Tamuning, Guam, - Palau President Tommy Remengesau Jr. is urging leaders of the Micronesia to follow through on its commitments to strengthen regional initiatives affecting the region.
Three presidents- that include Remengesau and six governors of island states and territories — Palau, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia and its states of Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae — gathered here Monday for the annual Micronesian Islands Forum (MIF)- formerly known as the Micronesian Chief Executives Summit (MCES).
(Left to Right) Palau President Tommy Remengesau Jr. ,Foreign Minister John M. Silk of the Marshall Islands and Governor Marcelo K. Peterson of Pohnpei State, FSM.. Photo by Ongerung Kambes Kesolei
“It was last year that we changed our name, our regional organization from Micronesian Chief Executives Summit (MCES) to Micronesian Islands Forum (MIF). “I believe that there was a reason to shift the focus as a region not just as chief executives, and the reason being as we look as ourselves as a region , we find that there is a lot of work to be done, a lot of commonalities, a lot of challenges that we can better address as a region,” Remengesau said in his remarks during the first day of 22nd MIF.
He said its time for the leaders to fulfill its commitments by putting the plans and strategies into concrete actions.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the main challenges facing are the follow up, follow up, follow up. We need a follow up on many strategic plan, follow up on the plan of action and resources people,” Remengesau stated.
President Remengesau is joined by Federated States of Micronesia President Peter Christian Guam Governor Eddie Baza Calvo, Republic of Marshall Islands Foreign Minister John Silk of the Republic of the Marshall Islands representing President Hilda Heine, Governor Ralph Torres of the CNMI, Governor Johnson Elimo of Chuuk State, Governor Marcelo Peterson of Pohnpei State, and Lt. Governor James Yangetmai of Yap in the annual meeting.
Palau was last year’s MIF chairman, the chairmanship was handed over to Guam Gov. Calvo.
FSM President Christian touted the importance of the regional meet to put in motion the group’s initiatives.
“This forum exists and must continue to exist because it showcases our efforts to enshrine our regional plans," he said in his remarks.
Silk of the RMI said the MIF is an opportunity for the member-countries to” build upon the past efforts towards improving the lives and livelihood of our people.”
Silk said that the region has unique challenges and issues but the forum is a venue to work together and address the challenges besetting the region.
Governor Calvo welcomed the leaders on Guam and stressed the strength of unity to bring about changes.
“Enjoy the hospitality of Guam, welcome brothers to the island of Guam, “ Calvo stated in his remarks.
During the first day of the forum, leaders were presented with report delivered by the nine-standing committees on initiatives on Micronesian Challenge, Regional Invasive Species Council, Regional Workforce Development Council, Regional Tourism Committee, Regional Energy Committee, and the Committee on Communications, Regional Transportation Committee, Pacific Islands Regional Recycling Initiative Council, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education and the Micronesian Center for a Sustainable Future.
President Remengesau also called for greater efforts to develop the Micronesia Center for a Sustainable Future,
He recommend that it be renamed as the Micronesia Islands Forum Secretariat and for leaders to provide assistance to activate the secretariat.
A communiqué as a result of the forum will be signed today to conclude the event. The communique is expected to pave the way for agreements and cooperation on the issues that are important to all the member-nations.