By Bernadette H. Carreon
Palau and four other leaders in Micronesia said they will push with their nomination for the post of the next Pacific Island’s Forum (PIF) Secretary-General.
In a statement, President Tommy Remengesau said it has been the Micronesian leader’s understanding that it’s the region’s turn to hold the post which he said was supposed to be supported by the other PIF leaders.
“A Micronesian SG would show that the Micronesian sub-region matters to PIF. Losing out on our turn would, unfortunately, send the opposite message.”
Micronesia has never held the role of the SG.
President Remengesau said this following report that Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna
is putting his name forward to become the Secretary General. Solomon Islands, Fiji, and Tonga are also reportedly nominating their candidates to the post.
“The North (Pacific) deserves leadership representation in the PIF and we are united with our brothers and sisters in Micronesia in our decision to push hard on this issue,” Remengesau said in a statement.
Last year, leaders Marshall Islands, Palau, Nauru, Kiribati and the Federated States of Micronesia made the nomination to the current Forum chair-Marshall Islands’ Ambassador to the United States Gerald Zackios .
“Pursuant to this gentlemen’s agreement, it is Micronesia’s turn to nominate the PIF Secretary-General. With so many Secretary-General nominations being made from outside Micronesia, the PIF Secretariat may need to clarify the current state of this agreement,” he said.
He reminded Pacific leaders about “external actors” that could influence the SG nomination process.
Secretary-General Dame Meg Taylor will end her second three-year term this year.