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Tavola appointed MSG high level rep

June 23
10:44 2013
Kaliopate Tavola

Kaliopate Tavola

By MAIKA BOLATIKI

Fiji’s former Fijian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kaliopate Tavola, has been appointed the first High Level Representative of the Melanesia Spearhead Group (MSG).
Before the appointment, the MSG Leaders considered the report of the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on the MSG High Level Representative.
The leaders’ decisions are as follows:-
(i) Agreed for the Secretariat to seek funding for the MSG High Level Representative; develop a criteria for future appointments of MSG High Level Representatives and undertake a review of such an appointment; and
(ii) Appointed Ambassador Kaliopate Tavola as the MSG High Level Representative for two years and thereafter for each member to have a turn to nominate a representative for the position.
Speaking to PACNEWS at the end of the MSG Leaders’ Summit in Noumea, Mr Tavola said he was humbled by the appointment and the confidence of MSG Leaders.
“I am yet to officially get my appointment letter but I envisage, as we heard from the chair, my role for the next two years will be something like a roving ambassador or envoy that will carry out tasks instructed by the Leaders,” Mr Tavola said.
“I will be working to a mandate and the tasks will be specified. The work will be very much related to promoting what MSG means, what it wants to be in terms of securing recognition and assistance from development partners, donors, and other prospective partners.”
He said he would envisage a bit of travelling to be looking at new partnerships. In that way he said there could be additional resources, additional support and technical assistance for the MSG to carry out its vision for the next 25 years.
Announcing his appointment, the chairman of the MSG Leaders’ Summit, Victor Tutugoro of FLNKS, said the need for a Higher Representative was appropriate given the increasing importance of the MSG both regionally and internationally.
Mr Tavola will hold the post for two years.

MSG flag
The Leaders considered the report of the Foreign Minister’s Meeting on the MSG flag.
They agreed to fly the MSG flag on the left hand side of the national flags in MSG capitals and MSG missions abroad.

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