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Takes over from Papua New Guinea

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, May 27, 2008) - Vanuatu is the new chair of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, taking over from Papua New Guinea.

The change over was approved as MSG Foreign Ministers meet ahead of Thursday’s MSG Leaders summit in Vanuatu.

PNG’s Foreign Minister says his country’s three-year tenure as chair has seen important new developments such as the drafting and signing of the new MSG constitution, and the establishment of the group’s new Secretariat.

Sam Abal says this week’s opening of the new Secretariat building in Port Vila will usher in a new era for the MSG.

"The establishment of the new secretariat will go a long way in advancing the objectives and priorities of the MSG. It has been a difficult task in the past to adequately manage operations of the group in the absence of a fully fledged secretariat to follow up closely and diligently on matters arising from MSG meeting of leaders, ministers and officials."

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