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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i


Port Vila Welcomes Melanesian Spearhead Group Leaders
Silver Jubilee celebration kicks off

By Jonas Cullwick

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Jan. 25, 2013) – The first leaders of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) will start arriving in Port Vila on Friday for the grand launching of the ceremony to mark the Silver Jubilee of the regional grouping whose members are Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji, the FLNKS of New Caledonia and Vanuatu.

Chairman of the Silver Jubilee Organising Committee Jean-Pierre Nirua says the FLNKS will be represented by Rock Wamyton and Victor Tutugoro and members of the polite bureau totaling nine in all. Solomon Islands will send Sir Allan Kemakeza, who is now Speaker of Parliament and the country’s Foreign Minister. Fiji will be represented by the Foreign Minister, Inoke Kumbuabola, and PNG’s representative is still to be confirmed.

Meanwhile, preparations are progressing well for the two-day event – the first is the Symposium at the Warwick Le Lagon Resort on the theme "Leaders Toktok ‘Tales from our Founders and Pioneers’" taking place on Saturday and the second is the grand launching ceremony at the Independence Park on Monday, January 28 to mark the 25 years milestone.

The Chief Guest is Vanuatu Prime Minister Meltek Sato Kilman Livtunvanu, who has been asked by the Chairman of the MSG, Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama to represent him at the ceremony.

Chairman Nirua and his Committee are busy finalizing the full day program starting at 7 am which will include the raising of the MSG flags, a keynote address by Mr. Kilman Livtunvanu, cultural performances, releasing of MSG balloons, performance from Futuna Seaside Choir, VMF Band display, unveiling of MSG Silver Jubilee Carvings and MSG Plaque at the MSG Secretariat Building, Launching of MSG Silver Jubilee Documentary, Tree Planting Ceremony, Kava Ceremony and a public lunch and refreshment for everyone.

Vanuatu Daily Post: http://www.vanuatudaily.com
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