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West Papua push for MSG membership

14 February 2018

Posted in: Pacific Radio News,

By Lisa Williams-Lahari -

Leaders from the Pacific's major developing nations are today deciding on one of the most controversial questions to face the Melanesian Spearhead Group. 

Officials from the Melanesian Spearhead Group. Photo/ Loop Pacific.

They will vote on a shift from Observer to Member status for West Papua's United Liberation Movement.

Representatives from Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomon Islands, New Caledonia and Vanuatu are in Port Moresby this week for the 21st Melanesian Summit.

West Papua's push for full membership is aimed at growing support from the Melanesian nations towards a referendum on independence for West Papua, annexed to Indonesia in 1962.

Indonesia, now an associate member of the Melanesian Spearhead, says it represents West Papuan interests at the table.

The West Papua campaign for inclusion at the MSG table is an ongoing one.

In previous years the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu have given strong support to the West Papua campaign for membership but no consensus has been reached when it came to the final decision of leaders.

The Solomon Islands handed over the role of Chair this week to Papua New Guinea.

Tags: politics, West Papua,