Pacific Islands Forum in disarray after Micronesian nations quit peak regional body | The World

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  • ABC News (Australia) published this video item, entitled “Pacific Islands Forum in disarray after Micronesian nations quit peak regional body | The World” – below is their description.

    The Pacific Islands Forum is in crisis after a several nations announced they’re withdrawing from the region’s top body. The leaders of Nauru, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Palau, and the Federated States of Micronesia say they’re quitting after their candidate failed to win the forum’s leadership. It follows a bitter leadership battle that saw former Cook Islands PM Henry Puna winning the vote. Peter Hartcher, international and political editor of the Sydney Morning Herald , tells The World the rift goes deeper than just disappointment over who leads the group.

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  • In This Story: Kiribati

    Kiribati, officially the Republic of Kiribati, is an independent country in the central Pacific Ocean. The permanent population is just over 110,000, more than half of whom live on Tarawa atoll. The state comprises 32 atolls and one raised coral island, Banaba.

    Their spread straddles the equator and the 180th meridian, although the International Date Line goes round Kiribati and swings far to the east, almost reaching the 150° W meridian. This brings Kiribati’s easternmost islands, the southern Line Islands south of Hawaii, into the same day as the Gilbert Islands and places them in the most advanced time zone on Earth: UTC+14.

    Kiribati is the only country in the world to be situated in all four hemispheres.

    Kiribati gained its independence from the United Kingdom, becoming a sovereign state in 1979. The capital is South Tarawa. Kiribati is a member of the Pacific Community (SPC), Commonwealth of Nations, the IMF, and the World Bank, and became a full member of the United Nations in 1999.

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    The Marshall Islands are a sprawling chain of volcanic islands and coral atolls in the central Pacific Ocean, between Hawaii and the Philippines. In the northwest, Bikini Atoll’s largely undisturbed waters, used as a ship graveyard after World War II, are now a popular wreck dive site. Near Majuro Atoll, which holds the islands’ capital and largest settlement, the coral reef at Kalalin Pass teems with marine life.

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  • In This Story: Micronesia

    The Federated States of Micronesia is a country spread across the western Pacific Ocean comprising more than 600 islands. Micronesia is made up of 4 island states: Pohnpei, Kosrae, Chuuk and Yap. The country is known for palm-shaded beaches, wreck-filled dives and ancient ruins, including Nan Madol, sunken basalt temples and burial vaults that extend out of a lagoon on Pohnpei.

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    Nauru is a tiny island country in Micronesia, northeast of Australia, in the Central Pacific. It features a coral reef and white-sand beaches fringed with palms, including Anibare Bay on the east coast. Inland, tropical vegetation surrounds Buada Lagoon. The rocky outcrop of Command Ridge, the island’s highest point, has a rusty Japanese outpost from WWII. The underground freshwater lake of Moqua Well lies amid the limestone Moqua Caves.

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  • In This Story: Palau

    Palau is an archipelago of over 500 islands, part of the Micronesia region in the western Pacific Ocean. Koror Island is home to the former capital, also named Koror, and is the islands’ commercial center. The larger Babeldaob has the present capital, Ngerulmud, plus mountains and sandy beaches on its east coast. In its north, ancient basalt monoliths known as Badrulchau lie in grassy fields surrounded by palm trees.

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