The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) came into being as a result of an informal meeting of Heads of Government of Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and a representative of the Kanak Socialist National Liberation Front (*FLNKS) held in Goroka on 17 July 1986.

The Leaders agreed at their inaugural meeting that it was important to have common positions and solidarity in spearheading regional issues of common interest, including the FLNKS cause for political independence in New Caledonia. Two years later on 14 March 1988, the Prime Ministers of PNG, Hon Paias Wingti; Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Hon. Walter Lini; and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Solomon Islands, Hon. Ezekiel Alebua signed the six (6) point "Agreed Principles of Cooperation Among the Independent States in Melanesian" in Port Vila, Vanuatu.

The FLNKS formally joined in 1989 and Fiji joined in 1996. The MSG has developed into a regional block with its own Trade Agreement (Revised in 2005), Agreement Establishing the MSG (signed on 23 March 2007) and its own headquarter building located in Vanuatu. The building was officially opened during the 17thLeaders Summit on 30 May, 2008.