Pacific Islands Forum

Micronesia receives unreserved apology from Forum

The dialogue was in regards to the impasse that has transpired from the process of selecting the Pacific Islands Forum secretary general.

Micronesian leaders in attendance - Nauru President Lionel Aingimea and Federated States of Micronesia President David Panuelo welcomed the sincere words by Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape, Samoa Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama and Pacific Islands Forum Secretary-General Dame Meg Taylor, in saying “sorry” to Micronesia for what has resulted in a damaged Pacific family.

Pacific Forum's consensus failure lamented

This comes as Micronesian leaders this week announced their intention to withdraw their five countries from the premier regional body, after their candidate wasn't selected for the organisation's top job.

The presidents of Nauru, the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands and Palau said that South Pacific countries dishonoured a "gentleman's agreement" to rotate the post evenly among sub-regions, and that it was Micronesia's turn.

Pacific Leaders to decide on new PIF Secretary General today

A statement from the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat says Leaders are expected to focus on two main agenda items -  the current COVID-19 situation in the Pacific, its impact on the region to date and access to safe and secure vaccines, and secondly, the appointment of the next Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum.

"The successor to incumbent Secretary General Dame Meg Taylor was to have been appointed last year. This was delayed due to the global disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, said the statement.

PIF Chair reaffirms support for open, constructive dialogues, Human Rights Mission to West Papua (Papua)

In line with the Forum Leaders decisions in Tuvalu in 2019, the Forum Chair has this week written to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Her Excellency Michelle Bachelet, requesting an update on the consultations with the Government of Indonesia concerning the invitation for a mission to West Papua (Papua).

Australia works with PIF to combat COVID-19 in the Pacific

This vital Forum initiative ensures the passage of humanitarian and medical supplies within the Pacific as we work together to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Simon Kofe, Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum Foreign Ministers, welcomed the initiative and said: “Australia’s support will ensure that the Pacific Humanitarian Pathway will be able to deliver much needed humanitarian and medical supplies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through its actions, Australia is working to achieve values of familial ties and care for neighbour’s key throughout the Pacific.”

PIF Forum Foreign Ministers to consider regional response to COVID-19 Pandemic

In a letter to all Forum Leaders on 30 March, the Prime Minister of Samoa, Tuila’epa Sailele Malielegaoi, recognised that “we find ourselves in extraordinary times and circumstances where the very mettle of our nations and governments are tested beyond any limits that we have known in our lifetime”

Senior Officials of the Pacific Islands Forum have met to discuss and elaborate a possible regional response mechanism that would ease the coordination of supplies and assistance to the member states.

Outgoing Forum chair wants Pacific speaking with one voice

Samoa takes over the chairmanship of the Forum at the 48th Forum summit in Apia early next month.

But Mr Christian will still be an integral part of the organisation, becoming one of the Forum Troika Leaders, made up of past, present and incoming Forum chairs.

At a recent meeting with the Forum secretary general, Dame Meg Taylor, Mr Christian spoke of the socio-economic and related development issues facing the region.

A critical matter for him is air transport, which has long been seen as a barrier to island nations' attempts to strengthen their economies.

People’s Republic of China continues to support the Pacific Islands Forum

The money was handed over to Forum’s Secretary General, Dame Meg Taylor last week.

During the handover, the SG thanked China for their ongoing support through the fund and strong relationship between China and Pacific.

“I’d particularly like to thank you for the ongoing support to the Pacific Trade and Invest (PTI China) office in Beijing. The trade relationships we have with China are very important and the work of this office continues to help in their development,” she said.

PIF to send observers

The PIF observer team to arrive in the country this week will comprise of Solomon Islands Electoral Commissioner Taeasi Sanga, Nauru Electoral Commissioner Joseph Cain and Tonga Electoral Commissioner Pita Vuki.

The mission will be supported by staff from the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

The 14 days of nationwide polling will begin on June 24.

PIF Secretary General, Dame Meg Taylor, said the Forum was pleased to accept the invitation from the Government of Papua New Guinea.

Forum expansion unlocks new questions

RNZ reports the Forum was set up in 1971 to counter the influence of the major colonial powers, but with French Polynesia and New Caledonia added at this year's summit, France has effectively become a member of the body.

This raises questions about whether other territories in the region, such as Tokelau, American Samoa or Guam should now be included.

The director of the Pasifika Centre at Massey University, Malakai Koloamatangi, said the move had opened a lot of avenues that had seemed closed in the past.