Government of the Republic of Fiji
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
A Better Fiji through Excellence in Foreign Service
21 August 2012: This morning the Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) of the Melanesian Spearhead Group began at the Sheraton Denarau under the Chairmanship of Mrs. Saipora W. Mataikabara Permanent Secretary Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. In attendance were the Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Vanuatu, Mr Jean Sese, the High Commissioner of Papua New Guinea to Fiji H.E Mr Peter Eafeare, the High Commissioner of Solomon Islands to Fiji H.E. Patterson Oti, Official Representative of the FLNKS Mr Charles Wea, and the Director General of the MSG Secretariat.
In welcoming the Delegates Mrs Mataikabara explained that the main purpose of this Meeting is to discuss a number of issues relating to the issue of Decolonization in our region. MSG Leaders at their Special meeting in March this year in Suva, had called for this meeting to address pressing issues relating to the Kanaks.
"This meeting is therefore being held immediately after the 2nd MSG Ministerial Mission visited New Caledonia from 13-18 August 2012 under the leadership of the FMM Chair and Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation of Fiji, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola..." •"I am optimistic that at the end of our meeting, our deliberations on decolonization issues will gain more prominence on the international arena as we all endeavour to assist our FLNKS colleagues and their people in their struggle for self emancipation. Our efforts in monitoring the progress on the Noumea Accord extend to a wider audience in sharing our findings with the United Nations therefore as Chair, I look forward to your views on this issue."
Referring to the challenges before the Organisation Mrs Mataikabara stated: •"As I mentioned in March, we continue to be challenged on how best we can advise our Leaders through the Foreign Ministers Meeting on how the MSG can prioritize and focus its attention and resources to deliver tangible outcomes for the benefit of around the 9 million people we represent. I hope as we consider the agenda on Secretariat issues, we think ahead of our 3rd meeting scheduled for late October to discuss the Work Programme and Budget for 2013." •"Our commitment in living up to the decisions reached at the Budget leaves a lot to be desired therefore I seek your full attention when we discuss the matter." •"I am confident with the able support and cooperation of those of you present here today, we will discuss issues constructively and reach amicable outcomes to our Ministers of Foreign Affairs tomorrow morning." SOM will end this afternoon and tomorrow its recommendations goes to the meeting of Foreign Ministers of the MSG Countries before its considered by MSG Leaders under the Chairmanship of Fiji's Prime Minister Commodore JV Bainimarama.
(Photo caption: Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) of the Melanesian Spearhead Group at the Sheraton Denarau)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs P. O. Box 2220 Government Buildings Suva, Fiji