17 Aug 2021

Pacific leaders urged to set their own house in order

From , 6:01 am on 17 August 2021

Pacific Islands Forum leaders need to set their own house in order before worrying about external forces according to a former US congressman for Guam.

The forum is grappling with the biggest threat to regional unity since its formation with four Micronesian leaders formally submitting papers to leave the regional body.

At an online Forum summit, members cited the strength of the collective in the face of serious issues such as Climate Change, Covid-19 and the intensification of geopolitical interest in the region.

But former US congressman for Guam, Robert Underwood, says forum leaders need to look inwards before looking outwards.

Welcome Robert, so first of all how serious do you think Micronesian leaders are about withdrawing from the forum?

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