Micronesia to Remain in Pacific Islands Forum; Subregional Rotation to Begin in 2024


Micronesian Presidents Summit Joint Release


Micronesia to Remain in Pacific Islands Forum; Subregional Rotation to Begin in 2024



SUVA, Fiji—On June 6th to 7th, 2022, the Leaders of the Micronesian Presidents Summit, represented by H.E. David W. Panuelo of the Federated States of Micronesia, H.E. Surangel S. Whipps Jr. of the Republic of Palau, and T.H. John Silk, Special Envoy of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, convened in person order to engage in a High-Level Political Dialogue with the leadership of the Pacific Islands Forum. It is the view of the Micronesian Presidents Summit that the High-Level Political Dialogue has resulted in a reform package that succeeds at its goals of strengthening the Pacific Islands Forum as an organization, appealing to the Micronesian Presidents Summit’s pleas for equity, and bolstering the Pacific’s unity and solidarity.


The High-Level Dialogue was established in order to address and resolve major reform issues concerning the impasse that resulted in the imminent withdrawal by the Micronesian Presidents’ Summit, to explore and discuss needed genuine political reforms within the Forum, and as a demonstration of respect for the shared bonds as Pacific Islanders, the collective desire for a constructive dialogue on substantive leadership and political reforms to avoid the disintegration of the Forum membership, and a collective recognition that a united Pacific represents the region’s best chances at maintaining peace (and preventing war), developing prosperity (and preventing hardship), and mitigating and adapting to Climate Change (and preventing civilizational collapse).


As a demonstration of leadership and brotherhood, the Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum offered a reform package for consideration by the Micronesian Presidents Summit. The proposed package in its original form showed recognition and appreciation for the perspective of the Micronesian Presidents Summit as originally stated in the Mekreos Communique.  Following candid and genuinely friendly discussions on the basis of good faith, mutual trust and respect, and Pacific solidarity, the proposed reform package has been approved by the Micronesian Presidents’ Summit.


The reform package includes that all members of the Pacific Islands Forum agree that equal representation of the three sub-regional bodies of Micronesia, Polynesia, and Melanesia, is essential; as such, there shall be two Deputy Secretary-General positions, each hailing from a separate sub-region as the Secretary-General.


The reform package further includes that all members of the Pacific Islands Forum agree to rotate both the Secretary-General and the Forum Chair by sub-region, with Micronesia to hold the next Secretary-General position beginning in 2024 for a term of five-years.


There is agreement to create, and immediately install, a Pacific Ocean Commissioner as a role separate and distinct from the duties of the Secretary-General. The office of the Pacific Ocean Commissioner shall be based in Micronesia, the term of the Pacific Ocean Commissioner shall last three years, and the Commissioner shall report directly to the Forum.


There is further agreement that a Pacific Islands Forum sub-regional office shall be created in the Micronesia sub-region.


After all members of the Pacific Islands Forum sign their agreement to the reform package, it takes effect immediately.


It is agreed that, on the basis of good faith and approval of the reform package by the end of June 2022, each Micronesian country shall rescind its withdrawal from the Pacific Islands Forum.


The Micronesian Leaders strongly felt that the solidarity and integrity of the PIF was strengthened by the Gentlemen's Agreement and should not be ignored. The principles of the Gentlemen’s Agreement are now concretized and solidified, with the result being a stronger Pacific Island Forum and a stronger Pacific.


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