Thursday, June 25, 2015

O'Neill arrives in Honiara for MSG Leaders' Summit

Expanding engagement with and empowering Papuans living in Indonesia to be more active in the regional economy is one of the main tropics of discussion at the 20th Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Leaders' Summit taking place in Honiara, the Solomon Islands, today.
Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea,  Peter O'Neill, arrived in Honiara today saying he is looking forward to fruitful discussions with his counterparts.
"I have expressed my concerns in relation to the protection of life and the preservation of communities for our Papuan Brothers and Sisters in Indonesia," O'Neill said from Honiara.
"All parties to these MSG discussions appeared to arrive with the similar outlook - a shared perspective that we need to have clear and open dialogue in order to advance these issues.
"I anticipate this spirit of engagement will continue and we will work together to alleviate concerns."
The event has the theme "Building a stronger Melanesia in the Pacific where peace, progress and prosperity is ensured and sustained for all."  
Another issue to be discussed include expanding connectivity through increased transportation linkages between MSG countries.  Leaders are also looking at ways to further increase MSG engagement on social, cultural and environmental issues.
"MSG remains a very important sub-regional forum.
"Our island countries are of similar outlook and we have shared concerns when it comes to how we will be affected by climate change or a disaster such as a pandemic virus.
Prior to the Leaders convening their Retreat, the outgoing Chair from FLNKS,' Victor Tutugoro, held an official hand-over ceremony for the incoming Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare as the Chair.
The brief ceremony was witnessed by the other three Leaders, including O'Neill, at the Heritage Park Hotel.
O'Neill is expected to officially open the Papua New Guinea Chancery in Honiara, tomorrow followed by the presentation of K20 million grant-in-aid.

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