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edit Pacific Press Association— 29.JUL.2008— PORF admits two candidate members, rebuffs another

KAILUA, KINGDOM OF HAWAI'I, KANAWIKI-- The Pacific Ocean Regional Forum made the most high-profile decisions of its annual summit today as it voted on petitions from three countries seeking candidate membership in the regional organization. The Chinese state of Canton and the Empire of Germany were received as members, while an application from the provisional government of the Tokelau Islands was declined.

PORF, a regional forum concerned with commerce, ecology, and human rights in the Pacific Rim nations, expelled Canton in 2003 after its anarcho-capitalist revolutionary covernment used nuclear weapons to retaliate against an invasion by neighboring Hunan. Canton's unqualified welcome back into PORF is considered one more sign that the world is willing to forgive and forget Canton's troubled recent past.

Germany's application caused more debate. The decentralized European empire has repeatedly requested to join since aquiring tiny Rickerman Atoll in 2003, but PORF has until now rejected Germany on the grounds that, in the words of last year's resolution, "the Holy Roman, or German, Empire has not demonstrated a stake in the needs and issues of the greater Pacific region." An eloquent speech at the summit by Rickerman's Commissioner, Walter Steinmeier of the Principality of Lippe, apparently changed the PORF foreign ministers' minds. Steinmeier emphasized ecological challenges to small atolls like Rickerman and the need for international cooperation to combat these challenges.

PORF was not so understanding toward the representative of the Provisional Government of Tokelau, which has governed the islands with the tacit consent of its overlord nation, Fiji, since April, although it had de facto administered the island for some months before that against the will of the Fijian government. Not surprisingly, Fiji's foreign minister objected to Tokelau's application, but so did a number of other nations wary of Tokelau's sepratist ambitions or its controversial plan to privatize its entire territory. PORF's official declaration states, "Tokelau cannot demonstrate a stable, working government required of PORF members, as its future status remains uncertain pending certain legislation and negotiations."

In the day's session, the foreign ministers also addressed whaling and porpoising rights and the issue of rising global temperatures.


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