21 Jan 2014

New MSG meeting on West Papua scheduled

9:44 pm on 21 January 2014

The director general of the Melanesian Spearhead Group has confirmed a special Leaders meeting will be held in Vanuatu next month.

Peter Forau says the agenda is still being consulted on but it will address issues of importance to MSG cooperation, notably the West Papua issue.

The MSG Chairperson Victor Tutugoro, who is also spokesperson of New Caledonia's indigenous FLNKS movement, is calling for the meeting, just days after a controversial MSG mission to Indonesia and Papua.

Foreign ministers from Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Solomon Islands took part in a delegation last week, which was meant to learn more about the bid by the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation to become a member of the MSG.

Vanuatu's foreign minister, Edward Natapei, pulled out because the itinerary did not include meetings with groups concerned about alleged human rights abuses in West Papua.