Fiji’s Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka has expressed disappointment at Nauru’s President David Adeang failure to attend the Leaders retreat in Aitutaki today.
Adeang walked out of the Forum Leaders Plenary Wednesday when the nomination of Baron Waqa as the next Secretary General was on the agenda for the Leaders deliberation.
In an interview with journalists in Aitutaki on their way to the Leaders retreat, Rabuka said he was hoping President Adeang attended the Retreat to state his government’s position.
“And I’m disappointed that they’re not here because I was hoping they would be able to present their case for the selection of the successor, to the Secretary General.
“They still have part of the delegation here. Hopefully they will be heard”.
Rabuka said Samoa Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa’s move for the issue to be discussed by Leaders is reasonable.
“Yes, it is very very reasonable, because we have formulated but we have not put that into the standard operating procedures.
Rabuka also spoke on the selection criteria of the Secretary General saying it should not be concentrating merely on merit but also on nations submission.
“Merit on who’s scale. We’re looking at nations making submissions and recommendations rather than personal.
So, who are we to say that so and so is not worthy – does not merit selection if his country has nominated him,” Rabuka said.
Rabuka said he was looking forward to today’s retreat when leaders discuss issues that affect the region and its people.
“I’m feeling great, the surround being beautiful, the people are good and beautiful, and the topics are promising. And today I’ll be talking about the zone of peace.”
Rabuka said his ‘Zone of Peace’ concept – fostering unity and harmony in our region has received support from Pacific countries including Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape.
“Together, we can achieve great things.”
“I think everybody would like to see the zone of peace. We just want to make it very clear that this is a sort of peaceful environment that we would like to live in,” Rabuka told journalist in Aitutaki.
The leaders will discuss climate change, gender, fisheries, nuclear issues, and trade among others.