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20th August 2012: This week Fiji will be hosting two important regional meetings in Nadi. A Special Melanesian Spearhead Group Meeting will convene at the Sheraton Denarau from 21st to 22nd August 2012. This will be followed by the 3rd Engaging with the Pacific Meeting which will convene at the Westin Denarau from 23rd to 24th August 2012.

During the last Special MSG Leaders’ Summit in Suva on 29-30 March 2012, it was agreed that the next Special MSG Leaders’ Summit will be held in Fiji from 21-22 August 2012. The main purpose of these Meetings is to discuss Decolonization issues relating to the Front de Liberation Nationale Kanak Socialiste (FLNKS) including the Outcomes of the High Level/Ministerial Mission to New Caledonia led by the Minister for Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation Ratu Inoke Kubuabola which took place on 13-18 August 2012.

Fiji will therefore be hosting the following meetings at the Sheraton Fiji Resort on Denarau Island in Nadi to be attended by Leaders, Foreign Ministers and Senior Officials of PNG, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and the FLNKS:21 August - Special Senior Officials Meeting chaired by the Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation Mrs. Saipora Mataikabara;22 August - Special Foreign Minister Meeting chaired by the Minister for Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation Ratu Inoke Kubuabola; and 22 August - Special Leaders’ Summit chaired by the Prime Minister of Fiji, Commodore Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama.

The 3rd Engaging with the Pacific (EWTP) Meeting is a meeting of Leaders of the Pacific and regional development partners. This year Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia (FLNKS), Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Timor Leste, Vanuatu, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, French Polynesia, and Wallis and Futuna together with our Development Partners from Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Japan, Korea, China, Luxembourg, Morocco, Georgia, Republic of Kazakhstan, Cuba, South Africa, Kosovo and Turkey have been invited. Over 20 representatives including Presidents, Prime Ministers, Foreign Ministers, and Senior Diplomats etc. have confirmed their participation. The theme for this year’s EWTP which will be chaired by Prime Minister Bainimarama is, “Strengthening Partnerships amongst Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS).”

The PSIDS are among the smallest and most remote countries on earth. Together they comprise a land area of only half a million square kilometers scattered in the world's largest ocean, with a significant portion of that land made up of low-lying atolls that do not reach more than a few meters above current sea level. Partnerships therefore will allow PSIDS to overcome challenges that are too difficult or complex for one country, organization or sector to address alone. Partnerships also increase the effectiveness and impact of policy interventions and resource inputs. Leaders of the Pacific that will gather in Nadi next week will discuss their common future as well as how they can approach tomorrow’s challenging issues by working alongside each other and other key partners. Leaders will have the opportunity to build collaborations as they share their common struggles as well as their strategies for success.

Fiji has hosted two EWTP Meetings since 2010. In that year the PSIDS Leaders meeting at Natadola in 2010 accepted Fiji’s offer to host annual meetings of the EWTP. The 2nd EWTP Meeting was held in Nadi last year on 1st -2nd September 2011 where PSIDS Leaders’  again accepted Fiji’s offer to host a 3rdEWTP Meeting in 2012.

(Photo caption 1: From Right: Prime Minister Bainimarama, President for Kiribati Anote Tong, Grand Chief and Prime Minister of PNG Sir Michael Somare, East Timor Ambassador, Solomon Islands Prime Minister Dr Derek Sikua and Vanuatu’s Foreign Affairs Minister at the 1st EWTP Meeting in Natadola 2010; caption 2: From Left to Right: FLNKS Spokesperson, Victor Tutugoro; Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Gordon Darcy Lilo; Prime Minister  Bainimarama; Vanuatu Prime Minister Sato Kilman Livtunvanu; PNG Foreign Minister Ano Pala at the 2012 MSG Summit in Suva)


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