The leaders of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Kiribati, Marshall Islands and Nauru say they will follow Palau in withdrawing from the Pacific Islands Forum (PIFS).

A comminuqe was released shortly after a hastily arranged Micronesian leaders meeting yesterday, where it stated that the leaders "collectively express their great disappointment with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General appointment process."

That process saw former Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna elected to the SG's post through a telephone voting process ahead of the Micronesian nominee, Marshall Islands Ambassador to the UN, Gerald Zackios.

"The Micronesian Presidents jointly agreed to forthwith initiate the formal process of withdrawal from the Pacific Islands Forum respecting their national processes and will act swiftly like the Republic of Palau" the statement concludes.

The Pacific Islands Forum is the region’s premier political and economic policy organisation. Founded in 1971, it comprises 18 members: Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

The Forum’s Pacific Vision is for a region of peace, harmony, security, social inclusion and prosperity, so that all Pacific people can lead free, healthy, and productive lives.

With Islands Business