Indonesia tightens its relation and cooperation among the MSG countries. The cooperation discussed the trans-national crime in the region and resulted in MoU in capacity building in the security sector.
The first Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Regional Security Strategy (RSS) was held on 23-24 October 2017. The meeting was being attended by the five Melanesian countries, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, and was hosted by Indonesia. Indonesia and the other Melanesian countries will be bound in the cooperation such us building the capacity to contend the illicit drugs, people smuggling, and cross-border problems.
Before the RSS meeting, Indonesia as a home of 12 million of Melanesian has incorporated to MSG as an associate member in 2015. The membership further renewed in April 2017 as stated by the Chief of Indonesian National Police, Police General Tito Karnavian, “Indonesia has gained full membership in MSG since April 2017. In MSG we share knowledge and information regarding the strategy to combat transnational crime.” The cooperation also comprises in education, cultural, and social sector.
The culture and territorial adjacency between Indonesia and the Melanesian countries made it important to do such security cooperation. Besides, considering the many kinds of trans-national crime’s modus operandi, the cooperation should be tightened and be filled with a strong commitment among the countries. Indonesia represented the 12 million of Melanesian spread in Maluku, West Papua, Papua, and East Nusa Tenggara where its affiliation in MSG is pivotal. It makes Indonesia has the biggest Melanesian population among the Melanesian countries. By 2017, total population of Melanesia in Papua New Guinea are 8,261,162; Fiji 905,502; Solomon Islands 611,343; New Caledonia 276,255; and Vanuatu 276,244. Based on the population and its capacities, Indonesia can be a leading power in the region.
Keyword: Melanesian Spearhead Group, MSG, Indonesia, Melanesian, West Papua, cooperation
By: Zura (Researcher, MaCDIS)