The National, Monday July 9th, 2012
Stories and pictures
by GRACE AUKA in Honiara
THE Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) has signed a memorandum of understanding on cultural cooperation.
The deal was signed in Honiara, Solomon Islands, last Thursday.
The agreement will provide the framework for cultural exchanges and technical assistance among MSG members.
In signing the MoU, MSG Ministers of Arts and Culture Meeting (MCAM) chairman Filipe Bole said it would now formalise the already long existing and cultural exchanges and cooperation among Melanesian countries.
“Cultural cooperation is an integral part of the solidarity networks in Melanesia, through centuries of travelling and exchanges of ceremonial gifts, including assistance in community work,” Bole said.
He said the MoU recognised the importance of cultural cooperation and capacity-building in MSG countries and among members to protect, promote and preserve Melanesian arts, customs, cultures and traditions to enhance cultural development in the region.
“The MoU will be guided by principles of collaboration such as country leadership where cooperation is based on the needs expressed by individual members, genuine partnership and mutual recognition,” he said.
To help enhance cultural cooperation, members will be implementing strategies of to integrate cultural cooperation into their national cultural policy and to identify specific activities to sustain cultural cooperation within MSG.
Bole congratulated his fellow ministers for the show of solidarity to the government and people of Solomon Islands by providing financial and technical assistance and to ensure a successful hosting of the 11th Festival
of Pacific Arts.
“The MoU will now provide a framework to these ongoing exchanges to enhance solidarity among MSG members and reinforce cultural cooperation as one of the cornerstones and foundation for the development of culture in the MSG region,” he said.