Melanesian Spearhead Group

In 1986 the governments of PNG, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands formed the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) to discuss issues which they proposed to raise at meetings of the South Pacific Forum, particularly the decolonization of New Caledonia. In March 1988 they signed a statement, drafted by PNG, on Agreed Principles of Cooperation Among Independent States in Melanesia. The Prime Ministers or Foreign Ministers met annually until the early 1990s when tensions between PNG and Solomon Islands on the issue of the Bougainville rebellion disrupted the alliance. Meetings resumed in 1992 when Paias Wingti replaced Rabbie Namaliu as Prime Minister of PNG. The MSG met in Port Vila, Vanuatu, in 1992 and Rabaul, PNG, in 1993. At the 1993 meeting Billy Hilly, who had replaced Mamoloni as Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, agreed to close the Bougainville rebels’ office in Honiara, capital of Solomon Islands.

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