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Melanesian Spearhead Group 2024

The Melanesian Spearhead Group, which is commonly known as MSG, is a multinational and intergovernmental organization which is composed of four states: Fiji, Vanuatu/Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, and the Socialist National Liberation Front of New Caledonia. In 2015, Indonesia was formally recognized as a member (associate) of the MSG. All countries are part of the Melanesian region to increase communication around its missions and directives.

How was the Melanesian Spearhead Group Created?

The four states founded the MSG organization in 1986 as a result of a political gathering. In 2007 - the four members signed the Agreement Establishing the MSG - which formalizes the group under international law. The headquarters of the MSG is located in Vanuatu's capital city. China constructed an administrative building in Vanuatu in November 2007 and donated it to the organization. In 2015, Indonesia was added as an associate member of the MSG.

It began as a coalition of 3 states, but a trade agreement was further signed in 1993 between the members. The initiative was then endorsed 3 years later at the 1997 MSG Leaders Summit. Fiji, the fourth, officially became a formal member in 1998 of the trade agreement.

What is the Main Goal of the Melanesian Spearhead Group?

The main goal of the MSG is to unite the Melanesian region as a superpower to promote political and economic relations. It can be compared similarly to the EU and NAFTA agreements. Countries within a certain region often share similar goals, especially countries that do not have enough landmass or resources to sustain themselves compared to other nations on a global scale. Trade between countries continues to prosper due to the trade agreement, which reduces or eliminates the tariffs on many resources that are traded between member nations.

The MSG is currently trying to expand its presence towards other Polynesian nations, which most recently has included Indonesia. Both Asia and Oceania have eyes on forming coalitions that have occurred between countries, as it continues to expand itself in a more political and economic light. The membership of Indonesia has given the MSG a creature influence in the politics of the Melanesia region across Indonesia's five associated provinces.

There are five main tenants on the MSG website and their mission statement, which include Political & Security Affairs, Trade and Economic Development, Climate Change and Natural Resources Management, Sports Development, and Art & Culture. The most interesting principle of the MSG is that it is similar to an economic agreement that is echoed among many global organizations throughout the world but also focuses on security.

The Political and Securities Affairs Programme is responsible for monitoring the political and security developments that occur in the Melanesian region and throughout member countries. This serves to de-escalate geographical tensions that could increase the chance of destabilization or military consequences. The programme was initially part of the Sustainable Development and Governance Programme before its scope was expanded, primarily for reasons of national security.

  • New Caledonia is represented by the Front de Liberational the Nationale Kanak et Solcialiste (FLNKS), which has attended MSG meetings from the start (although it was not a founding member).
  • The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) is an organization seeking to make West Papua independent from Indonesia.

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Member Status
Year Joined
IndonesiaAssociate (formerly Observer 2011-2015)2015
New CaledoniaFull1989
Papua New GuineaFounding1988
Solomon IslandsFounding1988
Timor LesteObserver2011

Who were the founding members of the Melanesian Spearhead group?

Fiji, Vanuatu/Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, and the Socialist National Liberation Front of New Caledonia are all founding members of the Melanesian Spearhead group.

Frequently Asked Questions