Saturday, February 10, 2018

1) 21st MSG Leaders’ Summit set to go in PNG

1) 21st MSG Leaders’ Summit set to go in PNG


1) 21st MSG Leaders’ Summit set to go in PNG
PREPARATIONS are under way in earnest in Port Moresby to welcome Melanesia Spearhead Group (MSG) Leaders for their 21st biennial summit on Wednesday.
Senior officials from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and the FLNKS in New Caledonia are meeting over the weekend ahead of the Leaders’ Summit to finalise issues to go before MSG Leaders for their decision.
The Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) on Saturday and Sunday will kick-start a series of meeting in the lead up to the 21st biennial session, which has the theme, “Strengthening Trade and Sustainable Development for an Inclusive Melanesia.”
Speaking to PACNEWS, MSG Secretariat Director General, Ambassador Amena Yauvoli said the senior officials meeting will discuss policies, work program and budget for the coming two years.
“These policy issues will require the endorsement of Foreign Ministers as well as Leaders. On Sunday senior officials will discuss the 2018 Work Programme and Budget.
On Monday, Foreign Ministers will convene to endorse reports that will form the agenda of the Leaders meeting on Wednesday.
“We will be reporting to Leaders on the reform status of the Secretariat as mandated by the Governing Council in December 2016. Also a number of reports will be presented to the Leaders. These include the report on PNG’s 2017 National Elections, report on Arms Trade Treaty, report on the MSG inshore fisheries and an update on membership guidelines, said Ambassador Yauvoli.
He said the criteria for Observers and Associate Members and New Membership Guidelines will be tabled directly to the Leaders on Wednesday for their consideration.
“The decision for new membership is solely the prerogative of Leaders and will be discussed on Wednesday, said the MSG Director General.
A key event will be the traditional hand-over of the MSG chairmanship to the host country Papua New Guinea from Solomon Islands.
“A traditional handing over ceremony will be held on Tuesday evening at the Sir John Guise Stadium to mark the official hand-over of the MSG leadership between the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, Mr Rick Houenipwela to his Papua New Guinea counterpart, Mr Peter O’Neill.
Ambassador Yauvoli is confident of a strong leadership from Papua New Guinea as it takes over the helm of the sub-regional organisation in the coming two years.
“The revamped Secretariat will need durable and innovative leadership and we are confident that Papua New Guinea will provide that as the Secretariat attempts to serve the needs of members in a most efficient and effective manner. We look forward to working with PNG in the next two years.
“We hope there will be growth in the organisation’s strength to deal with sensitive issues in the region, said Ambassador Yauvoli.
The MSG director general also acknowledged the strong leadership of the group by Solomon Islands and the former Prime Minister, Mr Manasseh Sogavare.
“Hon Manasseh Sogavare’s strong and dedicated leadership took the MSG out of the difficult situation it was in to where it is now, said Ambassador Yauvoli.
The Port Moresby Leaders’ Summit will be the first for Solomon Islands Prime Minister, who came to power in November last year.
Vanuatu’s Prime Minister, Mr Charlot Salwai and his foreign affairs minister, Mr Ralph Regenvanu will be in Port Moresby for the MSG Leaders’ Summit, while the FLNKS delegation will be led by Victor Tutugoro…
Fijian Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama will be represented by the country’s Defence and National Security Minister, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola.
09 February 2018 1 2 3 4 5 Author  Editor

The Solomon Islands Melanesian Arts Festival National Organizing Committee (MAFNOC) has resumed its pre-festival planning process for 2018 this week.
Solomon Islands will host the 6th Melanesian Arts and Culture Festival (MACFest) from July 1 to 10 this year on the theme “Past Recollections; Future Connections.”  The event is programmed to coincide with the country’s 40th Independence Anniversary.

MACFest was one of the outcome resolutions of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Ministers meeting in Honiara late last year. During Ministers summit the group also agreed upon MSG countries to provide assistance to support the host country.

The main Committee will be supported by a number of technical sub-committees in various areas including Events, Accommodation, Catering, Health, Security, Quarantine & Customs, Media & Promotions, Protocol, Finance and Logistics.

MAFNOC Chair and Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Culture and Tourism Andrew Nihopara said the Committee is working hard to ensure that all tasks are completed a month before the event.

This week the Committee has focused attention on its budget to ensure the limited funds provided by the Government are strategically spent to host a better and successful festival.

Approximately 2000 delegates from the five MSG countries (Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and New Caledonia) will be attending the event. The Solomon Islands will have 300 delegates. Also there will be invited delegates from West Papua, Timor Leste, and Torres Strait Island of Australia. West Papua has been granted an observer status at the MSG meeting.

The Solomon Islands was the first MSG country to host the Melanesian Arts Festival in 1998. After this inaugural event, the festival has been held every four years on rotational basis in the five Melanesian Countries.

The Festival was conceived in 1995 by the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) to promote and preserve Melanesian cultures, traditions, values and contemporary arts in the region.

Festival Timelines:

1998 – Solomon Islands

2002 – Vanuatu

2006 – Fiji

2010 – New Caledonia (Kanaky)

2014 – Papua New Guinea

2018 – Solomon Islands

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