By Lisa Williams-Lahari - email@example.com
Tokelau, the only associate member of the Pacific Islands Forum may soon be joining newer members French Polynesia and New Caledonia at the table.
Photo/ Pacific Guardian.
The French Pacific territories became the first non-sovereign territories to gain full membership of the Forum in 2016, ending their Observer status, which Tokelau held for nine years before it became an associate member in 2014.
New Caledonia's push for full membership had received public support from New Zealand.
In Nauru this week, New Zealand's Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters changed tack on the question of whether New Zealand would step up support for Tokelau to join it as a full member at the Forum table, but says he hopes the move will happen soon.
"We have been supporting promotion of Tokelau [to full member status] for some considerable time," he said before starting afresh: "We expect the sisterhood and brotherhood of the Pacific will accommodate them sooner or later."
When asked if it will be happening sooner, Peters replied "I hope so".