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19th MSG LEADERS’ SUMMIT 20 June 2013 Escapade Resort, NOUMEA, New Caledonia



  1. The 19th MSG Leaders’ Summit was held in Noumea, New Caledonia from 19-21 June 2013. The Official Opening of the Summit was held on 19 June 2013 at the Tjibaou Cultural Centre and included a traditional welcome ceremony by the Wetr Cultural Group from Lifou of the Loyalty Islands Province. The Leaders then convened their Retreat at the Escapade Resort on 20 June, 2013 followed by the Plenary at the Conference Room of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in the morning of 21 June, 2013. The closing ceremony was held at the Tjibaou Cultural Centre in the afternoon.


  1. The MSG Silver Jubilee celebrations were also held from 19 – 21 June and the Chief Guest was Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare of Papua New Guinea. Other Founding fathers and former MSG Leaders including Hon Ham Lini Vanuaroroa of Vanuatu were also present.


  1. The Summit was chaired by the Spokesperson of the Front de Liberation Nationale Kanak Socialiste (FLNKS), Mr Victor Tutugoro. MSG Leaders in attendance included the Prime Minister of Fiji, Commodore Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, Hon. Gordon Darcy Lilo, the Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Hon. Moana Carcasses Kalosil; and the Deputy Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea (PNG), Hon. Leo Dion who represented the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea.


  1. At their Retreat, Leaders considered and made decisions on the key issues submitted by the MSG Foreign Ministers Meeting (FMM) and other issues on their Agenda. The key decisions of Leaders are summarised below. 2



  1. Leaders congratulated the FMM Chair Mme Caroline Manchoro-Reignier for the report of the FMM that was held in Lifou on 17 June and concluded in Noumea on 18 June. Leaders considered and adopted the following key decisions as recommended by the FMM.


MSG Trade Issues

  1. Leaders noted and congratulated Fiji, PNG and Vanuatu for the reduction in duties on goods in the negative list and welcomed Solomon Islands’ proposal to revisit the timeline for its tariff reduction schedule. Leaders further noted the particular needs of some of the members and the importance of ensuring a level playing field including the need to provide trade capacity building for the private sector in order to benefit from the larger regional market. In considering measures to support Trade and Investment, Leaders discussed the viability of establishing an MSG Stock Exchange to facilitate the movement of capital across MSG borders. Decisions
  2. Leaders:

MSG Trade Agreement (MSGTA) Implementation

  • welcomed the significant progress made on the implementation of the MSG Trade Agreement with three Members (Fiji, PNG and Vanuatu) trading duty free under the Agreement from January 2013, a milestone achievement for the MSG in this anniversary year;
  • approved the Revision of the MSGTA Rules of Origin (ROO) Handbook to incorporate PNG’s MSG tariff schedule as gazetted on 13 September 2012;
  • approved the MSG Cooperation Framework on Quarantine and Bio-security for subsequent signing by MSG Agriculture Ministers; and
  • approved that Trade Officials explore trade links with New Caledonia.


Revised Draft MSG Trade Agreement (MSGTA3)

  • approved the draft MSGTA3 legal text including its proposed architecture, as basis for the negotiations of a new legal framework for broader and deeper trade and economic relations amongst MSG members; 3
  • agreed that the draft MSGTA3 will not nullify but build on the progress made under the MSGTA2 thus far;
  • approved that the Trade Ministers Meeting (TMM) be institutionalized in the MSG decision-making structure to report directly to Leaders on trade issues; and
  • directed MSG Trade Officials to meet and develop a negotiating roadmap on the draft MSGTA3 which should include regular reporting to the Trade Ministers and practical matters required for the timely conclusion of the negotiations by end of 2015.

Skills Movement Scheme

  • noted that the MSG Skills Movement Scheme (SMS) which Leaders had launched in March 2012 had entered into force on 30 September 2012 and that three members namely, Fiji PNG and Solomon Islands, are ready to implement the Scheme.


  • agreed to scaling up of the MSG political efforts to secure regional and international market access for kava to the Australian and the European Union (EU) markets; and
  • approved that MSG Leaders communicate with the Australian Government to raise their objections to the kava restrictions imposed by Australia and call on Australia to withdraw their unjustified restrictions.

MSG Investment Roadshow and Trade Fair 2013

  • approved that the inaugural MSG Investment Roadshow and Trade Fair be launched at the upcoming Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) in August 2013 in Nadi, Fiji; and
  • approved PNG’s offer to host the 2014 MSG Investment Roadshow and Trade Fair.

MSG Stock Exchange

  • agreed that the MSG Secretariat assess the viability of establishing an MSG Stock Exchange to facilitate movement of capital across MSG borders 4

Environment and Climate Change (ECC) Issues

  1. Leaders considered the Environment and Climate Change (ECC) issues and adopted the following key decisions as recommended by the Foreign Ministers Meeting (FMM).



9. Leaders:

Resettlement of Communities

  • approved for the Secretariat in consultation with members to build partnerships and synergies with development partners on environment and climate-induced migration.

Rio + 20 Resolutions Implementation

  • approved for the Secretariat to work with members and organizations on a draft strategy on sustainable development goals prior to the July Pacific Regional Preparatory Meeting for the 2014 Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Conference.

Conference of the Parties (COP) 18 Outcomes

  • approved for the MSG members and the Secretariat to explore ways it could advance its issues at COP 19 including through side events.

Melanesian Climate Change Adaption Initiative

  • approved for the Secretariat to develop a MSG Climate Change Adaptation Early Career Leadership Program in collaboration with partner universities, donors and regional organizations, to build the capacity of Melanesian Early Career Practitioners and Researchers.

MSG Declaration on Environment and Climate Change (a) Melanesian Green Growth Framework

  • endorsed the Five Green Growth Goals as follows:
  • Goal 1: Improving the quality of growth and maximizing net growth
  • Goal 2: Closing the gaps between economic and ecological efficiencies
  • Goal 3: Planning and development of eco-efficient infrastructure 5
  • Goal 4: Promoting sustainable business opportunities
  • Goal 5: Integrated planning for Green Growth and Sustainable Development


  • endorsed that further in-country consultations are undertaken on the five Green Growth Goals including their measurability; and
  • agreed to also use the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) to further advance their dialogue on Green Growth.

(b) Update on Capacity Building and Knowledge Sharing

  • noted the engagement of a consultant to assist MSG in developing the Knowledge Management (KM) e-Platform which will be launched during this Summit.

 (c) Melanesian Terrestrial Commitment

  • endorsed the way forward outlined in paragraph 44 of the ECC Technical Advisory Committee (ECCTAC) Outcomes;

(d) Melanesian Green Climate Fund

  • endorsed the objectives of the Melanesian Green Climate Fund; and
  • endorsed that the Secretariat in consultation with members convene a roundtable meeting with Development Partners in 2014.


Policing, Security and Legal Issues

  1. Leaders considered the FMM Report on the Police, Security and Legal Issues and adopted the following key decisions.



  1. Leaders:

Police Commissioners Conference (PCC) Report

  • Endorsed the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on Police Cooperation; and
  • Endorsed the Department of Peace-Keeping Operations (DPKO) Concept. 6 Sub-committee on Legal and Institutional Issues (SCLII) Report
  • endorsed the following Treaties for signing during the 19th MSG summit:
  1. a) Treaty on Reciprocal Enforcement of Foreign Judgments between members of the MSG; and
  2. b) Treaty on Custody and Maintenance of Children between members of the MSG.


Agreement Establishing the MSG

  • noted that the draft revised Agreement has been referred back to the Sub-Committee on Legal & Institutional Issues (SCLII) to complete the review and incorporate other developments including the outcomes of the Report of the EPG.

Report of the Sub-Committee on Security (SCS)

  • endorsed the revised Humanitarian and Emergency Response Coordination Centre (HERCC) Concept.


Social Issues

  1. Leaders considered the FMM Report on the Social Issues and adopted the following key decisions.



13. Leaders:

MSG Silver Jubilee Scholarship in Honour of Fr. Walter Hayde Lini

  • noted the proposed MSG Jubilee Scholarship Scheme;
  • endorsed that the scholarship scheme be named after the late Father Walter Hayde Lini, one of the founding fathers of MSG and founding Prime Minister of the Republic of Vanuatu; and
  • endorsed the establishment of the scholarship scheme, task the Secretariat to develop the criteria for the Scheme, and explore potential funding sources.

MSG Silver Jubilee Celebrations

  • endorsed the proposal that members celebrate the MSG Day on 14 March annually.

Council of Arts and Culture Meeting (CACM) Outcomes 7

  • noted that the CACM Report will be presented to the Ministers of Culture and Arts Meeting (MCAM) in September 2013; and
  • urged all members to ratify the Treaty on Traditional Knowledge and Expressions of Culture(TK and EC) and to deposit their instruments of ratification at the Secretariat to enable the Treaty to enter into force.

Update on Melanesia Games in 2014

  • noted the update on the preparations for the Melanesia Games proposed for September 2014 in Kanaky-New Caledonia.


Economic Issues

  1. Leaders considered the FMM Report on Economic Issues and adopted the following key decisions.


  1. Leaders:

Report of the TEOM

  • endorsed the MOU on Technical Cooperation on Coastal Fishery and Aquaculture Development to be signed by the Ministers responsible for Fisheries;
  • endorsed that the Inshore Fisheries Working Group be convened to formulate the Roadmap for Inshore Fisheries as directed by the MSG Leaders; and
  • endorsed the piloting of the Alternative Indicators of Wellbeing for Melanesia, adapted from the pilot project completed in Vanuatu, in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji and FLNKS.


EDF 11 Preparations

  1. Leaders highlighted the need for the Secretariat to be a development partner agency to be able to liaise with other development partners. In acknowledging the need to channel EDF resources and other resources to members through the Secretariat, Leaders noted with appreciation that at the 97th ACP Ministerial Council Meeting in Brussels, Vanuatu had submitted MSG’s proposal for a separate envelope under the EDF11. Leaders also noted the developments on the setting up of the Pacific ACP Secretariat by PNG in Port Moresby. Stressing the importance of engaging with partners the Leaders noted that during 8 its term as Chair, Fiji had facilitated dialogue with partners and encouraged south-south cooperation between MSG members and with partners in the South through the G77 Office based in New York.


  1. Leaders:

(iv) endorsed the following MSG’s proposed approach for the 11th EDF preparations:
(a) that MSG Members continue to maintain a strong position for the 11th EDF funds to be channelled through sub-regions or ‘regional integration’ organisations as a regional position in all upcoming meetings and consultations on 11th EDF strategy and programming at the PACP and ACP levels, as well as in lobbying the EU;
(b) the development of an MSG strategy that could be used as basis for the 11th EDF programming based on the report and outcomes of the MSG Eminent Persons Group (EPG) which is developing a new vision for the MSG;
(c) that climate change and regional economic integration be the two focal sectors for 11th EDF programming;
(d) urged the MSG Secretariat and Officials to move quickly to finalise the MSG strategy for EDF 11; and
(v) urged the governments of PNG and Fiji to complete the arrangements for setting up the PACP Secretariat in Port Moresby.

Political Issues

  1. Leaders considered the FMM Report on Political Issues and adopted the following key decisions.



  1. Leaders:

Application for Membership

  1. Leaders noted that a roadmap in relation to the application by West Papua National Council for Liberation (WPNCL) for membership should be based on clear and achievable timelines. Leaders acknowledged that the human rights violations need to be highlighted and noted that to progress the WPNCL’s application, it was important to continually engage with Indonesia. Leaders agreed to establish a process of dialogue and consultation with Indonesia. Leaders noted and welcomed the invitation from Indonesia to invite a Foreign Ministers’ Mission to be led by Fiji and that confirmation on the timing of the Mission was being awaited. The outcomes of the WPNCL’s application would be subject to the report of the FMM mission.



  1. Leaders:

(i) endorsed that the MSG fully supports the inalienable rights of the people of West Papua towards self-determination as provided for under the preamble of the MSG constitution;
(ii) endorsed that the concerns of the MSG regarding the human rights violations and other forms of atrocities relating to the West Papuan people be raised with the Government of Indonesia bilaterally and as a Group;
(iii) noted the application received from the WPNCL to be a member of the MSG and that the application will be reviewed after the submission of the Ministerial Mission’s report; and
(iv) approved the Roadmap as recommended by the FMM which included:

  1. a) that the MSG send a Ministerial Mission at the FMM level to be led by Fiji’s Foreign Minister to Jakarta and then to West Papua in 2013 and accept the invitation of the Government of Indonesia;
  2. b) the Ministerial Mission to present its report to the Leaders at the earliest opportunity within the next six months;
  3. c) the WPNCL to be officially informed of the MSG Leaders’ decision regarding its application; and
  4. d) the Mission would be part of a process in determining WPNCL’s membership application.


Appointment of MSG High Level Representative

  1. Leaders considered the report of the FMM on the MSG High level Representative.



  1. Leaders:

(vii) agreed for the Secretariat to seek funding for the MSG High Level Representative, develop a criteria for future appointments of MSG High Level Representatives and undertake a review of such an appointment; and
(viii) appointed Ambassador Kaliopate Tavola as the MSG High Level Representative for two years and thereafter for each member to have a turn to nominate a representative for the position.

MSG Flag d

  1. Leaders considered the report of the FMM on the MSG flag.


  1. Leaders:

(ix) agreed to fly the MSG flag on the left hand side of the national flags in MSG capitals and MSG missions abroad.


  1. Leaders acknowledged the Report of the Director General on activities of the Secretariat achieved in 2012.


  1. Leaders endorsed the Director General’s Report as presented.


  1. Leaders noted a presentation of the Eminent Persons Group Report. Leaders acknowledged that the EPG Report is a very important basis to determine a new focus and to shape the future of the MSG as an organization. 11


  1. Leaders:

(i) Noted the work and Report of the EPG;
(ii) Acknowledged with deep appreciation the work and commitment of the EPG Members which comprise Mr KaliopateTavola representing Fiji, Hon. Manasseh Sogavare, MP representing Solomon Islands, Hon. Joe Natuman, MP representing Vanuatu, Hon. Roch Wamytan representing the FLNKS and Mr Leonard Louma representing Papua New Guinea;
(iii) Acknowledged with deep appreciation the exemplary Leadership of Mr Tavola as the Leader of the EPG ;
(iv) Acknowledged with deep appreciation the support of the Secretariat to the EPG;
(v) Adopted the EPG Report;
(vi) Endorsed the recommendations on the Report by the FMM; and (vii) Agreed to task the Secretariat to develop an implementation plan and a communication strategy for the Report.


  1. Leaders received a presentation on the recommitment of MSG Support to the FLNKS. Leaders supported the provision of a holistic technical assistance programme for the FLNKS through the Secretariat in its proposed role as a development partner. Leaders also noted that the EPG Report emphasized the importance of promoting the FLNKS cause for self determination. Leaders reaffirmed that the MSG must stay committed to the FLNKS cause for self determination and welcomed the proposed Declaration as the express commitment of the MSG. PNG informed the meeting of its support to the cause of the Kanaks through the extension of bilateral assistance.


  1. Leaders:

(i) approved the recommendation by FMM for the MSG to renew its commitment to the FLNKS during the 2013 Summit; 12
(ii) endorsed the Declaration on MSG commitment to FLNKS’ cause for independence attached as Annex 1;
(iii) endorsed the SOM recommendation on the strategies to implement the Declaration based on the Report of the Ministerial Mission to New Caledonia from 13-18 August 2012; and
(iv) noted a proposed visit to New Caledonia by the United Nations in late 2013 or in 2014.


  1. Leaders acknowledged an update on the withdrawal of RAMSI from the Solomon Islands. This would start on 24th July 2013, when RAMSI would be progressively ending its assistance to Solomon Islands and this would involve a drawdown of activities, especially the military component. RAMSI assistance would remain on policing activities and this would be done at a bilateral level. In the economic and financial sector, there would be a reduction in Australian and New Zealand assistance. An independent review would be undertaken to establish whether Solomon Islands had the capacity in the areas of assistance that would be withdrawn. Beyond RAMSI, Solomon Islands would like to establish a good governance framework and towards this a Political Party Integrity Bill had been developed. Solomon Islands also informed Leaders that the Solomon Islands would be celebrating their 35 years of independence and that members would be invited.
  2. Leaders noted that the MSG had the potential to provide police and security in Solomon Islands with the withdrawal of RAMSI.


  1. Leaders acknowledged with appreciation the report by the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands and agreed on the special needs which the MSG as a group could respond to in addressing the likely transitory priorities related to the withdrawal of RAMSI.



  1. Leaders received an update from Fiji on their preparations for the national election in 2014. These included Fiji’s new Constitution which was being finalized and would be translated into the three languages at the latest by July 2013. It was noted that Fiji would like to ensure that a credible election was conducted 13 in 2014. Over 500,000 people had registered to vote, with only Fiji residents living overseas yet to be registered. International partners had been provided an opportunity to participate in the election preparations. Leaders welcomed the invitation by Fiji for an MSG Observer Mission to the Fiji election.


  1. Leaders expressed appreciation for the update by the Prime Minister of Fiji on their preparations for election in 2014 and agreed to offer assistance to Fiji including through the MSG Election Observer Mission.



Leaders acknowledged a paper and presentation by the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands on the concept of an MSG Parliament. Common trade and economic jurisdiction would ultimately entail a common governance framework that would engender solidarity and unity within the Melanesian region. An overarching legislative framework would provide good prospects for sound economic and social development. A common MSG building block involving freer flow of goods, services, capital and labour would provide the opportunity for deeper integration and cooperation. MSG Parliamentarians could be involved in discussing broader cooperation arrangements within the MSG and would be a catalyst for strengthening intra MSG cooperation. Decision 38. Leaders noted the concept of the MSG Parliament and tasked the Secretariat to begin scoping the concept, ramifications and applicability.


  1. Leaders granted the Secretariat the mandate and the flexibility to respond to different meetings and circumstances to promote and protect the interest of the members.



  1. Leaders discussed a range of issues of interest to the future development of the MSG. 14


  1. Leaders acknowledged the range of issues affecting members and agreed that the Secretariat develop technical capacity to provide assistance within the MSG and that this function be encapsulated within the MSG Secretariat organization structure.



  1. Leaders expressed their deep appreciation to Fiji for their leadership over the past two years and extended their support to the FLNKS during its term as Chair.



  1. Leaders agreed to meet in the Solomon Islands in 2015 at a date and venue yet to be determined.


  1. The Chair thanked all the Leaders for their support and contributions during the Leaders’ Summit. Leaders also thanked the FLNKS and the Government and people of New Caledonia for hosting a successful Leaders’ Summit 2013 and related meetings. They also expressed their gratitude and appreciation for the warm hospitality extended to all the Leaders and delegates.

Escapade Resort Noumea, New Caledonia 20 June 2013 15
Commodore Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama Prime Minister REPUBLIC OF FIJI
Hon. Leo Dion MP Deputy Prime Minister Independent State of Papua New Guinea
Hon. Gordon Darcy Lilo MP Prime Minister SOLOMON ISLANDS
Hon. Moana Carcassas Kalosil MP Prime Minister Republic of Vanuatu

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