Opening remarks by Mr. Peter Forau Director General of Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Special Foreign Ministers Meeting (FMM) Members Lounge, GCC Momplex, Nasese Suva, Fiji 26-27 March 2012

Ratu Inoke Kubuabola
Minister Of Foreign Affairs And International Cooperation Of Fiji And Chair Of The Msg Foreign Affairs Ministers Meeting
Ministers Of Foreign Affairs Of Msg Countries, Minister Of Local Government, Urban Development, Housing And Environment Of Fiji, And The High Representative Of The Flnks
Distinguished Observers And Special Guests
Senior Government Officials
Members Of All Delegations
Members Of The Media
Directors And Secretariat Staff
Ladies And Gentlemen

Good morning to you all and may i join the chair in extending a warm welcome to you everyone especially foreign ministers and the representative of the flnks as well as obersvers and special guests who have just recently arrived into suva. On behalf of the secretariat i wish to thank you very much for making time to attend this eminent meeting.

The chair has set a good scene for the issues that will be covered by the meeting and i do not wish to go over them again. What might be useful to intimate to the meeting is perhaps to foreshadow the outcomes that ministers may wish to consider as they deliberate on the issues the chair had canvassed.

With respect to the agenda itself, it coveers issues that relate to the promotion of the purpose of the msg in terms of promoting inter msg trade, cultural exchange, soctal and economic development and strengthening governance and security. This purpose identifies the focal areas that underpin msg cooperation. Therefore by agreeing to outcomes from your considerations of the issues in your agenda that will assit to achieve this purpose will ultimately advance the collective effort by the group for strengthening msg cooperation. But this is an ongoing process that takes time to generate the expected results. It requires patience, commitment and staying the cause to ensure we as a group can continue to score “”runs on the board””, as they do in cricket, for a good outing in our cooperation.

However, members must be assured that the msg cooperation will eventually bring about gains for their citizens at the national level.they must have confidence that there is more to be had from their investments in the msg. That is expected of any responsible authority and it is understandble that members would be expecting this too.

In any case the success of the msg depends really on the members and how far they are prepared to work with the msg to further their own interests. It is possible that msg cooperation can be successful and there can be value additon for members from this cooperation.

For ours is a region of great potential and together we can be successful and create opportunities for social and economic prosperity for all citizens of our great region.but we must get the fundamentals right. We must remain united, we must have a credible and respected organization and we must aim for nothing but the best. Poor and bad governance must be done away with and sloppy and substandard work should not be accepted. Our stnadards must be defined by professionalism and intelligence while our conduct must always be with integrity. These are the fundamentals that will ensure we are a crediblee and successful organization.

Your honours, the foreign ministers meeting is a key decision making body of the msg. Your decisions affect the cooperation of the msg and because of that carry a high degree of importance. Take time to think through the issues and use the two days to consult among yourselves before finalizing your decisions. We have confidence that with the able leadership of the chair. We will be endowed with excellent outcomes from your meeting to guide the work of the secretariat as we aspire for greater things.

On that note your honours may i record our deep appreciation to the government of fiji for hosting this meeting, for the excellent arrangements, and for all the courtesies and hospitalities. To top it all, the win by the fiji sevens team last night at the irb hong kong sevens tournament should provide for a jovial mood to the meeting. By these accounts fiji has provided an excellent setting for a successful meeting and it goes without saying that you meeting with our best wishes.

Many thanks for your attention.

Tanku Tumas
Merci Beaucoup
Thank you
Vinaka Vakalevu