A high level seven-member delegation led by Prime Minister, Gordon Darcy Lilo will push for Solomon Islands candidate for the top post of the Pacific Islands Forum.
Solomon Islands candidate, Dr Jimmie Rodgers who until recently was the Director General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community is one of three contestants for the post of Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum.
Mr Lilo and his team will need to push hard for Dr Rodgers at the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting in Palau at the end of the month because strictly speaking it should be the turn of the Micronesian Block.
The Micronesian Block has hinted a willingness to accept a successor to Tuiloma Neroni Slade as the Forum’s Secretary General, from the Melanesian Spearhead Group, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Fiji, Solomon Islands and New Caledonia.
The Lilo delegation will need to lobby hard for Dr Rodgers as the other two candidates are from PNG and Fiji.
The Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting is the third top-over of the current world tour for Prime Minister Lilo and his delegates.
They have been in Havana, Cuba where they officially opened Solomon Islands Embassy there after it opened its doors last year and has been manned by former National Parliamentarian Simeon Bouro as Ambassador.
The Prime Minister’s trip will also see him opening our new Embassy in Jakarta, national capital of Indonesia, which is being headed by the former Chief Protocol of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Salana Kalu as Ambassador.
Meanwhile, the People’s Alliance Party has reiterated its earlier call on the Lilo government not to lose sight of the plight of the Melanesian people of West Papua who have been struggling for political freedom from Indonesian colonial rule.
PAP President, Sir Nathaniel Waena said while Solomon Islands stands to gain economic benefits from the newly established diplomatic ties between Honiara and Jakarta, the government must consider the way Indonesia has been mistreating West Papuans.
He is reiterating the party’s earlier call to coincide with the opening of the Jakarta office.
By George Atkin