Commonwealth Secretariat Deputy Secretary General visits Melanesian Spearhead Group Secretariat in Vanuatu
The Deputy Secretary General of the Commonwealth Secretariat in London, United Kingdom made his inaugural visit to the Melanesian Spearhead Group Secretariat in Port Vila, Republic of Vanuatu last week on the sidelines of discussions with the Vanuatu Government in preparations for the next CHOGM meeting scheduled for 2017.
Deputy Secretary General of the Commonwealth Secretariat, Mr Deodat Maharaj and his Economic Advisor, Mr Harshen Nyambe met the Director General of the MSG Secretariat, Mr Peter Forau and the Deputy Director General, Mr Molean Kilepak and Secretariat Staff on Thursday 17 September 2015.
Mr Maharaj said his visit to Vanuatu and to the MSG Secretariat is part of his visit to Small Island States in the Pacific who are also members of the Commonwealth group of nations.
Mr Maharaj also took the opportunity to convey the greetings from the Secretary General of the Commonwealth Secretariat in London to the Director General and his team. The meeting between the head of Commonwealth Secretariat and DG Forau centred on common issues of concern for the Pacific region such as the vulnerability of small island states and other key global issues.
Mr Maharaj said he was also pleased to inform the MSG Secretariat that the Commonwealth has technical capacity that could support the programmatic work of the Secretariat mainly in the areas of policy analysis and capacity building to be further discussed by the two organizations.
In his closing remarks, Mr. Maharaj advised the MSG Secretariat to deepen its engagement both regional and internationally with Commonwealth Secretariat and other international agencies to continue in its mandates in delivering the needed socio-economic policy advise and support to its members which represent the bulk of the region, both in population and resource base. One area that Commonwealth Secretariat has done a lot of work on is on building resilience by addressing socio-economic issues and identifying gaps to address the shocks and build more resilience for its members. Both Secretariat underscored the importance of trade as a vehicle for advancing the developmental aspirations of the MSG region and agreed to follow-up on a number of key areas of interest by way of technical assistance program to further strengthen the trade policy and trade facilitation aspect of the MSG Secretariat.
The Director General of the MSG Secretariat, Mr Peter Forau thanked Mr Maharaj and Mr Nyambe for visiting the MSG headquarters saying the staff of the Secretariat were most happy to welcome the Deputy Secretary General of the Commonwealth Secretariat to the house of the five members of the Melanesian Spearhead Group.
He said this is the first time for such a high dignitary from the Commonwealth Secretariat in London to pay a courtesy call to the Secretariat.
Mr Forau said the Secretariat looks forward to further collaboration with the Commonwealth Secretariat and equally agrees to working together in addressing key global issues currently affecting small island states especially in the region of Melanesia.
Republic of Vanuatu