The Kanak Socialist National Liberation, (FLNKS) of New Caledonia will host a number of major events next year that will bring together the people of Melanesia under the banner of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).
FLNKS is the only organisation representing the interests of indigenous people that is a member of the five-member MSG group of nations in the Pacific.
The Port Vila based regional group celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2013 and plans are afoot for New Caledonia to host the biennial gathering of MSG Leaders and the inauguration Melanesian Games, says Peter Forau, the Director General of the MSG Secretariat.
“25 years is a long time and we must remain committed to the cause, reinforce our engagement with the FLNKS through the expansion of the MSG Trade Agreement and importantly the unity of the MSG, said Forau.
Current chairman of the MSG and Prime Minister of Fiji, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama is scheduled to visit New Caledonia in July to lead the second MSG Ministerial Mission to monitor the implementation of the Noumea Accord.
Since taking office, Commodore Bainimarama has promised to visit all the MSG capitals before handing over leadership to the FLNKS in 2013.
After the announcement of his proposed visit to New Caledonia, two pro-France political parties “Caledonie Ensemble” (CE) and “Le Mouvement dans la Diversite” (LMD) opposed the military leader’s intention saying “they are against Bainimarama’s visit in view of the present situation in Fiji and will write to Paris to voice their concerns at the highest level.”
Victor Tutugoro, FLNKS representative on MSG issues said, “The two political parties do not represent the majority of New Caledonia.”
For the FLNKS, “Fiji is in the process of restoring democracy and good governance that should lead the country back to general elections in 2014.This is not clearly understood by these two political parties because they are only focused on what Australia and New-Zealand are saying about Fiji,” Tutugoro said.
He said, “The FLNKS is working with the government of New Caledonia, the Foreign Affairs of France through the French High Commissioner in Noumea and the French Embassy in Fiji to prepare for this ministerial visit. FLNKS is awaiting answers, said Tutugoro.
“But, if there will be any problem linked to the presence of the MSG chairman in Noumea, we know where it came from. However, France has never ceased diplomatic relations with Fiji.” Tutugoro said.
The pro-independence movement group has been a full member of the MSG since the informal meeting of the Head of the Governments of Melanesia in 1986. It has the same rights and responsibilities as the other sovereign members like Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
Founding Leaders of Melanesia signed the “Agreed Principles of Cooperation among the Independent States of Melanesia on 14 March 1988 in Port-Vila, Vanuatu formally establishing the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).
The Noumea Accord was signed among France, the Pro-France party and the FLNKS in 1998 then approved by 72 percent of the population of New-Caledonia. The Noumea Accord provides for the progressive transfer of power to New Caledonia from France in an irreversible process. A referendum on self-determination is scheduled to be held between 2014 and 2018.
SOURCE: RADIO DJIIDO/PACNEWS
Report – By Magalie Tingal
The pro-independence movement Kanak Socialist National Liberation (FLNKS) will be hosting several showcase events that will bring together the people of Melanesia together under the banner of the Melanesian Spearhead Group next year.
This development accompanies the dramatic change of politics in France with François Hollande being voted the first Socialist president in almost two decades in last weekend’s run-off elections.
When the MSG celebrates its 25th anniversary, New Caledonia will host the first Melanesia Games and also the 19th MSG Leaders Summit.
“Twenty five years is a long time and we must remain committed to the cause, reinforce our engagement with the FLNKS … and the unity of the MSG,” says Peter Forau, Director-General of the Port Vila-based MSG secretariat.
The FLNKS has been a full member of the MSG since the informal meeting of the Head of the Governments of Melanesia in 1986.
It has the same rights and responsibilities as the four sovereign countries – Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.
The founding leaders of Melanesia signed the founding MSG Cooperation Agreement on March 14, 1988, in Port Vila, Vanuatu.
Fiji Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, who is the current MSG Chairman, is due to visit NC in July as leader of the second MSG Ministerial Mission to monitor the implementation of the Noumea Accord and to ensure that the accord respects the will of the Kanak people.
He also decided, before handing over the MSG chairmanship to the FLNKS in 2013, to visit every MSG capital. Earlier this year he visited Port Vila.
After the announcement of the visit in New Caledonia, two Pro-France political parties Caledonie Ensemble (CE) and Le Mouvement dans la Diversite (LMD) in a press conference declared their opposition to Bainimarama’s visit because of the military-backed regime.
Victor Tutugoro, FLNKS representative on MSG issues, says: “Those two political parties don’t represent the majority of New Caledonia.”
“Fiji is in the process of restoring democracy and good governance and should lead the country back to general elections in 2014.
“This is much less known by these two political parties cause they only focus on what Australia and New Zealand says about Fiji,” Tutugoro said.
He says: “The FLNKS is working with the government of New Caledonia , the Foreign Affairs Ministry of France through the French High Commissioner in Noumea and the French Embassy in Fiji to prepare this ministerial visit. The FLNKS is waiting for their answers.
“But if there’s any problem linked to the presence of the MSG chairman in NC we will know where it comes from.”
France has never ceased its diplomatic relations with Fiji.
The Noumea Accord was signed between France, the pro-French party and the FLNKS in 1998 and this was ratified by 72 percent of the New Caledonian electorate.
The Noumea Accord provides for the gradual transfer of power from France to New Caledonia.
A referendum on self-determination is scheduled to be held between 2014 and 2018.
Magalie Tingal is a journalist with Radio Djiido and also a journalism student at the University of the South Pacific.
MSG summit, Melanesia Games planned for 2013
Suva may 2012