Micronesian leaders

Cooks leader dismisses claim Puna out of Forum role

The Micronesia leaders announced a pause on their decision to withdraw after assurances their concerns would be attended to.

The greatest concern for Micronesia was the overlooking of their candidate for the secretary general's position, in favour of Puna.

They believe they have been assured by Australia and New Zealand that Puna would step down as secretary general but retain the other role of Pacific Ocean Commissioner.

But Mark Brown, who replaced Puna as the Cooks' prime minister, said, in a statement, that is not the case.

Puna set to go to heal Pacific rift

The five northern Pacific states, Palau, Nauru, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia, vowed early last year to pull out of the organisation.

They were angry their nominee for secretary general, Marshall Islands diplomat Gerald Zackios, had been overlooked in favour of Cook Islands Prime Minister Puna.

The spokesman for the FSM government said the Micronesian states have been given an undertaking by both New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Australia's Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne that Mr Puna is to step down by June.

Micronesian leaders 'pause' break away from Forum

The Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru and Palau announced in February last year that they would withdraw from the forum, after losing the vote to elect a new secretary-general.

At the time, they said say the rejection of their candidate, Marshall Islands' Gerald Zackios, had led to division within the Pacific. Forum members voted in favour of former Cook Islands prime minister Henry Puna.

Pacific Minister Seselja pleads with Micronesian Leaders not to leave the Forum

Seselja made the call after the recent move made by the Micronesian Leaders’ Summit last week to set up their own interim secretariat in Nauru- signalling the withdrawal of the five Micronesian countries from the Forum.

Seselja in an interview with PACNEWS said the Australian Government’s position is to see for the Pacific Islands Forum to continue as a unified organisation.

“Australia, of course, takes the concerns of our Micronesian friends very seriously. And we've been engaging, we've been listening to their concerns.

NZ's PM says Micronesian leaders decision regrettable

Nauru, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia decided to withdraw from the Forum.

Micronesia's leaders are upset over the appointment of former Cook Islands prime Minister Henry Puna as the Forum's new secretary-general

They say South Pacific countries dishonoured a "gentleman's agreement" under which it was Micronesia's turn.

Jacinda Ardern said the Micronesian leaders' decision was regrettable and saddening.

Micronesian leaders to debate leaving Pacific Islands Forum

They say the rejection of Marshall Islands' Gerald Zackios has led to division within the Pacific. PIF members voted in favour of former Cook Islands prime minister Henry Puna.

The Chair of the Micronesian Presidents' Summit, Lionel Aingimea of Nauru, has scheduled Monday's virtual meeting.

It follows last October's 'Mekreos Communique' where presidents of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru and Palau insisted the Forum honour an unwritten gentleman's agreement to rotate the secretary general role by sub-region.