Presidents of Micronesia countries (Palau, Nauru, Kiribati, Marshal Islands & Federated States of Micronesia) have threatened to leave the Pacific Island Forum (PIF) if the Secretary General position is not given to Micronesia. The current PIF secretary general is Dame Meg Taylor from Papua New Guinea. The leaders made their intent known back in June 2020 and have now restated their position. .
This blog supports this call and I think Papua New Guinea should also support this position. Only once the PIF secretary general position was held by Micronesia and that was in 1992, Sir Ieremia Tabai from Kiribati, who was appointed in 1992. And it is high time a representative from Northern Pacific gets the secretary general role. Overdue too. Sometimes I think the smaller island countries are ignored and other larger countries with geopolitical interests in the Pacific region tend to push for their candidate to hold senior roles in regional intergovernmental groups like the PIF.
President Panuelo of the FSM has said countries from outside PIF with ulterior motives are pushing for their nominees for the role. The Pacific is now a hot spot for strategic geopolitical activities and I think the main outside players would be Australia, the USA and China. China has in recent years pushed for greater influence in the Pacific and the statement from the Micronesia leaders maybe indirectly a warning to the PIF leaders to be careful.
Micronesia leaders have said that if their candidate is not accepted for the PIF secretary general role, they will leave the PIF and form their own regional group to be call “Micronesia Presidents’ Secretariat”. This Micronesia intergovernmental organization will serve the interest of the Northern Pacific Countries.
Micronesia countries have nominated former Ambassador of Marshall Islands to the United States, Gerald Zackios. Mr Geral Zackios is a lawer by profession, specializing in maritime law.