Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) was founded upon the “Agreed Principles of Cooperation Among Independent States of Melanesia” signed in Port Vila on 14 March 1988. Members of the MSG consist of Fiji, the Front de Liberation Nationale Kanak et socialiste (FLNKS)of New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu.
On 7 June 1996, a document of similar title, “Agreed Principles of Cooperation Among Independent States of Melanesia”, whose content was to agree on cooperation to promote the economy of member states, was signed in Kiriwana, Trobriand Island. The 16th Summit in Goroka, Papua New Guinea on 19 August 2005 agreed to establish MSG Secretariat which is situated in Port Vila.
The decision to entitle the MSG as a sub-regional organization was stipulated in the “Agreement Establishing the Melanesian Spearhead Group”, and its draft was completed in March 2007. It agreed to include the FLNKS of New Caledonia as a member with reservation to article 10, 11, and 12, in compliance with article 19, verse 5 of the Agreement (draft) which regulated member with status of an organization/ region instead of an independent state. On 14-15 April 2008, a series of MSG meetings which culminated in the 17thSummit and inauguration of the MSG Secretariat were held in Port Vila, Vanuatu.In the 18th Summit in Fiji, Indonesia was appointed as an Observer for the first time. Indonesia’s being a MSG Observer was expected to tighten the cooperation with MSG member states as well as to make a contribution to the MSG.