Fiji backs MSG Peace-Keeping - Solomon Star News

Fiji backs MSG Peace-Keeping

25 June 2015

FIJI supports a Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Peacekeeping Unit.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama confirmed this to the Fiji Sun before leaving for Honiara on Tuesday.

He suggested Black Rock in Nadi as the best place to train the proposed peacekeeping force.

Mr Bainimarama said this had been a topic discussed by the MSG Police Commissioners. The MSG Police Commissioners met in Honiara last month.

The Prime Minister said if this issue was brought up at the meeting in Honiara this week, Fiji would support it.

 The Melanesian Spearhead Group Secretariat had told the media that they were at the point where they believed they were ready to launch the peacekeeping scheme.

The scheme, Mr Bainimarama said, was a peacekeeping operation that would combine personnel from all MSG member states.

“Fiji has been the country chosen to spearhead this scheme because of its experience on international peacekeeping missions,” he said.

He said the Government was also leading a scheme that would establish a Regional Police Academy. Bainimarama leaves for Honiara today.

Meanwhile, Fijian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, has reiterated Fiji’s unwavering support for the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

 “We look forward to working closely with all our members in line with the principles of the 2038 Prosperity for All Plan to enhance the work of the Organisation for the benefit of our peoples,” he said during his opening address in Honiara, Monday .

 He expressed his sincere gratitude as well to the Government and the people of the Solomon Islands for being wonderful hosts and for all the courtesies accorded to the Fiji delegation since their arrival.

“We are also appreciative of the excellent theme that you have chosen for our meeting, which resonates very well with the principles and spirit of the 2038 Prosperity for All Plan.”

He commended the Director-General and the members of the Secretariat for all the support provided towards the excellent organization of this meeting.

“At the outset, I wish to acknowledge the successful conduct of the national elections in Solomon Islands, New Caledonia and Fiji last year. In doing so, I congratulate you on your new appointment as Foreign Minister of Solomon Islands and also the appointment of our colleague from Vanuatu – Mr. Serge Vohor,” he said.

He said the MSG scope of work and mandate had somewhat increased greatly.

 “Judging from the agenda that we have for our meeting in the next two days, it is evident that as an organization, our scope of work and mandate has somewhat increased greatly.”

This he said exemplified their commitment and aspiration as a Group to explore and secure greater opportunities for their economies and peoples.

He urged all members to pay their outstanding assessed contributions so that they could advance and implement some of the current pending initiatives.

“As member countries make their best efforts to pay their contributions in these difficult times, I also take this opportunity to stress to the Secretariat of the need for financial judiciousness.”

He said it was important for them to be vigilant and exercise due diligence in the various initiatives they intended to undertake because they were limited by the extent of what their economies could provide towards the operation of the organisation. “We must always protect the integrity of the Group and focus on the core objectives of the Organisation.

And we must live within our own means.”

Ratu Inoke said he was aware that the agenda tabled at this meeting comprised a broad range of critical substantive issues.