ISLAND TIMES – by Bernadette Carreon March 23, 2021
Palau has started the official withdrawal of membership from the regional body, as a show of disappointment to the selection process of the Secretary-General.
The Palau government sent a diplomatic note and a statement of denunciation to Fiji, the PIF’s host on March 16 to begin the one-year exit process. The withdrawal will take effect on March 16, 2022
“To address the specific situation of the denunciation by the Republic of Palau of both the 2000 and 2005 agreement establishing the Pacific Islands Forum,” the statement said.
Palau said its exit from the forum will affect Palau’s relationship with the CROP agencies such as Fisheries Forum Agency and Pacific Community (SPC).
“At the end of the transition period, the Republic of Palau will no longer be covered by either the 2000 and 2005 agreement establishing the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF). This is without prejudice to the status of the Republic of Palau in relation to multilateral agreements to which it is a party in its own rights,” the statement said.
Palau was the first Micronesian nation to notify Fiji of its intention to withdraw from the forum, following the selection of former Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna over the sub-regions candidate, Gerald Zackios, to be the organization’s next secretary-general.
In February, the presidents of Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, and Nauru all agreed to initiate the formal process withdrawal from the forum.
FSM began the official process of withdrawing its membership in February and said that its one-year exit will take effect on Feb. 14, 2022.
The Marshall Islands followed by sending its denunciation letter on March 9 to mark the one-year exit period which will be official by March 9, 2022.