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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

Regional Meeting gathers Momentum

SOM_21_August_2012_II21 August 2012: As Fiji successfully concludes the first of the four regional meetings it is hosting this week at Denarau it is gearing up again for the second regional meeting which is a meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (FMM) which meets tomorrow morning also at Sheraton Denarau.

The first regional meeting that concluded tonight was that of Senior Officials (ie Foreign Secretary level officers) of the MSG which was ably led by the Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation Mrs Saipora Mataikabara.

In her Closing Remarks to the Senior Officials Meeting tonight, Mrs Mataikabara said,

“The MSG Senior Officials Meeting successfully met today and had a very interactive approach and we were able to make substantive progress on a number of issues pertinent to the MSG countries....”

“The meeting of the Senior Officials have derived various outcomes emanating from the discussions and will be recommending them further to the Foreign Ministers for their consideration and endorsement tomorrow for final submission to the MSG Leaders during the Leaders Summit...”

“Undeniably, I am happy to note that there has been much progress achieved in all our meetings this week as reflected in our Outcome Document which we have just adopted.”

“I further note the number of areas of cooperation that we have ventured into in relation to the broad areas which are covered under the purpose of the MSG as stipulated in the Agreement Establishing the MSG.”

“I believe that we have adopted an Outcome Document which will surely advance a number of issues of importance to the Group.  I believe that we have set a milestone in our discussions during the last two days.  The outcome of our meeting is testament of the importance that we accord our Organization in the advancement of the development needs and aspirations of our peoples.  We had shown that we are focused and steadfast in our commitment to further build a stronger organization. “

“In light of this, I am humbled by the level of commitment that you have shown and I look forward to reporting the SOM Outcomes to the FMM for their consideration and further endorsement. “

Tomorrows FMM will be chaired by Ratu Inoke Kubuabola Minister for Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation.

Today however high level delegates jetted in for tomorrows FMM, and the third regional meeting Fiji is hosting at Denarau which begins tomorrow afternoon which is a meeting of Leaders of the MSG and which will be chaired by PM Bainimarama.

Tomorrow also see the arrival of more high level delegates for the fourth regional meeting Fiji is convening at Denarau this week which is the Engagement With The Pacific (EWTP) meeting which meets on Thursday and Friday under the Chairmanship of PM Bainimarama. This is a meeting of Pacific Leaders.

Tomorrow the President of Marshall Island, the Deputy PM of Solomon Islands, the Foreign Minster of Kosovo and Timor Leste, Special Envoy's and Senior Diplomats & Foreign Ministry Officials from Morocco and Kazakhstan arrive in the country to attend these meetings. They join the President of Nauru, Prime Minister of Tuvalu etc who are already incountry.

The scope and level of participation in the EWTP continues to grow every year since Fiji began hosting the meeting in 2010. This year will be the most successful in terms of representation from an ever growing number of countries some of whom are attending for the first time.

(Photo caption: Senior MSG Officials meeting today at Denarau under the Chairmanship of Foreign Secretary Saipora Mataikabara)