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Palau leader says Micronesia will demand a stronger voice in the Pacific

Koror- The Micronesian region should continue sounding its small but powerful voice to address the many of the concerns it faces- climate change, environmental degradation, combating illegal fishing and air transport service, Palau President Remengesau said yesterday.

Remengesau highlighted that with a united front; the nations can work more effectively to address many of the concerns of the small island states.

Participants in the 19th Micronesian President’s Summit take a break for a group photo at the Ngarachamayong Cultural Center. They are, from left: Nauru's Minister Assisting the President of Nauru David Adeang, Kiribati President Taneti Mamau, Palau President Tommy Remengesau, Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine, and FSM Secretary of Foreign Affairs Lorin S. Robert. Photo by Ongerung Kambes Kesolei

“Today’s gathering of leaders from all independent Micronesian nations supported regional partners and envoys from many of our allies, demonstrates how far we have come both countries and as a region. Yet there is much we need to accomplish to establish the Micronesian region as a stronghold both in the Pacific region and the international community,” Remengesau.

Palau is hosting this year’s Micronesian President’s Summit, bringing together the chief executives of the independent countries of Micronesia including Palau, FSM, Marshall Islands, and for the first time, last year was expanded to include Kiribati and Nauru.

Remengesau said with Kiribati and Nauru joining the bloc, the region has now the majority of small island states within the larger Pacific Islands Forum.

“Together we must demand a stronger voice in regional planning and negotiations,” he said during his opening remarks.

He said that with a greater voice, the region could have better access to funding and programs to better the lives of the Micronesian people.

At a later interview with reporters, Remengesasu said the bloc is fighting hard for the United Nations to increase footprint in the region by establishing an office in the North Pacific.

He said UN programs in the Pacific are always centered in the South Pacific,

We feel that the countries of the North Pacific need to come together to work with the UN to establish a meaningful office in the North.

The two-day summit is attended by Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine and Kiribati President Taneti Mamau were joined by Nauru's Minister Assisting the President of Nauru, David Adeang, and FSM Secretary of Foreign Affairs Lorin S. Robert.

The two-day meeting will conclude this evening with the signing of the summit’s joint communiqué and a closing dinner.

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