2010 Annual Report

In line with MSG Leaders decision to revive the Melanesian Soccer Tournament, the Division sought the assistance of Soccer Federations to have the tournament re-launched in 2010. Leaders have reaffirmed the role of sports in uniting the people of different ethnic groups and communities within Melanesia. Discussions are continuing on the revival of the tournament, which was last held in 1998

In collaboration with the EU TradeCom, the Division currently manages a Technical Assistance Study to assess the Feasibility of a Reciprocal Recognition and Enforcement Mechanism for Traditional Knowledge (TK) between Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu and the development of a Draft TK Law. The reciprocal enforcement TK arrangement aims to develop protection systems that will not only preserve TK for the benefit of MSG's future generations through sustainable cultural resource management practices, but also envisages a system that will contribute to the improvement of livelihoods and national development through the promotion of tradition based innovation and creativity.

The first meeting of the MSG Council of Culture and Arts was held in Nadi Fiji on 30-31st August. Outcomes of the Council meeting were tabled at the Ministers of Culture and Arts meeting on 13th September during the Melanesian Arts Festival in Kone New Caledonia. The Ministers of Culture and Arts discussed issues relating cultural policy, cultural education, cultural infrastructure, cultural cooperation and the protection of MSG traditional knowledge. The meeting also agreed that Papua New Guinea host the next Melanesian Arts and Culture Festival in 2014.

The fourth Melanesian Arts Festival was held in New Caledonia between 12 and 24 September 2010. The Festival was created in 1995 by the Melanesian Spearhead Group to promote Melanesian culture, tradition, values and contemporary arts. In collaboration with the host country, the Division assisted MSG members participate in the Festival. Member delegations from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu travelled to New Caledonia's North and South Provinces, and the Loyalty Islands to showcase their unique culture, arts, customs, traditions and heritage.

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The Division also established the Fisheries Technical Advisory Committee. The decision to establish the Committee was made by MSG Senior Officials (SOM) during the MSG Leaders Summit in Port Vila in May 2008. The first meeting of the Committee was convened on 29-30 April, 2010 and attended by MSG senior fisheries officials including regional organizations such as FFA, SPC, WWF South Pacific and Greenpeace.

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The Division established the Sub-committee on Economic and Social Development following a directive by the MSG Trade and Economic Officials (TEOM) at their meeting in Nadi Fiji on 22-24 July 2009. The Sub-Committee was established to assist MSG members assess trade agreements that contribute positively to member's economic and social development, its impact on communities are mitigated and to provide a forum to discuss economic and social issues and reforms.

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