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PORT VILA, VANUATU (25 March 2024): The Inaugural Committee for Reinforcing Commitment and Obligation towards the MSG (CRCO) was successfully convened at the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Secretariat on 15 March 2024.

Chaired by Mr Kalfau Kaloris, Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and External Trade of Vanuatu, the CRCO was convened to examine the institutional, regulatory and operational mechanisms in Members’ bureaucracy that might be affecting commitment to, and cohesion of the MSG and the effective implementation of MSG Leaders’ decisions.

The same issues were examined of the Secretariat and suggestions to strengthen its operations, commitment to the MSG and the effective implementation of Leaders mandates were put forward.

During opening statements, Members reaffirmed their commitment towards the MSG and its objectives. They also noted the Secretariat’s efforts to strengthen its operations and capacity needs and undertook to improve their support to the Secretariat with its work. 

Additionally, they reiterated their commitment towards ensuring that the MSG continues to be relevant, and that the cohesion of the Group is further strengthened to ensure it plays an effective leadership role in the region on matters of particular interest to the MSG Members.

Members agreed to the need for adjustments and strengthened cooperation within the MSG Membership in the changing regional and global political and economic landscape.

In terms of Legislative, Members called for the need to review the Agreement Establishing the MSG, among other things, to make it consistent with International Law and practice. The review would ensure a stronger and versatile subregional Organization, that MSG will remain faithful to its original objectives and truthful in the service of its Members interests, and the Organization will remain relevant amidst changing times.

With regards to operational matters, Members urged for concerted efforts to be made to increase the visibility of the MSG as a Group and the Secretariat, and aggressively promote what the MSG does.

Among other things, Members acknowledged the importance of the Committee’s work and agreed for the CRCO to become a Standing Committee of the MSG that would report to the Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) directly and endorsed that the outcome of the discussions be presented to and considered by the MSG Governing Bodies.

Committee Members in attendance were Chairman, Mr Kaloris; Ambassador Amena Yauvoli, Fiji’s Ambassador to Indonesia; Mr Patrick Jomessy, Representative of the FLNKS Political Bureau; Mr Elias Wohengu, Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs of Papua New Guinea (online) and Ambassador Collin Beck, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade of Solomon Islands.

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