Marshall Islands Reports Results of 10th Micronesian Presidents’ Summit

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Guam – President Zedkaia of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, President Mori of the Federated State of Micronesia, and President Toribiong of the Republic of Palau, held their 10th Micronesian Presidents’ Summit (MPS) in Palau on July 30, 2010, with Dr. Kieren Keke, Nauru Foreign Minister, representing President Marcus Stephen of the Republic of Nauru, to discuss vital issues affecting the four nations and the Pacific Region as a whole. President Toribiong conveyed the welcome of the People of Palau, and expressed his hope that a more secure, peaceful and prosperous future for the entire region would result from the Summit.
It was agreed at the Summit that working together would be far more effective then addressing issues individually. Specifically, the Presidents agreed that each of their countries would mobilize resources and take action to support the Pacific Island Health Officers Association’s (PIHOA) resolution declaring a regional state of emergency that was adopted by the participants during the 13th Micronesian Chief Executives Summit in late June.

The Presidents endorsed the decisions made by the Trade Ministers at the 3rd Micronesian Trade Committee (MTC) Meeting just concluded on 27 July 2010 in Palau, including the establishment of the MTC permanent Secretariat in Pohnpei, FSM. Furthermore, the Presidents directed the MTC to further discuss Compact Trade issues with the US.

The Presidents also acknowledged the establishment of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) headquarters in Majuro, RMI, and noted numerous PNA initiatives, which they are eager to see implemented in the coming year. Closing off additional high seas areas in the region, mandatory employment requirements by PNA nationals on fishing vessels operating in PNA waters, PNA observer programs, refueling and unloading catches in PNA ports and joint marketing, are just some of the key planned initiatives. The Presidents also called on the PNA to set up measures which would better protect the whale shark population from becoming purse seiner catch.

The medical crisis faced by FAS citizens residing in the US was also discussed by the Presidents. They agreed to direct their respective Missions in Washington, D.C., to work together to address the issue and aim to ensure reinstatement of Medicaid eligibility for FAS citizens.

Climate Change adaption and mitigation was another major topic on the agenda. It was within this context that the launching of the Green Energy Micronesia (GEM) initiative, originally introduced by RMI at the 11th Micronesian Chief Executives Summit and at the 9th Micronesia Presidents’ Summit, both in July 2009, was raised.

President Zedkaia stated that “with regard to the GEM Initiative, I am pleased to advise that arrangements are being finalized in Port Vila, including the invitations to all Forum members’ delegations and the relevant development partners in the area of sustainable energy and
related sectors.” The launching of the GEM, scheduled to take place on the margins of the 41st Pacific Forum Leaders’ Meeting in Vanuatu this month, was fully endorsed by the Presidents.

GEM proposes that from 2010 to 2020, the Pacific Island Countries achieve: 20% improvement in energy efficiency by suppliers, meaning improved efficiency in areas such as transportation and electric power generation; 30% improvement in efficiency of energy use by end-users; and 20% electricity generation through renewable energy, most likely solar.

In closing, President Zedkaia expressed his sincere appreciation to President Toribiong and the People of Palau for not only hosting the 10th MPS but also the 2010 Micronesian Games as well. President Zedkaia and his delegation had the opportunity to meet with some of the RMI athletes, and it was his message in his closing remarks at the Summit that “Sports are indeed important…as a means to develop the necessary ambassadors as bearers of our friendship, our culture, and future face of our leadership”.

The signing ceremony of the 10th MPS Communiqué was on July 31, 2010, at 6:30PM, at the Sea Passion Hotel in Koror, Palau.