Five Melanesian leaders, including our Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, concluded the 22nd Melanesian Spearhead Group Leaders Summit in Port Vila today (24.08.23) after a fruitful round of talks that covered environment and climate change mitigation, security, and nuclear waste disposal management.
Vanuatu’s Prime Minister and MSG Chair, Hon. Alatoi Ishmael Kalsakau; Fiji’s Prime Minister, Hon. Sitiveni Rabuka; Solomon Island’s Prime Minister, Hon. Manasseh Sogavare; New Caledonia (FLNKS) Spokesperson, Victor Tutugoro Solomon; and Prime Minister Marape ended the Leaders Summit with a retreat at the Havannah Boathouse, 30 minutes out of Port Vila, where Wednesday’s formal discussions turned into a more informal Melanesian-type “toktok” over food, and the eventual signing of the Summit Communique.
Prime Minister Marape commended the meeting, and the initiative and time taken by the leaders to be present at the summit, adding that PNG’s presence at the summit was “certainly appreciated”.
He said: “Melanesia holds about 15 million people from our nations put together.
“As the biggest nation in Melanesia, Papua New Guinea’s presence was certainly appreciated together with our contribution within the context of Melanesian consensus.
“Today was important for the five of us to be able to sit as Melanesian elders, share food, and chart the way forward for our children who will come after us. Discussions went very well.
“The leadership was mature, and the conversation was fair and frank, while respecting the charter of MSG which includes the sovereignty of nations in our region.”