The Melanesian Spearhead Group has named a Papua New Guinean, Rima Ravusiro, as the first ever Director General of its new Secretariat, which was officially on Thursday in Vanuatu's capital.
The opening co-incided with the conclusion of the 17th MSG Leaders Summit in Port Vila, at which PNG handed the chairmanship of the group to hosts Vanuatu for a three year term.
Mr Ravusiro holds a Masters degree in Development Economics from the University of Queensland and Science and Arts degrees from the University of PNG.
Prior to his appointment the 53-year old was Trade Advisor to PNG's Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Immigration.
Meanwhile, PNG's Prime Minister has ruled out the MSG granting observer status to West Papuans of Indonesia.
Sir Michael Somare says that Papua is an internal issue for Jakarta and that the people aren't ready for observer status anyway.
"When people are prepared for their autonomous government, self government in their respective countries, they are allowed to be given observer status in the Forum, that's the rule we have been carrying on from there on and still stands the same."
Sir Michael Somare