The Vanuatu Council of Ministers has agreed at its meeting held in Luganville, Santo, to postpone the hosting of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Leaders Meeting due in August 2020, reports the Vanuatu Daily Post.
The decision followed the recommendations of the National Task Force based on the “uncertainty and the economic impacts” the country is facing with the covid-19 pandemic and recent Tropical Cyclone Harold.
Vanuatu has had no reported cases of covid-19.
The government has mandated the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to liaise with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat on the postponement.
The ministry will also negotiate with Fiji to seek a possibility for Vanuatu to host the meeting in 2021.
In Suva, the PIF secretariat today confirmed Vanuatu’s request to defer the 51st Forum Meeting scheduled for 4-7 August 2020 to next year in light of the covid-19 pandemic.
The chair of the Pacific Islands Forum and Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Kausea Natano, will consult the Forum Membership and advise on the next meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum.