MPs are against the increase of salaries of workers who elected them but want an increase of their allowances to VT15 million.

 The Deputy Prime Minister said that the political impasse will be solved before the parliament session next week

Pacific news in brief for August 16

West Papua - beaten
Media in Papua says at least 16 activists from the West Papua National Committee or KNPB were beaten by the police while holding a demonstration commemorating the New York agreement in Sentani, Jayapura Regency on Tuesday.

A spokesperson for the KNPB, Ones Suhuniap, said most of those who were hit suffered serious head injuries.

Suhuniap said the police used batons to beat up demonstrators in Sentani and fired water cannons to disperse the crowd.

The KNPB simultaneously held demonstrations in Papua and in other parts of Indonesia.

This action was to ask the UN to review the 1962 New York agreement through which the Netherlands and Indonesia agreed to transfer control of Papua from the Netherlands to Indonesia.

Pacific - MSG meeting
The 22nd Melanesian Spearhead Group Leaders' Summit will be held in Port Vila next week.

The summit was supposed to be held from July 17 to 21, but it had to be rescheduled because Solomon Islands had a clash with their Parliament sitting and Vanuatu was also busy hosting the Melanesian Arts and Culture Festival, alongside the arrival of the French President.

Vanuatu's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister, Matai Seremiah, confirmed the new date for the summit to the Daily Post on Tuesday, after being briefed on the event.

Seremiah said the summit will be held from Wednesday to Thursday following the Foreign Affairs Ministers' Meeting and the officials' meeting.

Pacific/Germany - abandoned
Germany's foreign minister Annalena Baerbock has abandoned a trip to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji after a problem with her government plane twice forced it to return to Abu Dhabi.

AP reports Baerbock set off from Berlin on Sunday on what was supposed to be a nearly weeklong trip.

But after two episodes of a technical issue, Baerbock wrote on X - formerly known as Twitter - it was not logistically possible to continue her Indo-Pacific trip.

She added the Pacific region will mark the world order of the 21st century decisively.

Nothern Marianas - tourism
Northern Marianas' tourism industry has continued its upward trend with more than 25,000 tourists visiting the islands last month.

The Marianas Visitors Authority said the CNMI received 10,367 visitors in the same month a year earlier - in July 2022.

Visitor arrivals from South Korea reached 20,627 last month.

The Authority said strong demand in Korea has generated an abundance of air service to the Marianas.

Forum - troika
The Pacific Islands Forum or PIF Troika met in Suva last week ahead of the Leaders Meeting to be held in Rarotonga later this year.

The Forum Troika is the leadership group made up of the past present and future chairs of the regional organisation.

The prime ministers of the Cook Islands, Tonga and Fiji met to discuss their role within the Troika mechanism.

Cook Islands PM and the current Forum chair, Mark Brown, said an update was given on arrangements for the 52nd Pacific Islands Forum, which will be held in Rarotonga and Aitutaki from November 6-10.

The leaders also considered an update on the Pacific Resilience Facility, which provides full-grant financing without debt for disaster preparedness in the region.

West Papua - drought
The head of the Puncak Disaster Management Agency in West Papua has confirmed that her office has distributed food assistance across 15 villages in Puncak Regency.

Yuniet Murib said these villages in Central Papua Province have been significantly affected by an ongoing drought.

Jubi TV reports Murib saying 8,000 people have been affected.

According to data compiled by the disaster agency, six fatalities have been reported in the three districts due to the famine.

Tonga - conference
A preparatory meeting for next year's International Conference on Small Island Developing States is underway in Tonga, where delegates from 38 independent Small Island States are in attendance.

Tonga's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Fekita Utoikamanu said many challenges need to be discussed.

"Small island developing states have experienced an increasing and evermore complex mix of challenges," she said.

"We have coped with multiple crises. The SIDS as far back as 1994 in Barbados alerted to the threat of climate change and this is now an existential threat on many levels.

MSG Leaders’ Summit next week in Vanuatu

The 22nd Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Leaders’ Summit will be held in Port Vila next week.

The MSG leaders summit was postponed last month.

The 22nd MSG Leaders’ Summit is scheduled for 22-23 August, 2023 in Port Vila.

The application for United Liberation Movement for West Papua (UMLWP) as a full member of MSG is expected to be on the agenda at this Leaders’ Meeting…


The Office of Moresby South Presents: The 2023 Karuka Festival

🌟 The Office of Moresby South Presents: The 2023 Karuka Festival 🌟

Hosted by: Kira Kira Koita Magi Inc.
Venue: Kira Kira Village, Port Moresby

Join us for an unforgettable cultural experience at the Karuka Festival! 🎉🌺 Immerse yourself in a tapestry of traditions and celebrations, featuring an array of captivating events:
🍂 Karuka Ceremony and Ritual
🍲 Koitabu Feast Experience
👗 Karuka Fashion Runway
🛍️ SME Stalls - SME Markets
📚 Koitabu Storytelling
💃 Cultural Dance Performances
🖌️ Koitabu Tattoo Experience
🎵 Live Band Performances

Mark your calendars for this vibrant celebration of our Koitabu heritage on the 19th of August 2023. Don't miss out on this cultural extravaganza!

For more information and stall bookings, contact us at [ or WhatsApp 78848733/75927692.    
We can't wait to see you there! 🌴🥁

Italy warns Western military intervention in Niger

Italy warns Western military intervention in Niger would be seen as 'colonization'
Italy's foreign minister has warned against any military intervention by the West in Niger against the newly-formed junta in the African country, saying this would be seen as "new colonization."
This comes after the United States of Africa warned ECOWAS that any foreign invasion could destabilize West African Region for decades to come 
It's clear that the West has been piling pressure on ECOWAS to lead them in invading Niger to protect their neocolonial interests in Niger resources.

“I think we must put pressure on democracy to be restored, but any Western military initiative should be excluded because it would be seen as a new colonization,” Antonio Tajani told RaiNews on Wednesday.

Spirit of Papua Merdeka Rockin the Stage: Full Concert at Fest Napuan | ...

Melanesia News Network (MNN) melaporkan langsung dari Saralana Park Stage Port Vila Vanuatu bahwa lagu-lagu yang dinyanyikan Black Sisters bersama Sorong-Samarai Band sangat mengundang semangat dari para hadirin yang menyaksikan.

Satu hal yang sangat disayangkan ialah bahwa waktu yang diberikan kepada West Papua: Spirit of Papua Merdeka begitu larut malam, sehingga anak-anak dan ibu-ibu sebagian besar telah pulang. Walaupun begitu, pemuda dan pemudi Melanesia tetap hadir dengan semangat dan ikut bergoyang.

Kami berharap musisi-musisi West Papua yang ada di Papua New Guinea, Belanda dan West Papua dapat menghadiri MACFEST 2026 di Fiji.

Motion Lodged With 29 Signatures

The beginning of the political walk in the lead-up to the formation of the current coalition government at the Aquana Camp. The motion deposited yesterday carries the signatures of three MPs pictured here (from left) MP Silas Bule, Speaker Simeon Seule and People’s Progressive Party President Sato Kilman. Photo: File

A motion of no confidence bearing the signatures of 29 Members of Parliament (MPs) was lodged and received by the office of the Speaker of Parliament at 6.05pm yesterday evening.

As the Malekula constituency is heading to a by-election to fill the Parliamentary seat vacated by former MP Assang Sanick, this means only 21 MPs did not sign the motion.

The signatories to the motion of no confidence in Prime Minister (PM) Ishmael Kalsakau are as follows: MPs Bob Loughman, Marc Ati, Jay Ngwele, James Bule, Sato Kilman, Johnny Koanapo, Johnson Simil, Esmon Saimon, Marc Melsul, Wesley Rasu, Justin Ngwele, Blaise Sumptoh, Xavier Harry, Ati Camillo, John Roy Nil, James Peter Vari, Andrew Kalpoilep, Zacchias Lulu, Christophe Emelee, Jack Wona, Gracia Shadrack, John Amos, Harry Anthony, Ulrich Sumptoh, Samson Samsen, Joshua Pikioune, Simeon Seule, Silas Bule and Norris Jack Kalmet.

The signatories mainly comprise Vanua’aku Pati (VP) MPs led by Opposition Leader Loughman, Rural Development Party grouping under MP Ngwele’s leadership, former government ministers MP Kilman and MP Emelee, government backbenchers as well as the Speaker of Parliament, MP Seule.

Major government coalition partners Leaders Party of Vanuatu (LPV) and Graon mo Jastis Pati (GJP) are not part of the motion.

The 29 MPs who now command the majority are requesting for Parliament to convene in an Extraordinary session to debate the motion, as relayed to Speaker Seule.

Their notice and motion met the requirements stipulated under Article 21(2) and Article 43(2) of the Constitution and the Standing Orders of Parliament.

Previously, Opposition Leader Loughman had denied any knowledge of the motion, dismissing it as mere hearsay and referring to it as a “nakamal story”.

Rumours of a motion had been circulating just a week after the termination of MP Kilman as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Lands in May this year, but nothing eventuated until yesterday.

PM Kalsakau has already faced a motion of no confidence, which was eventually withdrawn by Mr. Loughman during the parliamentary session due to a lack of sufficient support.

During his independence speech, the PM addressed the challenges faced by his coalition government, and a motion of no confidence was cited as one of those challenges.


Media Statement 
13 August 2022

James Marape in his inauguration address as Prime Minister in the 11th National Parliament yesterday, 9 August anchored his statement on the remarks he made in Parliament on May 30, 2019.

PM Marape said, “I want Papua New Guinea in the next decade to be a K200 billion economy. I wanted Papua New Guinea to be the Richest Black Christian Nation on Earth.”

The PM emphasized that his statement recognized that Papua New Guinea’s political forebears ushered in political independence in 1975.

He said they crafted legislations, built institutions, wrote policies and established relationships to deliver us political independence.

Marape says, “This generation of leaders must deliver economic independence to Papua New Guinea. That PANGU has secured the mandate from Papua New Guinea can only mean that our people in the length and breadth of this country support this intention.”

He reiterated that his government is consistent with Vision 2050 on the development phases of the country to be smart, wise, fair, healthy, and a happy society by 2050.

“It aligns nicely in that we are called to deliver economic enablers to fast-track development. Fast-track we must, as we do not have the luxury of time to wait around for things to happen at their pace,” said PM Marape.

THE Pacific Conference of Churches Supports ULMWP'S Full Membership ar MSG

THE Pacific Conference of Churches, Youngsolwara dan Free West Papua Campaign telah meningkatkan seruan kepada para pemimpin Melanesia dan sesama negara kepulauan Pasifik untuk secara resmi mengakui
West Papua sebagai anggota resmi Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).

Juru bicara internasional untuk Kampanye Papua Barat Raki Ap mengatakan sangat mengecewakan bahwa Indonesia diizinkan menjadi anggota MSG tetapi Papua Barat hanyalah anggota pengamat.

Dia mengatakan ketika para pemimpin Pasifik terus menutup mata terhadap pelanggaran HAM berat yang terjadi di Papua Barat, terserah kepada orang-orang di lapangan untuk menekan para pemimpin mereka untuk bertindak.

Mr Ap saat ini mengunjungi negara-negara Melanisia untuk memperkuat kemitraan organisasi masyarakat sipil dan organisasi nonpemerintah dalam kampanye Papua Barat.


Port Vila, VANUATU -- During the closing ceremony of the Melanesian Arts & Culture Festival 2023 (7MACFEST) held in Port Vila on Sunday, July 30th, Director for Heritage, Collin Sowani Yabaki, speaking on behalf of the Minister for iTaukei Affairs, Culture and Heritage Hon. Ifereimi Vasu and the Fiji Contingent, expressed his excitement about Fiji being chosen as the host country for the 2026 Melanesian Arts and Culture Festival.
He stated that Fiji is honored to be selected as the host of this significant event for the Melanesian community in 2026 and emphasized that Fiji intends to highlight its abundant cultural diversity and history, following the example set by Vanuatu this year.
Director Yabaki stressed the importance of regionalism and cooperation in Melanesia, as showcased by this year's theme of "Rebuilding My Melanesian for Common Identity."
“The importance of regionalism and cooperation within Melanesia cannot be overstated. It is crucial for economic development, security, cultural preservation, and social integration,” the Director said.
“Indeed, passing on customs and traditional culture to the younger generation is of paramount importance. Culture serves as the foundation of a society's identity, shaping its values, beliefs, and practices,” said the Director.
"Nonetheless, the 2026 MACFEST will include various events such as the Melanesian Arts and Festival Symposium, Melanesian Music Festival, and the Melanesian Pageant," he added. 
Director Yabaki expressed confidence in Fiji's ability to match and sustain the high standards set by Vanuatu.
"We are grateful to the people of Vanuatu for their hospitality, love, and generosity during this year's festival," adds Director Yabaki.

He concluded by saying that Fiji looks forward to welcoming the Melanesian family to Fiji in 2026 and creating unforgettable memories together.
The Melanesian Arts and Cultural Festival (MACFEST) is a series of events held in various Melanesian countries to celebrate and promote the rich cultural heritage of the region.
The festival has a unique theme for each edition, which mirrors the Melanesian people's values, dreams, and challenges.

 #FijiGovernment #FijiNews #CoalitionGovernment #TeamFiji #7MACFEST #Vanuatu

Bougainville President Toroama and Prime Minister Marape Pledge Transparent Dialogue for Peaceful Resolution at Joint Supervisory Body Meeting


Port Moresby, Tuesday, August 1, 2023 

Bougainville President H.E. Ishmael Toroama and Prime Minister Hon. James Marape have jointly resolved to uphold the authentic Melanesian tradition of resolving disputes through transparent dialogue and consultation, aiming to achieve a lasting and peaceful solution. This resolution was reached during the Joint Supervisory Body (JSB) meeting held in Port Moresby on Monday, July 31, 2023.

Acknowledging the complexity of the Independence choice made by the people of Bougainville in the 2019 referendum, both President Toroama and Prime Minister Marape expressed their unwavering commitment to collectively address shared issues.

Key resolutions and endorsements made during the JSB meeting include:

a). The pathway to parliament will be through a Sessional Order.

b). The Sessional Order will only be moved after the content of the motion is agreed upon by the National Minister for Bougainville Affairs and Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) Minister for Bougainville Independence Mission Implementation.

c). The motion will be adopted by a simple majority.

d). The proposal to invite the ABG President and his leaders to provide awareness to Members of the National Parliament has been accepted.

e). Other aspects of the Post Referendum matters will be dealt with under the Constitutional Regulation.

In addition, the JSB directed the National Minister for Bougainville Affairs and ABG Minister for Bougainville Independence Mission Implementation to collaborate on the content of the Sessional Order, focusing on:

(i) The formulation of the question to be presented before Parliament.

(ii) The determination of the number of sessions required for deliberating on these matters.

(iii) The specification of the voting majority needed to endorse the referendum results.

(iv) The procedure for introducing the referendum results into Parliament.

Furthermore, the JSB mandated the National Minister for Bougainville Affairs and ABG Minister for Bougainville Independence Mission Implementation to explore the possibility of seeking mediation support from Moderators in case of any impasses encountered during their consultation.