Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Foreign Ministers’ Meeting concludes in Honiara

HONIARA: The Foreign Ministers' Meeting (FMM) has been successfully concluded and preparations for the 20th Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Leaders Summit are currently underway.
During these preparations, recommendations have been developed from related meetings including measures to further strengthen the MSG 2038 Prosperity For All Plan, and the observers and associated members' status, which will be submitted to the MSG Leaders for their consideration.
Representing Papua New Guinea at the FMM was the Acting Secretary for the Department of Foreign Affairs, William Dihm, who participated in the conclusion and signing of its outcomes.
"MSG continues to remain a significant forum to promote collective sub-regional agendas of the group within the framework of the MSG 2038 Prosperity For All Plan.
" Thus, I thank the hard working members of the recently held Senior Officials Meeting for deliberating on the issues and setting the agendas for the Ministers, also aligned with the very fitting theme for the 20th MSG Leaders' Summit and other related meetings," Secretary Dihm said.
He said the theme 'Let us build a strong Melanesia in the Pacific where peace, progress and prosperity is ensured and sustained for all' reinforces PNG's desire to practically and meaningfully assist in the implementation of the various programs undertaken by the MSG Secretariat.
"PNG will continue to work closely with all regional partners including the MSG through constructive engagement and these include extending development cooperation to Small Island states, business, cultural integration, education and employment opportunities, consistent with our fundamental Melanesian principles of sharing and caring.
"We are also aware of the MSG Secretariat's plans to open up more economic corridors to advance and promote trade, investment, business and tourism opportunities, among MSG countries," Mr Dihm said.
On the PNG-Indonesian relations, Mr Dihm said it remains complex given the wide range of issues affecting the two countries; nonetheless, our already robust ties have continued to be enhanced over the last 40 years.
"On the issue of MSG membership, we have noted the recommended processes guiding the screening potential of applicants and that their admission must be addressed responsibly so as to foster cooperation and connectivity and be endorsed by the MSG leadership," Mr Dihm said.
He also acknowledged that the Port Moresby Declaration signed by the MSG Trade Ministers during their meeting in November 2014 underscores the significance of connectivity through aviation and shipping links and reiterated PNG Government's commitment to support in funding the MSG shipping study to give effect to this declaration.
The official opening ceremony for MSG Leaders' Summit will be held today (24/06/15) at the National Museum Outdoor Auditorium in the capital of the Solomon Islands, where the Solomon Islands Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare will officially welcome the MSG Leaders.
The 20th MSG Leaders' Summit commences tomorrow at the Heritage Park Hotel.

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