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MSG receives over VT10M from Indonesian National Police

MSG Secretariat DG Leonard Louma, OBE, (Right) and Head of the International Cooperation Division, INP, Police Inspector General Johni Asadoma following the signing of the virtual handover

The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Secretariat formally received a voluntary contribution of 100,000USD (VT10.9 million) from the Indonesian National Police (INP) on Tuesday.

According to a statement by the MSG Secretariat, this contribution will aid the formulation of the MSG Regional Security Strategy (RSS).

This was made possible following a virtual handover ceremony between the two organisations, formally signed by the Director General of the MSG Secretariat, Mr Leonard Louma, OBE, and Head of the International Cooperation Division, INP, Police Inspector General Johni Asadoma.

In his remarks, DG Louma expressed deep appreciation to the Government of the Republic of Indonesia, through the Indonesian National Police for supporting the development of the RSS, a member to the Working Group (WG). He also expressed his appreciation to the Chair of the RSS WG Meeting and Commander of the Fiji Military Forces, Major General Jone Kalouniwai for his ongoing support. DG Louma stated that the RSS WG was established to provide an avenue for discussing the development of the RSS, adding that in the face of the ever increasing and emerging threats to peace and security, it is incumbent on Members of the RSS WG to devise appropriate and relevant strategies to address common security challenges. “The importance of MSG RSS cannot be overstated. The current animated discussions on the Solomon Islands Government decisions with respect to its own security arrangements and the absence of Pacific Island input into the Indo-Pacific security narrative underscore the need for developing a RSS based on our needs and interests,” he emphasised.

He said the Agreement Establishing the MSG (in Article 3) recognises the importance of aligning policies to further advance MSG members’ shared goals of peace and security. He further emphasised the importance of the RSS to address common security threats and challenges in the MSG region for our future sustainable development and prosperity, as recognised in the MSG 2038 Prosperity for All Plan. DG Louma stated that strategy had five strategic priorities, each of which was informed by common security challenges facing the MSG region, and captures both traditional and non-traditional emerging security threats. He alluded to the existing MSG agreements and cooperation on the Formed Police Unit and the Humanitarian Emergency Response Coordinating Centre (HERCC) as supporting instruments that would complement the MSG Regional Security Strategy.

DG Louma hopes that the five identified strategic priorities of the MSG Security Strategy will surely complement and add value to some of the existing regional security initiatives as the Pacific Islands Forum’s Boe’s declaration. He said the national threats within Members’ jurisdictions are some of the emerging security threats that must also be explored in the formulation of the MSG RSS.

In conclusion, DG Louma said that as Director General of the MSG Secretariat, he will keep a keen eye on developments in the RSS. “While I am pleased to note the progress made to date, the Secretariat would obviously need adequate resources to be able to deliver on the Strategy,” he said. Finally, he echoed appreciation to the Government of the Republic of Indonesia for their contribution and unwavering commitment and support to the MSG.

The INP, in a statement, said that constructive engagement between Indonesia and the MSG will continue to be mutually beneficial, and will always be cemented by respect working relationship with each member. The INP is committed to hosting the 4th RSS WG meeting which was postponed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and is looking at the possibility of physically hosting the next 4th RSS WG Meeting in Indonesia at a time to be determined. The last RSS WP Meeting was held in Nadi, Fiji in 2019.


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