The National, Thursday June 26th, 2014
 FOREIGN Affairs Minister Rimbink Pato says one of the key objectives of the Melanesian Spearhead Group is the preservation and promotion of Melanesian culture and identity.
He made the remark at a special MSG foreign affairs ministers meeting yesterday to prepare for the two-day leaders’ summit and foreign ministers’ meeting in Port Moresby today.
The fifth Melanesia Arts and Culture Festival will begin on Saturday in Port Moresby.
“It is particularly pleasing to welcome and see participants from all our countries and members arriving to participate at the Festival of Arts and Culture,” he said.
“As Melanesians, we have rich, diverse and proud traditions and folklore that we must not only preserve and pass onto our children, but that our Melanesian narrative must be told to the world because I think and believe that we have a wonderfully unique story,” he said.
Pato said some important decisions would be made going through the agenda for the leaders’ summit.
“PNG joins your countries in supporting the political aspirations of all Melanesian people everywhere in their right to self-determination,” he said.
“However, we want groups that show interest to join the MSG to have the overwhelming support of the people they represent.
Pato said another issue was Melanesia’s candidate for the post of the Pacific Islands Forum secretary-general.
“You will agree that it is time we put a Melanesian in that important seat,” he said.
“MSG leaders’ decisions have always been based on consensus and Melanesian solidarity.
“We need to agree on one candidate to ensure that we have a good chance of securing the post.”