1 Sep 2020

Micronesian leaders re-affirm backing for Zackios to head Forum

4:50 am on 1 September 2020

The leaders of the Micronesian states in the Pacific Islands Forum have re-affirmed their backing for the Marshall Islands' Gerald Zackios to become the new secretary general.

Gerald Zackios

Gerald Zackios Photo: Marshall Islands Journal

Under the slogan 'it's Micronesia's turn', the leaders said there should not be any delay to the selection process, as has been mooted by the current chair, Tuvalu.

The leaders said when the current secretary general was appointed in 2014 the Micronesian candidate's name was submitted too late, and that is why they got their nomination in early this time.

The leaders said now more than ever, the Pacific needs a secretary general who is a careful listener, well-versed in foreign policy, and with pragmatic management strategies.

They said Mr Zackios, who is the Marshalls' ambassador to the US, has proven himself as a strong and empathetic leader with impeccable credentials.

There are four other candidates for the role, including Fiji's Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, the Cook Islands prime minister Henry Puna, Tongan economist Amelia Kinahoi Siamomua and the former head of the Pacific Community Jimmy Rodgers from Solomon Islands.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs