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     Government of the Republic of Fiji

  Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    A Better Fiji through Excellence in Foreign Service

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Media Release

2nd MSG Mission Concludes Visit to New Caledonia

MSG_August18th August 2012, Noumea, New Caledonia: The 2nd   MSG Ministerial Mission led by Ratu  Inoke Kubuabola, the Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation of Fiji & Chair of the MSG Foreign Ministers Meeting (FMM)  has just concluded its week long Mission to New Caledonia to assess the implementation of the Noumea Accord. Other members of the Ministerial Mission included Hon.  Alfred  Carlot,  Minister  of  Foreign  Affairs of  the  Republic  of Vanuatu, Hon.  Moses Garu, Minister of Mines of Solomon Islands; H.E Mr Peter Eafeare, PNG’s High Commissioner to Fiji who deputized on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of PNG; H.E Mr Patteson Oti, Solomon Island High  Commissioner to Fiji,  Senior Officials; and the Director General, Mr Peter Forau and staff of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Secretariat.

The Mission was warmly welcomed by the FLNKS Political Bureau and the Government Authorities in New Caledonia including the French High Commission, the Government and Congress of New  Caledonia, other institutions such as the Customary Senate, Economic & Social Council, Customary  Chiefs  and  Provincial  Assemblies  in  the  Loyalty  Islands, Northern Province and Southern  Province.    In the Loyalty Islands, the Mission also visited the Ports & Maria wharf and fish  market, Vanilla plantation and    processing    plant    at    Nathalo    and    the    Employment, Vocational and Professional Training Institute. In the Northern Province, they also visited the 2nd largest Nickel mine in the world, the Vavuota Nickel Plant, a development site on Customary land owned by the Baco tribe and a prawn farm from Poeumbout. In the Southern Province, the Mission visited the “Raphael Pidjot” economic development zone and ended the Mission with  a  meeting  with the FLNKS Political  Bureau including a dinner at the Kaimolo Village at Dumbea.

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The  Mission  was  generally  pleased  with  the  progress  made  in  the implementation  of  the  Accord  since  2010  evident  in  the  economic activities in the Northern Province.  They noted too that there are five (5) remaining powers that still need to be transferred under the Noumea Accord and that there needs to be more awareness on the process leading up to the 2014-2018 referendum including the referendum itself as well as agreeing to clear guidelines for this process.

Furthermore,  the  role  of  the  UN  Committee  of  24  is  not  clearly understood in some parts of New Caledonia and established institutions therefore the MSG in consultation with New Caledonia  will consider exploring the option of approaching the UN to conduct joint visits to advance the Accord and identify areas the MSG and the UN could assist in the process.

As part of its complimentary role to the UN C24, the MSG looks forward to interacting more with the people and authorities of New Caledonia in the monitoring and implementation of the Noumea accord.

The MSG Foreign Ministers will present their findings to the Special Leaders Summit in Nadi, Fiji next week on 22 August.

(Photo caption 1:President of NC Customary Senate addressing the Mission;caption 2:Mission meeting with Northern Province)

Authorised for release by the FMM Chair