Slider
Slider

|

Slider

Palau president: Micronesia ready to walk away from regional group

Regional News
Typography
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

KOROR (Island Times/Pacnews) — Palau President Thomas Remengesau Jr. said Micronesia would be a “joke” if it remains with the Pacific Islands Forum even if its new secretary general is not from Micronesia.

He said the Micronesian nations of Palau, Kiribati, Nauru, Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia expect the Forum to honor the long-standing “gentlemen’s agreement” that the next secretary general of the regional group will be someone from the Micronesian region.

Otherwise, Remengesau reiterated, there is no longer value in being a part of the PIF.

“And if we were to leave the PIF, we would only strengthen the North Pacific nations and gain the respect and trust and understanding of the people — we are doing the right thing. If we do break away, we will continue to cooperate, but if we stay we will be saying, ‘It is OK to be bullied by larger countries because we are small nations.’ ”

 Remengesau said all five Micronesian nations are ready to walk away from the Forum.

“If there is no integrity in what is said within the PIF, then we will leave, because there is no value in staying within an organization that looks down on us because we have small populations,” he added.

 He said honoring a “gentlemen’s agreement” shows respect, and respecting each other, he added, is the Pacific way.

“The gentleman’s agreement is to rotate the leadership of the PIF among member nations. And now  it is Micronesia’s turn yet others are coming up with their own candidates,” he added.

Papua New Guinea’s Dame Meg Taylor has led the PIF since 2014 and her term will end this year. But due to Covid-19, PIF leaders have yet to meet to elect her successor.

 Remengesau noted that PNG has agreed to support Micronesia’s candidate, diplomat Gerald Zackios of the Marshalls.

The Palau president is hopeful that other PIF leaders will support Zackios.

previous arrow
next arrow
Shadow
Slider

Read more articles

Visit our Facebook Page

previous arrow
next arrow
Shadow
Slider