The Democratic Coalition for Change (DCC) Government has announced it will endorse West Papua to be an observer of the Melanesian Spearhead Group.
The announcement comes ahead of next week’s MSG Leaders Summit in Honiara.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare made an official announcement of the Government’s position on West Papua’s bid to be a member of the MSG via a statement this afternoon.
In the statement, he says Cabinet has agreed that the Government will endorse West Papua to be an Observer of the MSG and this Observer Status is given only to one united group.
Another point Cabinet raised is any submission for full membership to the MSG by a group representing Melanesians in Indonesia must be united and done in consultation with Indonesia as agreed by MSG Leaders in 2013 and 2014.
Cabinet has also agreed that the Government will encourage MSG to continue to explore avenues for Indonesia in its interest to be an Associated Member of MSG within the guidelines approved by Leaders in 2012.
The Government will also engage with all MSG stakeholders in communicating the above positions.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister explains the Government’s position on West Papua and the Melanesian Spearhead Group were made in light of the need to enhance Melanesian solidarity, values, continuity and maintain good neighbourliness.
Manasseh Sogavare says geopolitics and international commerce aside, the resolutions are founded on Christian principles which form the bedrock of the National Constitution.
He said the resolutions also recognise the need to create international space for Melanesians seeking the inalienable rights and freedoms they sought to achieve through peaceful co-existence.