FSM, Palau, Marshall Islands leave Pacific Islands Forum

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The presidents of the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Marshall Islands, Nauru, and Kiribati met on Monday at the Micronesian Presidents Summit (MPS) to initiate the withdrawal process from the Pacific Islands Forum.

The presidents of the MPS expressed disappointment with the appointment process for the position of Secretary-General within the Pacific Islands Forum.

The Pacific Islands Forum is an inter-governmental organization that aims to enhance cooperation between countries and territories of the Pacific Ocean.

The MPS leaders expressed unity and solidarity within the Micronesian subregion and reaffirmed its mutual position that — per the October 2, 2020 Mekreos Communique —- the Gentlemen’s Agreement was not honored in the selection of new forum leadership.

So the Micronesian countries see no benefit to remaining in the Pacific Island Forum, according to a statement from the FSM President’s Office.

The gentlemen’s agreement involved the rotation of the PIF’s top leadership position among its member nations from Polynesia, Micronesia, and Melanesia.

According to the MPS, the Forum overlooked Gerald Zackios, the representative from the Marshall Islands, who was firmly backed by the leaders of the Micronesian nations.

Zackios is the current ambassador of the Marshall Islands to the U.S.

The Forum, instead, voted Cook Island Prime Minister Henry Puna as Secretary-General.

Attachment: MPS leaders’ meeting signed agreement