STATEMENT BY THE CHAIR OF THE PACIFIC ISLANDS FORUM
TUVALU PRIME MINISTER HON. KAUSEA NATANO
MICRONESIA PRESIDENT’S FEBRUARY 2021 COMMUNIQUE
As the Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum, I am saddened by the recent decision of the Micronesian Presidents’ Summit on 8 February 2021 to initiate their withdrawal, through national processes, from the Pacific Islands Forum family.
The Forum Family will not be complete without its Micronesian brothers and sisters. If there remains any possibility of a resolution to this impasse, I would hope that we can explore this in the name of regional unity and solidarity, recognising the existential and current challenges of climate change and COVID-19 demanding our undivided attention.
For the sake of our Pacific people, we should remain open to all opportunities for talanoa or dialogue as has always been the Pacific Way.
I acknowledge that this decision will impact Pacific regionalism and collective action in and on behalf of the Blue Pacific continent. It will distract from the progress that we have made as a region on global climate advocacy on climate ambition, regional security, economic growth, and ocean governance.
In the days ahead, I and colleague Leaders of the Pacific Forum will continue to examine the implications of the Micronesian Leaders’ decision and its effect across the breadth of the Forum’s work.
I believe that the only way forward for us as a region is, together. I hold firm to our Tuvaluan belief of the te fale-pili in that we together, make up the Blue Pacific Continent and we must protect each other and work together for our collective good.
Let me reaffirm the Pacific Islands Forum commitment to continue to serve its founding mandate to serve all its member nations, and all the people of the Pacific.–ENDS–
February 9th, 2021- Funafuti, TUVALU