From the Director General's desk

Well, as the excitement settles from what has been a truly remarkable series of events for the 19th MSG Summit held from 13-21 June, 2013 in Kanaky land, New Caledonia, I wish to warmly congratulate the FLNKS under the Leadership of Mr Victor Tutugoro, now the MSG Chair, for the impeccable efforts invested in ensuring the arrangements for the Summit were ready and in place before the Summit begun.  All of them – the FLNKS Political Bureau, Customary Senate, all Chiefs, external unit, the Secretariat, the Provinces, all the communities in Kanaky land worked wonderfully well together  and  really hard to achieve a successful Summit.

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As I write this it is already April and my word, what a start to the year! This year we are celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the founding of the MSG. The organization was founded on 14th March 1988 following the signing of the Agreed Principles of Cooperation between initially 3 members of the MSG – PNG, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu here in Port Vila. Now we have five members including Fiji and the FLNKS.

To kick off celebrations, a number of launching events were organized during 26 – 28th January, 2013 here in Port Vila.

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I have always believed that any organization, no matter how small must always have a deputizing arrangement for the head of the organization. This is to ensure continuity and that the organization is not exposed to one dimensional leadership. As a growing organization, the MSG Secretariat is constantly changing, both in terms of its structure and scope of services. Change management becomes an inevitable necessity to ensure the right changes are applied with minimal disruptions to work flow and aiming to seize an opportunity before it escapes. Part of successful change management is deciding the approach – whether to occasion radical changes that totally, in one sweeping change, alter the way business is done, or to introduce incremental changes, as has been the case so far.

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Melanesia is a region of many opportunities and great potential for wealth attainment.  Endowed with natural resources, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia also have the populations to benefit from economies of scale in terms of productivity and demand.  They can benefit from higher production and bigger markets thereby providing more opportunities for economic expansion and achievement of higher living standards.  This is a natural comparative advantage for countries of Melanesia which provides a perpetual opportunity for sustained development for many generations to come.  Consequently, despite the abysmal achievements so far, a promising future lies ahead for all citizens of Melanesia.  This is not just superficial theorizing but a realistic aspiration empirically premised.  Melanesia will be a region of opportunity and prosperity accompanied by stability and lasting peace.

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Every now and then we get questions asked of us about what exactly is the MSG and what role does it play in regional and global affairs and whether we are going to replace this and that regional organization.  I believe these questions have their roots in a growing recognition of the MSG’s gradual expansion as an organization and increasing engagements with regional and international partners. Whether these questions have genuine intentions or meant to provoke reactions for what we do are of little concern to us.  For we have specific functions and responsibilities, all geared especially to serve the interests of MSG members. 

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