Pato backs MSG’s growing prominence on world stage

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THE Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) is becoming prominent on the world stage because of concerns raised by member nations on climate change, plus the hosting of Apec by PNG this year, Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Rimbink Pato says.
Yesterday, he took over the chairmanship of the MSG Foreign Ministers Group from his Solomon Islands counterpart Milner Tozaka.
“The prime minister (Peter O’Neill) has extended invitations to his fellow Pacific Islands leaders, including MSG leaders, to attend the Apec Leaders’ Summit in Port Moresby late this year,” Pato said.
“The support rendered by the MSG, especially on the security arrangements for Apec 2018, is kindly acknowledged.
“We will do our utmost to deliver Apec events this year which reflect not only PNG’s unique characteristics but also of our exceptional Melanesian cultural values.
“Our hosting of Apec as well as Fiji’s co-hosting COP23 (2017 United Nations Climate Change Conference), their success and the timely implementation of the outcomes are intricately linked to the theme of our summit: Trade and sustainable growth for inclusive Melanesia.”
The MSG leaders’ meeting proper begins today.
Pato said reviewing past plans under the MSG would be undertaken in meetings this week.
“Our guiding policy framework, the MSG 2038 Prosperity Plan for All, is five years old and a review of its achievement or otherwise is now due,” Pato said.