The Federated States of Micronesia is beginning the process of parting ways with the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), the government statement said on Wednesday
In a diplomatic note, send to Fiji, as the host of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) on Feb. 17 to officially the one-year process of withdrawing from the Forum.
FSM however said it will remain a full member of each individual CROP agency, like Secretariat to the Pacific Community (SPC), Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA).
FSM President David Panuelo also said that he and the leaders of Palau, Kiribati, Republic of the Marshall Islands and Nauru met virtually this week with Forum Chair Kausea Natano Prime Minister Tuvalu where they reiterated the fracture in the forum after the failure of most leaders in the regional body to honor the gentleman’s agreement,
Panuelo said it would take “monumental reforms” to convince the leaders to stay in the Forum.
“It would take a very monumental reform of the [PIF], in my humble opinion, for us to be able to come back to the table to discuss future options,” President Panuelo said to Chairman Natano.
“As sovereign nations, we will continue to work with you closely on issues like Climate Change and illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing…. But, as I was telling my fellow Presidents moments ago, I have [made the decision for our denunciation to be sent, and it will be sent later today,” the Wednesday statement said.
Panuelo added that the other Presidents of the MPS discussed their internal processes for PIF withdrawal.
“While there was a discussion on the MPS countries jointly submitting their denunciations at the same time, it was agreed that the members of the MPS will denounce the PIF in a sequence, so as to allow their respective internal processes to properly conclude,” he added.
Palau was the first Micronesian nation to announce its intention to walk out of the forum after the Micronesian candidate Gerald Zackios failed to get the Secretary-General post.
Former president Emanuel Mori earlier this week asked the Micronesian leaders to consider its decision to leave the forum, AFP reports.
“I urge the trans-national Micronesian leadership considering this drastic move to call a time out. Let’s discuss this possible move in-depth,” More said in a statement.
He said there is a lot at stake and one of those is losing voice on the global stage on important issues like climate change and COVID-19 recovery efforts.
“The hard reality is that we speak to strength when we speak as one across the Pacific,” Mori said.
Mori, was the FSM from 2007 to 2015 said that at this time, Micronesia should not be trying to do it “alone” when the region is faced with many challenges. (B. Carreon)