Pacific States that are members of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) have held a series of summits on April 28, 2021.
The series began with a Senior Official Meeting (SOM) attended by officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of permanent member countries, including Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, with the main agenda of budget discussions.
Local Papua media Timikaexpress reported that through a release from the Papua Provincial Border Affairs and Foreign Cooperation Agency, it stated that in the SOM, there was no discussion on United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP).
ULMWP as an observer represented by Oridek Ap was not allowed to participate so there was no agenda conveyed by the observer.
According to an employee of the MSG Secretariat, ULMWP was not involved from the beginning to the end of the budget discussion and the MSG work program was in accordance with the procedures and regulations in force in the MSG.
In addition, the absence of ULMWP is also positive for the Indonesian delegation to the previous SOM because their presence was a concern and not in accordance with the procedures of SOM.
The meeting, which is chaired by Chair of the SOM or Acting Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of PNG, Elias Wohenggu, will be resumed after member countries have reviewed what programs are very urgent to be implemented in 2021.
MSG is committed to increasing cooperation between member countries and will not discuss an agenda that will undermine the spirit of cooperation and mutual respect, including sovereignty among member countries.
The agenda discussed in the SOM will continue at the next Foreign Ministerial Meeting (FMM).