SolomonStarNews.com, Published: 13 July 2016
The Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare has told a visiting United Liberation Movement of West Papua delegation that opening up membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group is an idea to be discussed in Honiara at the MSG Leaders’ Summit beginning July 14.
Mr Sogavare made the comment after the General Secretary of the United Liberation Movement of West Papua, Octovinius Mote, wanted to know if new applications for membership of the MSG would be discussed by the Summit.
He instructed officials of the MSG Secretariat to put together the pre-requisites such as rules and guidelines, applicants must understand when applying for membership of the Melanesian Block of which he is Chair.
He added the MSG leaders will have the opportunity to meet Mr Mote and his delegates in Honiara, adding further that Fiji’s support of West Papuans’ struggle for self-rule speaks a lot.
And he said the support for self-rule for the ULMWP by the five MSG members, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and New Caledonia is from the heart.
Meanwhile, the idea of an open up MSG membership could mean International and Regional groups and States that are outside the MSG Block could apply for Full and Associate membership while others could apply for Observer Status if the MSG Leaders’ Summit sanctions it.
United Liberation Movement of West Papua which now holds the Observer status with the MSG is applying for full membership while its ruler, Indonesia, is an Associate member.
By George Atkin,
OPMC Press Secretariat