One of the key decisions that emanated from the 19th MSG Leaders’ Summit was the reaffirmation of MSG support to the FLNKS as inherent in the Noumea Declaration. This support is to reiterate the on-going espousal extended by the Melanesian States since the early 1980s which culminated in the formation of the MSG 25 years ago in 1988. To actually have an MSG-initiated Declaration embracing unequivocal support for the FLNKS signed and launched in their own land acknowledges that all of Melanesia are united in their recognition and acceptance of the Kanaky cause for full emancipation.

The Noumea Declaration also demonstrates that the Kanak are not alone in progressing their cause and that the MSG support is as strong as it was before.

With the Declaration in place now, the onus is on the Secretariat to implement the actions that have been agreed to including the attachment of young Kanak professionals to the appropriate public service institutions of member Governments. Concerted effort should also be afforded to progressing the other activities for the benefit of the Kanak through the FLNKS.

While the Noumea Declaration encapsulates the desire of fellow Melanesians to stand together with their Kanak brothers and sisters, it is also a show of unity among the MSG to work together in pursuing the interests of a particular member. History would corroborate the view that collective support can move mountains and that the MSG indeed has been at the forefront in pushing together with the Kanak through the FLNKS for the issue of independence to be discussed and considered by the State and at the international level through the UN. The inscription of New Caledonia in the UN’s decolonization list as well as the institution of the Matignon Accord which was succeeded by the Noumea Accord all demonstrate one way or another that due recognition had been engendered consequently. While the processes promised under the Noumea Accord would require implementation that could be beyond the control of the MSG, the continued extension of moral support by the MSG to our Kanaky brothers and sisters remains a valuable motivation for them to stay the cause and carry-on undeterred with their push for freedom. That their destiny is within their grasp is an undeniable fact and it is now an issue of when rather than if.

For the MSG, it is critical that the support promised to the FLNKS under the Noumea Declaration is provided as from 2014, a number of important national events will be rolled out that will have potential to change the political, economic and demographic landscape in Kanaky-land. All the gains so far made need to be fortified and built-upon to ensure that the road ahead is less complicated and indeed the FLNKS and Kanak people can already anticipate outcomes that are tantamount to their dreams and aspirations. Whether a result is achieved for the Kanaks in 2014 or some other latter time, the road to freedom laid under the Noumea Accord cannot be changed and is irreversible. That in itself is enough reason to be hopeful and optimistic that however long it takes, liberation is surely in the hands of the Kanak. And for that we say Viva FLNKS, Viva Kanaky