PORT VILA, VANUATU (28 May 2021): The third virtual Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Secretariat concluded last week.
Among the many discussions was the endorsement of the 2021 Work Programme and Budget. The Senior Officials recognised the impact that COVID-19 posed on the economies of the Members, and agreed to some strategic undertakings to be implemented by the MSG Secretariat.
Also considered in the discussions was the MSG 7-Point Plan on COVID-19. The MSG 7-Point Plan aims to create an MSG hub for pooling, facilitating, resourcing, coordinating and communicating collective actions, particularly to addressing the COVID-19 challenge as a Group.
Other issues, include developing frameworks for advancing strategic partnerships, the MSG Prime Ministers Cup, Preparations for MACFEST 2022 and the Implementation of the MSG Roadmap for Inshore Fisheries and Sustainable Management 2015 – 2014.
The Acting Director General, George Hoa’au, on behalf of the Secretariat acknowledged the unwavering support by Members and welcomed the sentiments raised by the SOM on the need to strengthen collective efforts to drive the sub-regional agendas of the MSG.
The MSG Foreign Ministers Meeting (FMM), comprising the Foreign Ministers from Member countries, will meet next month to consider a report on the appointment of the new Director General of the MSG Secretariat and make a recommendation to the Biennial Leader’s Summit.
The MSG Biennium Leader’s Summit is then expected to meet following the FMM. The last MSG Leader’s Summit was held in February of 2018.
Caption: Mr Joseph Varo, Deputy Secretary Policy, deputising for the Acting Secretary, Independent State of Papua New Guinea (PNG), Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.