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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

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