BY ALEX DADAMU
SOLOMON Islands is among Pacific Islands countries that participated in today’s virtual 2021 Pacific Islands Forum (PIFS) Special Leaders Retreat.
The main key areas of discussion will be on the election of a new Secretary-General to replace Dame Meg Taylor, the outgoing PIFS General Secretary and COVID-19 recovery and response, in particular equitable and timely access to safe vaccines for the peoples of the Pacific.
Five candidates are currently eyeing the PIFS top post including Solomon Islands candidate, Dr. Jimmy Rodgers.
Dr. Rodgers is no stranger to the Pacific Community. He joined South Pacific Community (SPC) in 1996 as Director of Programmes, he later became Deputy Director-General based in Noumea.
He moved to Suva in 1998 to head SPC’s Suva regional office, where he served as Senior Deputy Director-General. He was appointed Director-General of SPC in November 2005 and took up the post in early 2006.
Dr. Rodgers is currently the Press Secretary to the Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare.
The other five candidates are, Gerald Zackios (Republic of the Marshall Islands), Ratu Inoke Kubuabola (Fiji), Henry Puna (Cook Islands), Amelia Kinahoi Siamomua (Tonga), and Dr. Jimmie Rodgers (Solomon Islands).
The Pacific Islands Forum is the region’s premier political and economic policy organization. Founded in 1971, it has 18 members: Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands.
A press Conference will be held after the Retreat however, the timing is not established because it depends on the official outcome in today’s Leaders discussions.
Media coverage is not allowed during the actual Leaders discussions, however, Sunday Isles will provide an update on the outcome of the discussions once information is available.