Posts tagged New Caledonia

Fijian Prime Minister meets New Caledonia’s President

MSG Creates Opportunities for Melanesia: PM Bainimarama

Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) has opened possibilities and created opportunities which were not presented by other regional organisations.

PM Bainimarama made the comments while addressing the plenary session of the 19th MSG Leaders Summit in Noumea, New Caledonia this morning.

PM Bainimarama said the MSG countries have together passed a number of significant milestones in the last two years under Fiji’s leadership.

“For the last two years, the focus was on a number of result oriented programmes and initiatives, and we are able to achieve concrete results,” PM Bainimarama said.

“We should be proud as we come to the close of a very successful chapter of the MSG history.”

PM Bainimarama added that the future of the biggest sub – regional committee in the Pacific looks brighter and has urged other members to work towards the best interests of Melanesia.

“As we now stand at the beginning of a new period, we must share a trust that we have the tool to face each new challenge as it arises,” PM Bainimarama said.

“We are embarking with a clear vision, a respectful understanding of the issues that lie before us, and a strong conviction and desire to forge ever closer political, economic and social ties.’

PM Bainimarama – Reciprocal Speech to Customary Welcome, Noumea, New Caledonia

Ni Sa Bula Vinaka.

First of all, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and your people for the opportunity to be here in your beautiful country and for the excellent arrangements in hosting the 19th MSG Leaders Summit.

May I accord my respects to the Customary Senate, its President Mr Paul Wema, Presidents of the Northern, Southern Provinces and Loyalty Islands and chiefs of the customary areas.

It is a both a privilege and honour for me personally and I speak on behalf of all the delegations here today, that you have allowed us to share in your distinct and special kanaky cultural heritage by according us this customary welcome.

This indicates to me that our rich Melanesian cultures and tradition has been sustained through generations and provides the cohesiveness that holds our peoples together.

You will note that the MSG has developed initiatives under the Treaty for the Protection of Traditional Knowledge and Expressions of Culture to put in place measures that will protect and conserve our cultures and traditions; wether it be expressions through folklore, song and dance, knowledge, art, flora and fauna.

The onus is on us to ensure its sustainability and that future generations will be able to proclaim that they still have a distinct culture and traditions. The holding of Melanesian Arts Festivals and national initiatives to capture cultural information and tradition knowledge is acknowledged and is encouraged. We now have the technology to do this and must fully utilise this. May I emphasise here that Traditional Knowledge is intellectual property that one cannot learn at an institution of learning. My advice is therefore that elders impart this knowledge to your peoples and younger people to hear and keep it deep in your hearts.

On that note, I once again on behalf of the Leaders and MSG delegations express my deep appreciation for your kind gesture in according us your customary welcome and allowing us to be a part of you today.

May God Bless us All.

Vinaka Vakalevu
Merci Beaucorp


The President of New Caledonia, Mr Harold Martin has referred to the 25 years of existence of the Melanesian Spearhead Group as a success story.

Mr Martin made the comments while hosting Pacific leaders to a dinner at the government head quarters of New Caledonia in Noumea last night.

Mr Martin reminisced on the days when the MSG was first established and the changes that took place since then.

“Initially, not all New Caledonians agreed to joining the MSG because of the historical context of the Pacific rivalry,” Mr Martin said.

“But we are working to become full members soon and we hope we can count on your support.”

Mr Martin welcomed the leaders, saying it was good to see everyone come together in harmony without any tension or restrain in an effort to build their relationship for the prosperity of the Melanesian people.

He assured leaders that all New Caledonians had a positive view of their actions.

Mr Martin said the handing over of the MSG chairmanship from Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama to FLNKS was a milestone achievement that was being eagerly anticipated.

The President of New Caledonia said if it was agreed, FLNKS would soon become a fully fledged member of the MSG.


Fiji PM to Hand Over MSG Chairmanship to FLNKS

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama would be travelling to New Caledonia next week to attend the 19th Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Leaders Summit.

At the summit, the head of the Government will also hand over MSG chairmanship to hosts, the Front De Libération Nationale Kanak et Socialiste (FLNKS).

Fiji had taken over the chairmanship of the biggest bloc in the region in 2011 from Vanuatu.

The handing over ceremony will mean the end of Fiji’s leadership in the sub – regional committee. However its role as the leading country in advancing the interests of Melanesia will continue.

Under Fiji’s leadership, many issues regarding Melanesians were advanced in international conferences.

As part of the group, Melanesian countries Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu have consistently lobbied for many issues affecting them including climate change and nuclear testing.

The past year has seen strengthened cooperation within the region in terms of trade and knowledge sharing, movement of skilled labour and strong police cooperation between the countries.

The weeklong summit will see the trade and economic officials meeting, the senior officials meeting and the foreign ministers meeting.

PM Bainimarama will also be a guest at the silver jubilee celebrations of the establishment of MSG in New Caledonia.

PM Bainimarama will be accompanied by the Foreign Affairs minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola.

The celebrations in Noumea will conclude Melanesia week which was celebrated in other MSG countries earlier this year.