Dame Meg Taylor will remain at the helm of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) until her successor is appointed, which is scheduled to take place next month.
Dame Meg was to have finished from the role last Friday, after serving two consecutive terms in office, and as the first woman head of PIFS.
However, in a statement, Forum Chair and Prime Minister of Tuvalu Kausea Natano confirmed that she would remain in her position and that they were looking at the Special Leaders Retreat in the first week of February to confirm her replacement.
The Pacific Islands Forum Leaders will convene virtually in February, during which they will discuss the appointment and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The settlement of a date for the special retreat of the Pacific Islands Forum has been an arduous process given the competing commitments of Leaders at the national level. However, following extensive consultations with Colleague Leaders, I am pleased to confirm the first week of February for this session. I am confident that we will also appoint the new Secretary-General when we meet in February,” Katano said.
Five people are contesting the soon-to-be vacant post including Fiji’s former Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, former Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna, former Pacific Community Director-General Dr Jimmy Rodgers, sole female nominee in Tonga’s Amelia Kinahoi Siamomua and Marshall Islands’ Gerald Zackios.