2 Jun 2008

MSG development will not lead to break from Forum - diplomat

7:34 pm on 2 June 2008

Papua New Guinea's High Commissioner to Fiji says the Melanesian Spearhead Group has no plans to break away from the Pacific Islands Forum.

Peter Eafeare made the comments in Port Vila where the Vanuatu government hosted the just-completed 17th Melanesian Spearhead Group leaders summit.

At the meeting, Fiji's interim Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama, said that since Samoa nominated the last Pacific Forum Secretary-General, who has just resigned, this time it's the Melanesians turn to make a nomination.

Mr Eafeare, who is also the chairman of the joint Forum/Fiji Working group, says the MSG is an environment in which member countries can address their own problems within themselves.

But he says the MSG aims to support and enhance the Forum.

"Last year in Samoa, the Prime Minister of Samoa, wrote in and it was discussed at the retreat, the possible fragmentation of the Pacific Islands Forum because of the MSG. But it is definitely not a splinter group."

Peter Eafeare