Most readers of this blog will be aware of the tendency of a handful of Pacific island states to cluster protectively around Israel whenever it gets sin-binned in the United Nations General Assembly. To draw on a recent example: when 114 nations endorsed the Goldstone Report in the UNGA in November last year, 18 nations, including a bloc of Pacific minnows - the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru and Palau - voted against. (See my posts, Israel's Pacific Solution (9/11/09) & Israel's Pacific Solution 2 (12/11/09))
This may be about to change:
Following a visit to the Pacific region by UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan the Arab League held an Arab-Pacific summit in Abu Dhabi in June, attended by all 14 members of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF). There the PIF "agreed to 'note the concern of Arab states regarding the conflict in the Middle East, in particular in Palestine', and 'agreed on the need to settle all outstanding disputes and issues based on relevant Security Council resolutions and the principles of the Road Map recognising that the views of the Arab states were crucial to a just, comprehensive and permanent peace'." Furthermore, "[t]he Arab League has decided to send an official delegation to the Pacific and establish an office for the Pacific islands in the region; the UAE has launched a $54 million development fund for the islands and a new Arab-Pacific Forum is being set up in the UAE." (Arab League seeks influence with Pacific push, Rowan Callick, The Australian, 11/8/10)
Watch this space.