Late President Kuniwo Nakamura during his address in 39th UNGA in October 1995.

Today, Palau lays to rest a historical and visionary leader, the late President Kuniwo Nakamura, in his home State of Peleliu.
Late President Kuniwo Nakamura was a trailblazer, a bold visionary, and a fearless leader as demonstrated by these accomplishments throughout his life.
Born to a Palauan mother and a Japanese father in 1943, Nakamura has instilled a strong work ethic and thrive for education at a young age.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Business Administration from the University of Hawaii, he returned to become an Economic Advisor in 1969 to the Trust Territory Government.
In 1975 he began his political career becoming a member of the House of Representatives of the Congress of Micronesia and serving as Chairman of Appropriations Committee.
He was responsible for the introduction of a Resolution which urged for the separation of Palau as a separate district from the rest of Micronesia.
His public service as an elected official spans over 25 years culminating in a two-term presidency.
He led the movement for Palau’s independence including securing the necessary votes in favor of entering the Compact of Free Association with the United States. He became the first President to sign the Declaration of Independence from the United States on October 1, 1994.
Under his extraordinary leadership, Palau not only developed locally but expanded regionally and internationally. Locally, in a period labeled as the “Nakamura Era”, he implemented expansive economic development programs including securing power and telecommunications infrastructures and access to clean water throughout the country. Regionally, he ratified regional treaties such as the Niue Treaty and Palau Arrangement for the Management of the Western Pacific Purse Seine Fishery. Internationally he established diplomatic relations with twenty-eight countries.
In his efforts to develop Palau’s economy as well as its physical and social infrastructures, he took great care to keep Palau’s heritage and identity intact. He was a leader way ahead of his time. He raised the issue of climate change and its impact on countries and the world, particularly vulnerable island countries, and called for a united global effort to address the problem during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly in 1995. Today, Palau is still reaping the benefits of his leadership and will continue to do so in the future.
In the proclamation issued by President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. to honor late President Kuniwo Nakamura, he proclaimed that Palau mourns the passing of this “remarkable and treasured Palauan leader.. and pay tribute to his invaluable contributions to the nation and its people.”

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