HAGATNA, 04 MAY 2017 (PACIFIC NOTE) — Island leaders on Tuesday pledged to protect their resources, eradicate invasive species, create a better health care system, develop sustainable tourism and collaborate on issues that are affecting the region.
The 22nd Micronesian Islands Forum (MIF) concluded on May 2 with the signing of the communiqué outlining common issues that member nations need to address as a region.
The leaders also agreed to hold the 23rd MIF in the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).
Leaders also urged the activation of the MIF Secretariat which will focus its efforts on providing secretariat services to the MIF.
These services include assisting with the overall administration of the MIF; assisting the host government in organising the annual MIF; assisting with the organisation and administration of community; and follow-up and follow-through on MIF commitments.
The MIF Secretariat, used to be the Micronesian Center for a Sustainable Future, but was changed during this year’s summit to reflect its functions, will be based in Palau.
The Secretariat will have an organisation structure including a regional director, and administrative officer, a secretary and relevant committee coordinators.
The leaders also reinforced the need to work to identify and mobilise funding and resources.
Palau President Remengesau said initial funding for the MIF Secretariat comes from the individual member governments, with US$10,000 annual contributions for two years and US$15,000 thereafter.
“The forum reaffirmed the commitment of each of the participants on behalf of their people and their governments, to establish closer ties, strengthen cooperation and agree on initiatives for the benefit of members and the entire Micronesian region,” the communique said.
The leaders wanted to expand global awareness of the tourism industry of the Micronesian region, pooling initiatives to improve its telecom infrastructure and improve health services.
During the first day of the forum, Remengesau urged leaders of the Micronesia to follow through on its commitments to strengthen regional initiatives.
“Three things that I have to ask everyone as we adjourn this forum, one; follow up; two, follow up and three, follow-up,” Remengesau said.
The other leaders shared the sentiment of the Palau president for a need to commit to coming up with an action plan on regional policies.
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 this, for the annual MIF- formerly known as the Micronesian Chief Executives Summit….PACNEWS [/restrict]