Indonesia have been a loyal supporter to the cooperation advancement and developments of Melanesian countries, especially the member countries of Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG). Unfortunately, there has been some issues that are clouding the relationship between Indonesia and MSG.
Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, earlier this month visited four Pacific countries, including three MSG member countries, namely Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Fiji. The visit coincided with MSG considering the applications from the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) to become a member. ULMWP itself is three political factions of independent Papua, which consists of West Papua National Coalition for Liberation (WPNCL), Federal Republic of West Papua (NRFPB) and the National Parliament of West Papua (PNWP). This unification was declared in Vanuatu, last December. Mr Tozaka says the MSG agreed that member countries would raise West Papua issues bilaterally.
Melanesian Spearhead Group is formed under the “Agreed Principles of Cooperation Among Independent States of Melanesia” signed in Port Vila on 14 March 1988. MSG consists of Fiji, Front de liberation nationale childhood et Socialiste (FLNKS) New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu. On June 7, 1996 a document was signed with the same title of “Agreed Principles of Cooperation Among Independent States of Melanesia”, Kiriwana, Trobriand Island, which it agreed to work together to improve the economy of member countries. In the 16th Summit in Goroka, Papua New Guinea, August 19, 2005 the establishment of the MSG Secretariat based in Port Vila was approved. MSG is the inter-governmental organization consisting of four Melanesian countries, namely Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu.
MSG founding treaty in 2007, strictly respects the principles of sovereignty and non-interference and Papua as a part of the Republic of Indonesia had come to Indonesia through the act of free choice. It has also been endorsed by the UN, which is a strong sign of international support. In light of the referendum that was signed (by West Papuans to join Indonesia) in 1969 by the Act of Free Choice, the United Liberation Movement’s application of membership should not be considered under the terms of the MSG membership criteria. Nationality in Indonesia as a sovereign country should not only be based on race, or mere physical characteristics.