Palau, Micronesia to support PIF head from RMI
11 March, 2019, 8:20 am
KOROR, 11 MARCH 2019 (ISLAND TIMES) – Palau President Tommy Remengesau Jr. and the Micronesian leaders will push for selection of a new Secretary General for the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Secretariat from Micronesia.
Remengesau told reporters here that Palau would support a candidate from the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI).
“The presidents and Heads of Delegation confirmed that it is Micronesia’s rotational turn to appoint the next Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum,” according to the communique signed by the leaders of Palau, Federated States of Micronesia (FMS), Kiribati, Nauru, and RMI last month as an outcome of the Micronesia Presidents’ Summit (MPS).
Remengesau said the leaders’ choice of a candidate would be announced at the next PIF Annual Leaders Meeting in Tuvalu.
“Micronesia has a rare opportunity to appoint the next Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum. There is not a greater mechanism to voice our Micronesian agenda than through the leadership of the Forum. I, therefore, ask that we make our selection of a candidate a high priority before the next PIF meeting in Tuvalu in September,” Remengesau said during the MPS meeting here.
Dame Meg Taylor who currently heads the PIF Secretariat has been serving the post since 2014. She ends her second term in 2020.
The leaders of the forum appoint the Secretary-General to a three-year term.
There has never been a Secretary-General from Micronesia.
Dame Taylor is a Papua New Guinea (PNG) lawyer and diplomat.
Remengesau said he has asked the former Palau Ambassador to the Philippines Ramon Rechebei to consider as the nation’s candidate to the post, but he declined.
He, however, said it’s the consensus of the five leaders that they will support one candidate from Micronesia that will be coming from RMI.
“We very much agreed from the five of us that we will support one candidate, so there would not be four or five candidates in one region.
One candidate we will support,” Remengesau told reporters in a press conference last week.