MELANESIAN LEADERS TO SIGN TREATY AT FIJI GATHERING

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Statement of rights and cultural preservation

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Aug. 31, 2011) – The Special Melanesian Spearhead Group Leaders meeting in Fiji, where a Treaty on Traditional Knowledge was to have been signed, has now been shifted to Friday.

The Fiji Broadcasting Corporation says yesterday’s signing was deferred due to the late arrival into the country of Vanuatu’s Prime Minister, Sato Kilman.

Fiji’s interim Foreign Affairs Minister, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, says the Treaty will highlight the respect for and promotion of Melanesian cultures, traditions and values.

He says the signing of the Treaty will be a historical development for the MSG.

The agreement will protect traditional knowledge holders from exploitation.

Ratu Inoke says this will help them against infringement of their rights and protect MSG expressions of culture against misappropriation and misuse.

A Special MSG Foreign Ministers meeting was held yesterday which was attended by Papua New Guinea, Solomon Island and the FLNKS from New Caledonia.

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