11 Feb 2021

Vanuatu MP calls for Pacific to rally to preserve Forum unity

From , 6:03 am on 11 February 2021

Vanuatu's opposition leader Ralph Regenvanu has urged countries who support Pacific regionalism to take action to help stop Micronesia leaving the Pacific Forum.

His call comes after Nauru, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia decided to  initiate the formal process of withdrawing from  the Forum.

The leaders of these countries said that by overlooking Micronesia's candidate in the appointment of a new Forum secretary general, South Pacific countries dishonoured a "gentleman's agreement" to rotate the post evenly among sub-regions.

Regenvanu, an experienced leader in the Foreign Affairs portfolio, says he understands Micronesia's frustration.

Winston Peters and Ralph Regenvanu

Winston Peters and Ralph Regenvanu Photo: RNZ Pacific/koro Vaka'uta