Future of Pacific Islands Forum in doubt as north-south rift emerges

Exclusive: Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia and Nauru question whether to remain members amid bullying claims

Leaders of Micronesian countries are contemplating abandoning the Pacific Islands Forum altogether, after a fractious vote for a new secretary general sidelined the north Pacific countries, who say they are bullied by larger nations, and left with “crumbs”.

The Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) is the Pacific region’s most important political body and a powerful voice for the Pacific on the global stage, but the election of former Cook Islands prime minister Henry Puna as secretary general has exposed a deep fracture between north and south Pacific nations.

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