Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Officials prepare discussions for Micronesian Presidents in Palau

FSMIS (July 10, 2013): Ministers (Secretaries in FSM) review provisional agenda items ahead of the Presidents' meeting to ensure the one-and-half long meeting will address the most pertinent and pressing issues facing the Micronesian region.

The Ministers/Secretaries session took place after the Presidents' welcoming session this morning in which the Leadership and the People of the Republic of Palau, through President Tommy Remengesau Jr. welcomed President Manny Mori of the Federated States of Micronesia (and his delegation) and President Christopher Loeak (and his delegation) from the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

All three Presidents made their opening statements at this morning's meeting, where they each raised and highlighted what they hoped would be achieved at this 13th Micronesian Presidents' Summit. Their statements would serve as the basis for the Official's agenda crafting work this afternoon.

The FSM Officials from right to left: Mr. Robert Ruecho, Consul General in Guam; Mrs. Suzanne L. Gallen, Assistant Secretary, SBOC; Mr. Ashley, International Organization for Migration (IOM); Secretary Lorin Robert, Department of Foreign Affairs; Secretary April Dawn Skilling, Department of Justice (in the back): Mr. Jolden Johnyboy, Assistant Secretary of Comunication; Secrtary Francis Itimai, Department of TC&I; Ms Alissa Takesy, Assistant Secretary, Department of Resources and Development, Mr. Carson Mongkeya, Department of Foreign Affairs
Among other proposed agenda items, FSM delegation asked for focus discussions on compact-impact (presented by Mrs. Suzanne L. Gallen) and two subsections on the fiber-optic connectivity project, which involve financing situations (to be presented by the FSM TC&I) and other related technical matters (to be presented by Palau National Communications Corporation - PNCC).

The host country showcased its review on the use of modern technology in maritime surveillance, specifically using drones and gliders. According to Mr. Rinehart Silas from the Palau President's Office, Palau has taken steps by approaching partners such as Australia, the Sasakawa Foundation and the University of Hawaii to move into this direction. He also said the project was still at its very early stage, but Palau is sharing with the FSM and RMI not only for information but because maritime surveillance has often been a joint effort for all three governments from time to time.

The RMI delegation, together with FSM and Palau, would like to continue discussions on climate change efforts, keeping the topic a number one concern for the region. RMI also wanted to brief the others on the preparation developments for the upcoming Pacific Islands Forum that will be hosted in Majuro this coming September.

Other items reviewed by the Officials included: Protected Area Network and the Micronesian Challenge; Invasive Species, under Biosecurity; Federal Aviation Administration and Air Service Agreement, under Aviation issues; Pacific Islands Development Forum; and some preparation issues in anticipation of the 68th General Assembly of the United Nations.

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  1. As a citizen of FSM, Im deeply impressed if Climate Changes would continue to be discussed by our national leaders especially since RMI is already been severely affected. I wonder however if the Pacific Islands Development Forum would address the issue of the sinking Kiribati on their agenda, and if our three leaders would show strong support of their fellow Micronesian state as the Kiribati..

  2. Climate Change remains a high priority for our Micronesian Presidents. And yes, it will be discussed even more urgently during the upcoming Pacific Islands Forum in Majuro. As you know, all Pacific countries have been affected by this phenomenon in drastic ways. Although it seems more proportionally drastic for low lying atolls, even islands of higher elevation have shown concrete impacts on their environments and populations. In short, CC has become a matter of security for all.