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MSG Director General Meets With The United Liberation Movement For West Papua ULMWP At The Port Of Vila Vanuatu

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Photo with the General meeting with the United Liberation Movement for West Papua ULMWP at the Port of Vila Vanuatu 2023

Pacific, THETPN-PBNEWS.COM — Director General Meets United Liberation Movement For West Papua ULMWP At Vila Harbor, Vanuatu January 20, 2023 The Director General of the Secretariat of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), Leonard Louma, OBE, this week met with the chairman of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), Benny Wenda, and his entourage.

The ULMWP’s request for the meeting was made through Vanuatu’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Mr Wenda spoke on two main points, firstly providing an update on the situation in West Papua, as they saw it, and secondly, seeking information on the ULMWP’s application for full Membership of the MSG.

DG Louma opened his remarks by informing Mr. Wenda about the importance of constructive dialogue between the two parties. After that, he attempted to explain the basic ground rules governing the operation of the Secretariat as it is owned by the five MSG members.

“The conduct and actions of the MSG Secretariat on any matter are determined and limited by the decisions of the MSG Leader. The secretariat does not have the authority to act outside of a joint decision of the leadership. .thus, the Secretariat is not free to demand the position of individual members on any issue,” said Ditjen Louma.

In terms of updating the situation in West Papua, DG Louma took note of the information provided and pointed out that MSG Leaders in the past have expressed certain views on certain issues raised in the realm of reports of human rights violations. The MSG Leaders, as part of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), have decided with their Forum counterparts on an approach involving the United Nations and the MSG Secretariat is obligated to respect that approach.

With regards to the ULMWP membership application, Dirjen Louma emphasized that the MSG Secretariat only facilitates and implements the ‘joint decisions’ made by the leaders according to the approved rules, regulations and guidelines.

“As the Head of the MSG Secretariat, I must ensure that the actions I take are in accordance with the decisions of the Leadership and the rules approved by them. Consequently, applications by the ULMWP will be considered based on the criteria agreed by the MSG Leaders,” added Director General Louma.

The Directorate General also underlined that the power to make decisions regarding Membership issues at the MSG rests with the MSG Leader which is their exclusive right.

Caption: ULMWP Chairman Benny Wenda (center) and Director General Louma (second from right) attended this week’s meeting.

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