The chair of the Pacific Islands Forum is seeking consensus on the appointment of the regional organisations new secretary general.
This comes as today’s Pacific Islands Forum leaders’ summit has been postponed to next month due to the unavailability of many leaders.
During the virtual meeting, which had been scheduled to run until Friday, leaders were expected to discuss the Covid-19 pandemic and the climate crisis.
They were also supposed to appoint a new secretary-general for the Forum to replace the outgoing top official, Papua New Guinea’s Dame Meg Taylor.
Five candidates from Tonga, Cook Islands, Marshall Islands, Vanuatu and Fiji are vying for the position.
However what is normally a routine exercise has proved divisive this time around with Micronesian leaders threatening to withdraw from the forum if their candidate does not get the job.
They claim a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ is in place guaranteeing the role to the candidate from the Micronesian sub-region.
RNZ Pacific correspondent Bernadette Carreon spoke recently with Forum chair and Tuvalu Prime Minister Kausea Natano about the meeting and the row over the secretary general’s post.