|left to right: President Loeak, RMI; President Mori, FSM; President Remengesau, Palau; MPS opening meeting in Pohnpei|
FSMIS (July 18, 2014): Three days ahead of the opening of the 8th Micronesian Games in Pohnpei, the Micronesian Presidents' Summit (MPS) opened its session yesterday, July 17, at the Pacific Mission Aviation Auditorium in Kolonia, Pohnpei.
As an annual event, the MPS brings together the Presidents of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) and the Republic of Palau (Palau) to jointly address common concerns and advance mutual interests in the spirit of Micronesian solidarity refined through shared culture, political history, and economic aspirations.
The event started with a formal welcome by Governor John Ehsa of the State of Pohnpei, followed by the opening remarks by FSM President Manny Mori. President Mori welcomed his Peers and thanked all who played a part in making the meeting possible. Among the highlights he directed attention to, President Mori noted advancements collectively made in the management of fisheries within the Micronesian region. However, he underscored that collectively, the three governments should find ways to increase their benefit as fish-stock owners in an industry with a net worth estimated at around 7 billion.
RMI President Christopher Loeak, accompanied by the RMI First Lady, Minister of Foreign Affairs Tony Debrum and a few staff, also welcomed the opportune time for such gathering. At the end of his remarks, President Loeak noted that this would be President Mori's last MPS as FSM President and expressed his gratitude to President Mori for his leadership and guidance throughout the MPS processes.
President Tommy Remengesau Jr. emphasized his Government's support of the regional endeavors that the President have been facilitating, especially in terms of environmental conservation collaborations, such as the Micronesian Challenge, and resource management and protection. He also echoed President Loeak's words of appreciation to President Mori for his steadfastness in pursuing the interests of the Micronesian region through the MPS system as well as the regional and international leadership mechanisms. President Remengesau said the Micronesian nations should ensure that their agendas are well addressed at the upcoming Pacific Islands Forum to be held in Palau early August and the Third Small Island Developing States Conference in Samoa this coming September.
The opening meeting was attended by FSM Vice President Alik L. Alik, the Diplomatic Corp, Cabinet and staff of the three Governments, and some community members.
The meeting agenda included some presentations on the FSM-Palau fiber optic connectivity project, un update on air transportation project for the FSM, un update on Palau's marine surveillance and patrol program upgrading, and review of progress made in climate change negotiations towards a binding framework for mitigations of disasters -- presented by the Marshall Islands.
The Presidents are having a retreat today on Ant Atoll. It is at such "sit-together" that sensitive issues and other pressing matters are chipped and shaped to build consensus, conformity and commitment.
It is expected that the President will endorse the MPS meeting outcome document tonight at a closing dinner reception at the Cupid Bar and Grill.
A report on the meeting outcomes will be forthcoming.
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