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MSG Officials: Papua Is Stable and Conducive Overall

JAKARTA, June 20, 2024 – (ACN Newswire via SeaPRwire.com) – The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) team, led by Director General Leonard Louma and Executive Advisor Christopher Nisbert, emphasized that Papua is stable, and conducive overall. Economic and social activities are well and normal. The statement was released after MSG officials visited the Land of Cenderawasih, as Papua is known, traveling overland from Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (PNG) to Jayapura on Monday, 17 June.

Vice President Ma'ruf Amin (left) waves to residents in the Malawei Fishing Village, Sorong Manoi District, Sorong City, West Papua, on Thursday (6 June 2024). The government set a target to build 350 houses for indigenous Papuan fishers in 2014, but only 40 houses have been completed due to technical constraints, including environmental impact assessments (AMDAL permits). Therefore, the remaining houses will be completed in 2024/2025. (ANTARA FOTO/Olha Mulalinda/Spt.)
Vice President Ma’ruf Amin waves to residents in the Malawei Fishing Village, Sorong Manoi District, Sorong City, West Papua, on 6 June 2024. The Indonesian government targeted building 350 houses for indigenous Papuan fishers in 2014, but only 40 houses have been completed due to technical constraints, including environmental impact assessments (AMDAL permits). The remaining houses will be completed in 2024/25.(ANTARA FOTO/Olha Mulalinda/Spt.)

Usman Kansong, Head of the Public Communication Task Force for Papua Welfare, appreciated the MSG team’s visit.  “This is a positive step, and I would like to express my appreciation for MSG because its two leaders were able to witness the real conditions in Bumi Cenderawasih, and various developments that the government has undertaken in Papua,” he said in Jakarta on Tuesday, 18 June.

During their visit, both Leonard Louma and Christopher Nisbert agreed that Indonesia could serve as a good example of how a country manages its borders. These best practices could be emulated in border areas in the MSG region. They also believe that Indonesia’s role in the ASEAN region will be crucial and beneficial for MSG member countries, providing various advantages and benefits in multiple fields.

Specifically, Leonard Louma revealed that he would promote cooperation in the plantation sector within MSG that involves Indonesia, including a vanilla plantation program in Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands. Therefore, he believes it is necessary to create an economic corridor in the form of an MSG vanilla association to strengthen the vanilla commodity in the region.

Indonesia’s involvement is crucial because it is believed to help open the ASEAN market. This is highly beneficial as MSG is working to build communication and involve Indonesia regionally. During his visit, Leonard Louma also discussed the potential for cooperation in education between MSG and Indonesia, suggesting that student and faculty exchanges can be realized soon.

Separately, Senior Advisor Theo Litaay of the Presidential Staff Office deemed the MSG leaders visit to Indonesia a significant breakthrough that benefits the region across various economic, socio-cultural, and political sectors. “Such regional cooperation will expand economic growth towards the Pacific. The region will benefit from economic growth in Southeast Asia as a driver for development. That is from a regional perspective,” he said.

Leonard Louma and Christopher Nisbert, with their entourage, arrived in Indonesia from Port Moresby via overland journey to the Skouw-Wutung border on Monday, 17 June. They arrived at the border post around 10:00 AM local time, accompanied by Indonesian Consul General Tangkuman Alexander, and left the post with Representatives of the Border Affairs and Cooperation Agency of Papua Province as they continued their journey to the city of Jayapura, observing developments in Papua.

Both MSG leaders attended the MSG Security Strategy (MSG SS) on Wednesday, 19 June, in Jakarta, organized by the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The MSG SS aims to gather various input from Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), including civil society, regarding key priorities in addressing security challenges in the region.

* Note: The Melanesian Spearhead Group is an intergovernmental organization, composed of the four Melanesian states of Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, and the Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front of New Caledonia. In June 2015, Indonesia was recognized as an associate member.

For more information, please contact the Director General of Public Information and Communication, Usman Kansong (+62 81 678 5320), or visit https://infopublik.id for up-to-the-minute news.

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