The role of the Governance and Sustainable Development Division (GSDD) is to facilitate consultations, dialogue and consensus building among members. The GSDD does this through monitoring of regional political and security developments in Melanesia, conducing research and providing advice on issues of mutual interest to the members.
We are determined to have a region that is respected for the quality of its governance based on the rule of law and respect for its cultural and traditional values of Melanesia. The GSDD divisions' key responsibility is to develop, implement and manage the Political Affairs Work Program as well as provide in-house legal advice for the Secretariat and other divisions as and when required.
The GSDD work program includes support to the Leader's Summit, Foreign Ministers' Meeting, Senior Officials Meeting, Sub-Committee on Security, Sub-committee on Legal and Institutional Issues and the Police Commissioners' Conference.
Our aim is to participate, contribute and act as mediator in the pursuit of peace and conflict resolution provided by our Constitution to respect the principles of international law governing relations between nations, such as principles of sovereignty, equality of independence of all states and non-interference in the domestic affairs of states.
The main focus of the GSDD in 2010 was placed into the following areas:
MSG Mission to New Caledonia
• Preparatory meeting with New Caledonia authorities on 18-22 January 2010 in New Caledonia;
• Organized and participated in the MSG Technical Mission to New Caledonia on 10-14 May 2010;
• Organized, participated and serviced the MSG Mission to New Caledonia on 8-11 June 2010;
Meetings and Workshops
• Servicing of Leaders' Summit and Foreign Ministers Meeting
• Organizing and servicing of MSG Legal Issues Working Group (LIWG) and the MSG Sub-Committee on Security Meetings (29-31 March 2010 Nadi, Fiji).
• Organizing and servicing of the MSG Special SOM (26-27 April 2010 Port Vila, Vanuatu)
• Serviced the MSG Workshop on Humanitarian & Emergency Response Force ( 9-10 August 2010 Alotau, PNG)
• Serviced the MSG Workshop on Extradition Arrangements (12-13 August 2010, Port Moresby, PNG)
• Deposition of the Agreement Establishing the MSG at the United Nations (UN) as required under Article 102 of the UN Charter. The Agreement is now published in the UN Treaty series (UNTS)
• Exploring Observership Arrangements to facilitate the process of granting Observer Status to MSG by states, territories, regional, international organizations and development partners, while acknowledging that the responsibility is vested on the Leaders to make a decision on whether or not to admit an entity based on prescribed recommendations.
• Developing process and criteria for participation by Special Guests and Development Partners at MSG Summits
Biography-Director - Ms. Barbara Age
Ms Age is from Papua New Guinea and joined the MSG Secretariat as the Director of the Political Affairs Division in July 2009. Prior to that, she was the Director of the Pacific, Australia and New Zealand (PANZ) Branch and briefly for 6 months, Acting Director of the International Relations Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of PNG.
Ms Age graduated with a Masters in Advance Studies specializing in Strategic Affairs, International Law and European Union: Regional Integration in Comparative Perspective from the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra, Australia in 2009. Ms Age's background is in law, having obtained her degree from the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) in 1992. In 2003, she attended the PNG Legal Training Institute (LTI) and was admitted as a lawyer to the National Court in PNG.