Palau President Whipps to join Micronesian Presidents this month

President Surangel Whipps Jr is meeting other four Micronesian Presidents on 13-17 February for the first face-to-face Micronesian Presidents Summit meeting since the one held in Palau in 2020 where the Mekreos Communique was signed.

The Mekreos Communique contained the joint agreement of the five Micronesian states to leave the Pacific Island Forum if the “Gentlemen’s Agreement” to place Micronesian as Secretary General is not honoured.

Since then through series of discussions, Palau, FSM, RMI and Nauru through a compromise called Suva Agreement decided not to pull out of the quorum. Kiribati had left Forum saying it was honoring what was in the Communique and that there has not been a meeting of Micronesian Presidents to agree to the contrary.

President Whipps said he had spoken with Kiribati asking him to return to the Forum, saying “we are stronger together.”

There have been reports that Kiribati has said it will return but there has not been official communication to confirm.

The meeting will address some of the pending conditions in the Suva Agreement, including where north Pacific office of PIF be located, next candidate for PIF Secretary General, which was promised to be coming from Micronesia region.

Additionally, the FSM Government has solicited the United Nations Resident Coordinator and U.S Joint Region Marianas to provide the MPS briefings on the current status of United Nations Micronesia and the current state of regional security respectively, with the former largely focused on plans for the United Nations Multi-Country Office’s physical infrastructure and the latter largely focused on illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and related activity.

The FSM Government wants to ensure that a consensus is reached amongst the Micronesian Presidents when they convene next week.