8 Feb 2021

Palau preparing to leave Pacific Islands Forum

From , 6:02 am on 8 February 2021

Palau is preparing to leave the Pacific Islands Forum.

The president of the republic Surangel Whipps Jr says this is over the decision by other Pacific leaders to ignore Micronesia's request for their candidate to take up the role of Secretary General of the Forum.

For months the regional body has been divided over whose candidate should get the Forum's top job.

On Thursday the former Cook Islands prime minister, Henry Puna, was appointed secretary general pipping Marshall Islands' diplomat Gerald Zackios by just one vote.

Mr Whipps Jr told me the leaders' failure to honor an unwritten agreement that the role be rotated by sub-region is unacceptable.

President Surangel Whipps Jr

President Surangel Whipps Jr Photo: Richard Brooks