Members of the Palau Congress adopted a resolution last week expressing full support to Micronesia’s candidate to be the next head of the Pacific Island Forum (PIF) Secretariat.
Lawmakers are also backing the sub-region’s plan to withdraw from the regional body if their nominee is not chosen as Secretary-General.
Early October, the leaders of Palau, Nauru, Kiribati, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands, in a communique at the conclusion of the Micronesian Presidents’ Summit here threatened to withdraw from the regional body if the gentleman’s agreement is not honored.
Both Houses of the Olbiil Era Kelulau (OEK) adopted the resolution backing President Remengesau, Nauru President Lionel Aingimea; Kiribati President Taneti Maamau; FSM President David Panuelo and Marshall Islands President David Kabua; position that Marshal Island diplomat Zackios should be appointed as the next SG.
“Be it resolved that the House of Delegates, with the Senate concurring, that the Tenth Olbiil Era Kelulau hereby endorses Mekreos Communique, expresses full support in the appointment of his Excellency Mr. Gerald Zackios for the post of Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum to honor the gentleman’s agreement calling for subregional rotation,” it stated.
It further added that they are standing by the position of the five leaders that they see no benefit in staying with PIF if the agreement is not honored.
Last week, The Chair of the PIF Kausea Natano recommended an elimination process for candidates in the election of secretary-general at the regional body.
Natano called on Forum leaders with candidates to work together address the contentious issue of the SG post.
“It all depends on the mutual agreement between leaders with candidates to have the opportunity to discuss amongst themselves how they will approach the appointment of the secretary-general.”
Natano said leaders of the remaining two candidates could discuss who should be selected. “The options have been sent out to the leaders,” he said.
Natano also confirmed the virtual leaders’ summit will be held from 16-18 December , and the SG position will be discussed.