From left to right: Minister Assisting the President of Nauru David Waiau Adeang, Kiribati President Taneti Mamau,  Palau President Tommy Remengesau, Jr., Republic of Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine, and Federated States of Micronesia Foreign Affairs Secretary Lorin Robert the photo session at the 19th Micronesia President Summit in Palau on February 21. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)

Five countries from the Northern Pacific called for establishment of a United Nations (UN) Office in the Northern Pacific, citing the need for nations in the region to come together and work with the UN to get the same opportunities that the South Pacific Countries are enjoying from the body.

Palau President Tommy Remengesau, Jr., who is also the chair of the 19th Micronesia Presidents’ Summit that took place in Palau on February 20-21, told the media that UN’s programs for the Pacific have always been concentrated in the Southern region and that there is also a false assumption that Northern Pacific countries are part of the South Pacific community.

“They think we are all members of the South Pacific community when in fact we are not. We are the Northern Pacific. That reality has to also apply to all opportunities for partnership for foreign aid, for foreign solutions, and we feel that the countries of the North need to come together and work with the UN to establish a meaningful office here in the North,” Remengesau said.

Remengesau also said that Northern Pacific Countries hardly benefit from the UN-sponsored programs and that it is for this reason that they are pushing for the creation of a UN office in the North.

The 19th Micronesia Presidents’ Summit in Palau gathered state leaders from five countries in the region namely Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI), the Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Kiribati, and Palau.

Top diplomats from the United States, Australia, and Japan also graced the event to be part of the discussions surrounding key issues in the region. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)