PRIME Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare has hailed the signing of the Motalava Maritime Border Treaty as a deal achieved and sealed in the true spirit of Melanesia.
When presenting his remarks during the signing ceremony on Friday 7th October, Prime Minister Sogavare acknowledged the ‘deep respect for sovereign rights’ upheld during the long peaceful process of negotiating the eventual border demarcations.
Hon Sogavare said the Treaty expresses ‘our desire to uphold and respect our unique Melanesian traditions, customs and cultures in a globalising world’.
“The Maritime Border Treaty will protect the indigenous right of our people, and to remain united, to fight for the indigenous rights of other Melanesian brothers who are suppressed and deprived of that right.”
“I believe the Treaty we have signed today shows our unity to stand and fight for the rights of Melanesians and the expression of the desire of the two nations to respect each other as sovereign states of Melanesia.”
“It is also the expression of the desire for the two nations to stand together and fight for the common good of Melanesia, from West Papua to Fiji,” Prime Minister Sogavare said.
“From now on, we have the solemn duty to respect the spirit in which the Treaty is signed, with responsibilities under international laws, with respect for one another and traditional knowledge of Melanesia.”
Prime Minister Sogavare said the Treaty enables the two nations to continue to build and grow their relations to from strength to strength.
He thanked his Vanuatu counterpart, Hon Charlot Salwai for his vision in committing to the signing of the Maritime border Treaty, ending 33 years of peaceful negotiations.