PM: collective stance of small island nations vital on global platforms


Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa says the collective stance of small island nations is important to ensure their voice is heard on global platforms.

Radio New Zealand reports that Fiame gave the Peter Tali Coleman Lecture on Pacific Public Policy at Georgetown University in Washington, US as part of the Blue Pacific Future series.

In her address Fiame said “the work to reclaim the unity of the Pacific family” was in progress after the Micronesian block of nations initiated moves to leave the Pacific Islands Forum.

“It was an unfortunate situation,” she said.

“But then you don’t really know until it happens, and perhaps the leaders had not thought about the outcomes of taking particular decisions.

“When it became apparent that the North Pacific side of the family felt excluded – I think that was the message which was received by the rest of the leaders.”

“In the Pacific way we’re not about excluding people, we’re an inclusive community so I can say that work is already on the way to find the mechanism by which our family in the North can return to the fold,” Fiame said.

She added that the forum leaders were meeting in June and by then, hopefully, the issues surrounding the northern members of the Forum could be resolved.

Relations between Micronesian states and other Pacific Island Forum members soured after the election of former Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna as the new Forum Secretary-General when the Micronesian candidate was overlooked last year.