President Tommy Remengesau Jr. urged leaders of Cook Island, Tuvalu and Solomon Islands to preserve unity in the region by honoring the gentleman’s agreement that its Micronesian’s turn to head the Secretariat of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF).
In his letter to Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown last week, Remengesau said he believes that Pacific unity will remain if the informal arrangement between leaders would be respected. To maintain that unity, Remengesau is asking Cook Islands to support the agreement.
“Mr. Prime Minister, Palau sees this appointment as a decision of critical importance. PIF member states have put forward top quality candidates , and we should be proud of the leadership depth in this region,” he said
The Micronesian candidate to the Secretary General is Gerald Zackios, the Marshall Islands ambassador to the United Nations.
The other candidates nominated are Fiji’s Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, Tongan economist Amelia Kinahoi Siamomua, former head of the Pacific Community Jimmy Rodgers from Solomon Islands and former Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna.
Remengesau said the Micronesia’s bid doesn’t mean Mr. Puna is not qualified for the SG position but the appointment is about a united Pacific. “This appointment is not merely an issue of individual credentials: it’s an issue of Pacific unity. The Gentlemen’s Agreement on Sub-regional rotation it’s an important symbol to our region, and to our larger world.”
The president said the rejection of the gentleman’s agreement and the Micronesian candidate could send a wrong message to the world about a unified Pacific.
He said for years, the gentlemen’s agreement stood as a testament that Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia stand together.
He said Palau by Cook Island bilaterally and hoped the nation would do the same.
Remengesau said he asked the same support from Tuvalu and Solomon Islands leaders in. separate letters.

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