The Chairman of the Pacific Islands Forum and the Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Kausea Natano, have requested the postponement of the appointment of a new Secretary General, pending a face-to-face meeting in Fiji next year.
In a June 18 letter, Mr Natano said that due to “political sensitivity and complexity surrounding the appointment of the Secretary General, postponing, the decision regarding the appointment of the Secretary General for formal meetings face to face, the Pacific Islands Forum Retreat session.”
The PIF Chair also said the deadline for candidates for the next role of Secretary General, which should end on Friday must be extended until the Forum meeting in Fiji next year.
Mr Natano also proposed that leaders meet virtually in October to extend Dame Meg Taylor’s term of office or Deputy Secretary General Filimon Manoni to fill the role of Acting Secretary-General until newly appointed.
He said that because of the “urgency” of the situation, he gave leaders until June 24 to provide feedback on his recommendations,
“If there is no feedback coming, may I consider it an agreement with my recommendations and continue,” he said.
Palau, together with the leaders of the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Kiribati, and the Federated States of Micronesia made a nomination as the current PIF chair.
The Micronesia Region supports the Marshall Islands Ambassador to the United States, Gerald Zackios, for that position.
That Cook Islands and the Solomon Islands have also supported their own nominees, with Dame Meg Taylor’s term ending in December.
Palau President Tommy Remengesau Junior said that Micronesia’s turn to provide the next Secretary General.
He said Micronesia would still encourage their candidacy.
Vanuatu has previously postponed hosting the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting, originally scheduled for August, due to Covid-19 and Cyclone Harold.
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