Well 2013 has come and gone faster than we expected. It’s not that the year was shorter than every other year – it’s just that it was one of our busiest. We celebrated our 25th Anniversary in 2013 with elaborate celebrations in Port Vila and in members’ capitals, the EPG undertook their consultations and produced an amazing report and in June the biennial Leaders’ Summit was held in Noumea which saw the transfer of the MSG Chair from Fiji to the FLNKS. And then we had to support a number of constituent body meetings which included the annual budget and work program Governing Body meetings in early December. The office then closed for two weeks from 23rd December to 7 January 2014.

We launched into 2014 with another pre-occupied work program commencing with the MSG Mission to Indonesia, implementation of the new organizational structure and development of an Implementation Plan for the EPG Report. This Plan will become the vision for the MSG for the next 25 years and so typically members have wanted to have some time to consult nationally and ensure harmony with their own development strategies. The Plan itself when finalized will have both national and sub-regional actions for implementation by members and the MSG as a Group. It contains a number of exciting initiatives that will endeavour earnestly when successfully implemented to turn “scars into stars” as desired by the EPG Report.

This process of turning “scars into stars” may to others sound a bit unrealistic. For us at the MSG, it is music that blares nothing but promise of how we as a Group will work together to uplift the lot of our citizens so that they and everyone in Melanesia can live worthwhile lives as we should. We have the resources and manpower to forge prosperous communities and while going forward may take years to achieve the returns we are seeking, our resolve to make good on this commitment has never been stronger. This is why we are hopeful of the prospects for Melanesia and hence dedicating 2014 as our take-off year. This will constitute among others, pushing ahead with the implementation of the exciting initiatives that have been identified for deepening MSG cooperation and integration, including expanding our organization. It is also the year we are hoping to commence the implementation of the Melanesia Plan for Prosperity for All. Also historical developments in terms of the elections in Fiji and in Kanaky-New Caledonia are part of this take-off aspiration.

Mr. Peter Forau
Former Director General, MSG Secretariat
21 Sept 2011 - 31 December 2015