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The Five Sovereign Micronesian Nations Unanimously Nominate Gerald M. Zackios to be Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum
PALIKIR—The Presidents of the five sovereign Micronesian countries, inclusive of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), the Republic of Palau, the Republic of Kiribati, and the Republic of Nauru, have jointly signed a letter directed to His Excellency Kausea Natano, Prime Minister of the Republic of Tuvalu and Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), nominating His Excellency Gerald M. Zackios to be the next Secretary-General of the PIF. The discussion occurred on the margins of the 74th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York.
Presently the Ambassador of the RMI to the United States of America, Gerald Zackios is highly regarded and respected throughout the Micronesian subregion as a world-class diplomat and negotiator, with a keen intellect juxtaposed to a sensitivity and heart that emphasizes the Pacific values of respect and cooperation. His career as a public servant includes such distinguished appointments such as the Regional Director for the Pacific Community’s North Pacific Regional Office in Pohnpei, the RMI’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, the RMI’s Attorney General, and the Chief Negotiator for the RMI’s Compact of Free Association with the United States in 2001-2004.
It is the understanding of the Micronesian Governments that it’s the Micronesian subregion’s “turn” to serve as the Secretary-General of the PIF. The current Secretary-General is from Papua New Guinea (i.e. part of Melanesia) and the one before was from Samoa (i.e. part of Polynesia).
Citizens of the FSM are encouraged to read the joint letter nominating Gerald Zackios here: gov.fm/files/FSM_RMI_ROP_NAURU_KIRIBATI_Nomination_Letter_for_Gerald_Zackios_to_PIF_Chair.pdf
The role of Secretary-General of the PIF is a crucial one not only for the Micronesian subregion but for the Pacific as a whole. While many citizens of the FSM are no doubt aware of the United Nations’ role as a venue for the world to come together to discuss issues of import, it’s the discussions at the PIF that determine the Pacific’s unified stance on subjects to bring forward to the United Nations. (Similarly, it’s the role of the Micronesian Islands Forum (MIF) and the Micronesian Presidents Summit (MPS) to bring forward Micronesia’s collective views to the PIF).
The contemporary Secretary-General of the PIF is Dame Meg Taylor. The 50th PIF was held in Tuvalu in August 2019, shortly before the 74th United Nations General Assembly in New York.