15 Mar 2021

EU pleas for Forum to stay united

6:53 am on 15 March 2021

The European Union says a strong Pacific Islands Forum is fundamental to the region.

This file picture taken on September 5, 2018 shows flags from the Pacific Islands countries being displayed in Yaren on the last day of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF).

Photo: AFP / Mike Leyral

In February, the five Micronesian members of the Forum announced they would leave in protest at the failure of the organisation to appoint their nominee for secretary general of the regional body.

Instead of choosing Marshall Islands diplomat, Gerald Zackios, the Forum chose former Cook Islands prime minister, Henry Puna.

The Pacific delegation for the EU has issued a statement, saying it believed a strong Pacific Islands Forum, as the premier political regional organisation for the Pacific, was fundamental for this region.

The EU has expressed hopes that the Forum members can overcome their current divergence of views.

It said the EU remained committed to strengthening dialogue between both bodies and supporting all efforts to maintain a united, inclusive and balanced Pacific Islands Forum.