27 Apr 2018

Micronesian leaders meet on regional issues

8:40 am on 27 April 2018

The leaders of the Micronesia have gathered to thrash out issues including climate change, migration and their close but complicated relationship with the United States.

Saipan in the Northern Marianas.

Photo: Supplied

They're gathering on Saipan, the main island of the Northern Marianas, for the 23rd annual Micronesia Islands Forum.

The forum includes the presidents of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia and Marshall Islands, the governors of the Northern Marianas and Guam and the leaders of each of the Federated States.

Our correspondent on Saipan, Mark Rabago, said the US relationship was a focus in much of the region, with Guam - a territory - pushing for some kind of decolonisation, while the treaty with the free association states comes up for negotiation soon.

"It's a very, very thorny issue and moving forward all the islands with the same shared history and same relationship with the United States would be better suited to have their thinking hats on and try to move this forward, this quasi-colonial relationship with the US, and see what they should do moving forward."

Mark Rabago said successes from past forums included a Micronesia-wide ban on shark fins.