Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka has been asked to lobby Nauru on behalf of Pacific leaders, after Nauru’s President David Adeang and his delegation stormed out of the Pacific Islands Forum plenary meeting.
This is after questions were raised about the appointment of former Nauru President, Baron Waqa as the Incoming Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum.
According to reports, President Adeang stormed out as he believed this meant Waqa’s new role is in question, despite being confirmed as the next SG at a special forum leaders meeting in February.
Last year in Suva, former Fiji Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, Samoa’s Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa, Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown and three Micronesian leaders reached the consensus that Secretary-General Henry Puna will complete his term in office which ends 2024.
The role will then rotate amongst the three sub-regions, with Micronesia supplying the next SG.
When the Pacific Islands Forum Micronesian members put forward Marshall Islands diplomat Gerard Zakios as their candidate for Secretary-General in 2021, they cited a so-called ‘gentleman’s agreement’ that it was their turn to fill the role.
However, the election of Puna to the role ahead of Zakios triggered the split in the region.
Bainimarama had then said: “We established a reform package that contains commitments that deepen trust and political cohesion across the region, and Fiji fully supports its adoption…”