A Vanuatu Presbyterian pastor has been appointed to head a new committee tasked with organising a conference of West Papuan representative groups in Port Vila next month.
Pastor Alain Nafuki says the aim is to hold discussions among the various groups towards arranging a unified bid for West Papuan membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group.
MSG leaders last month knocked back the membership application of the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation, calling for an application by a more representative umbrella group.
Vanuatu's council of churches, national chiefs body and government are involved in organising the conference, which is slated for August 27 - 30 in Port Vila.
Pastor Nafuki says there are some divisions amongst the West Papuan groups invited, but that Vanuatu's chiefs will facilitate a Melanesian reconciliation process.
"If they do come to Vanuatu then we will provide that avenue for them to reconcile and maybe we can also serve and help by any unification ceremony that we will carry out."
Pastor Alain Nafuki