I read an article today about the 48th Pacific Islands Forum(PIF) being held down in Apia, Samoa this week. If you were here in Pohnpei last year for the forum, you may remember it as a time of motorcades and (for students) no school!
Our own FSM President Christian will be handing over the PIF chairship to Samoa’s PM for the next year. On that note, I’d like to take this time to congratulate President Christian on a very successful year as PIFS Chair. The Chair is rotated every year and the hosting country is the chair for that year. So Talofa Samoa!
Palau President Tommy Remengesau Jr will not be attending this year. According to a PACNEWS article, he will be in Japan:
“The recent threat by North Korea to launch four intermediate ballistic missiles near Guam and U.S plans to install radar in the Pacific nation highlighted Palau’s strategic military value in the region.
President Remengesau is traveling to Japan to discuss security issues with the U.S allies on the looming threats posed by North Korea.
Instead, his Vice President Raynold Oilouch is representing Palau at the Forum Leaders Meeting.”
That’s pretty interesting.
Meanwhile, that same issue is stealing the focus of the Pacific Island Forum down in Samoa:
“Forum Secretary-General Meg Taylor said security issues were first raised during the recent meeting of Forum Foreign Ministers in August, amid the threat of North Korea to Guam, which is also seen as a threat to the wider Pacific region.
“As a regional grouping I think we are ill prepared and we can’t be prepared because we haven’t got the resources or the means of militarization,” Taylor told reporters.
Taylor, however, said the bigger countries, which are members of the forum, are monitoring the situation very closely.
Palau and U.S. are in discussions of a radar system installation in the island nation given the North Korea threats in Guam.”
If you look at this like we are small island nations and are at the mercy to world events, then it’s scary. But, looking at it as a Blue continent with several island nations united that takes a different look altogether. I really believe that we are living in amazing times. One President in the Micronesian region is discussing security issues with the US, another is handing over responsibilities for his regional chair. We may be small and not have much, but united we are strong. Amazing times we’re living in friends…. Let’s make the most of it.