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Appointment and Commencement of MSG EPG

EPG Members: Mr Tavola (c) flanked by MP Sogovare and MP Natuman.

The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Secretariat Eminent Persons Group (EPG) convened in Port Vila, from 10-12 April 2013 for a briefing before they proceeded on consultations with Government and stakeholders in member countries.

The EPG Team is led by Mr Kaliopate Tavola from Fiji, the members nominations are Mr Roch Wamytan of the FLNKS Political Bureau, Mr Leonard Louma of Papua New Guinea, Member of Parliament Manasseh Sogavare, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu MP Joe Natuman.

The Team is expected to begin consultations in Vanuatu from 15-19 April, 2013; Noumea from 22-26 April, 2013, Fiji from 30 April – 3 May, Solomon Islands from 20-24 May and in Papua New Guinea from 27-31 May 2013. From the consultations, the EPG will formulate the proposed Melanesia Vision/Plan which will be presented to the MSG Leaders Meeting on 20-21 June 2013 in New Caledonia.

The EPG will, amongst other responsibilities, review MSG’s performance over the past 25 years in line with the Agreed Principles of Co-operation Among Independent States of Melanesia signed by the parties in Port Vila in 1988 as well as the Agreed Principles of Co-operation Among Independent States in Melanesia signed by the parties at Kiriwina, Trobriand Island on 7th June, 1996.

The EPG will undertake consultations with the State, Member Governments and the Front de Liberation Nationale Kanak Socialiste (FLNKS) of New Caledonia including Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) and Civil Societies including Customary Chiefs and Churches on a desired Vision and Plan specifying the anticipated Objectives and Strategies for the MSG for the next 25 years.

The MSG Secretariat has welcomed the appointment of the EPG Team and their vast experiences on regional and geo-political and development issues will greatly contribute to this important task mandated by Leaders.

The convening of an EPG was mandated by MSG Leaders at their meeting in Nadi in August 2012.