The Marshall Islands ended two years of being at the centre of controversy over the possible break up of the Pacific's premier regional organisation when its parliament adopted resolutions reaffirming its membership in the Pacific Islands Forum.
The Nitijela (parliament) passed two resolutions in tandem late last month. One rescinds a 2021 resolution that supported ending Marshall Islands membership in the Forum, and a second one reaffirming its membership in the Forum as "vital and essential" to its foreign policy and regional cooperation.
These two resolutions end controversy and speculation about the pullout of the Marshall Islands from the Pacific Islands Forum at a time the islands are under stress from geopolitical tussling by China and the United States and its allies for influence in the region.
The controversy developed over the demand by the five Micronesian region nations to have their nominated candidate, Marshall Islands Ambassador Gerald Zackios, be the Secretary General of the Forum. When put to a vote in early 2021, current Secretary General Henry Puna won, 9-8. Following the vote, the five countries announced they'd be pulling out and all filed formal "denouncements" of membership to the Fiji government, which hosts the Forum Secretariat in Suva.
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