19 March 2012


Opening Remarks By Mr. Peter Forau
Director General of the Melanesian Spearhead Group
At the 7th Sub-Committee on Legal & Institutional Issues (SCLII)
Fiji Police Academy, Nasova
Suva, Fiji

Mr. Esala Nayasi, Director Political and Treaties Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Fiji and Chair of the SCLII
Heads of Delegation of Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Fiji
Members of your Delegations,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

May I join the Chair in extending a warm welcome to you all and to thank you gratefully for making time to come and attend this meeting. 

This is of course a follow-up meeting agreed to by the SCLII at its meeting in Port Vila in February 2012 to provide another opportunity for members to finalize their national consultations on the matters in your agenda before the SCLII makes a final determination in readiness for Leaders consideration through the Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) and Foreign Ministers Meeting (FMM).

I dare say this is perhaps the most important preparatory meeting ahead of the Governing Bodies meetings as it will need to clear a number of key legal and institutional matters that affect MSG cooperation including the Agreement Establishing the MSG.

It goes without saying that some importance is placed on your meeting as these matters cannot proceed further without your clearance.

Unfortunately you have only one day to complete your deliberations which makes the time available to you quite tight.

However, with the able leadership of the Chair and your cooperation, we have confidence that you will be able to successfully complete your meeting today in order to allow the SOM and FMM to consider these matters ahead of the Leaders meeting next week.

In the event that the Committee requires more time which is not unexpected then perhaps you may have to prioritize your agenda and focus on the issues that you can resolve while leaving others for further consideration at your scheduled meeting in July.

This is of course only an option and we would urge that you try your best to resolve the matters before you in order that the Chair will have a good report to the SOM and FMM.
On that note we wish you all the best and thank you all for listening.

God Bless
Vinaka Vakalevu