- By Francis Talasasa
Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) was welcomed by leaders of the Small Island States (SIS) as a new member in the group.
Prime Minister of Cook Islands and chair of the SIS meeting, Honorable Henry Puna in his welcome note said “SIS has whole heartedly agreed to support and welcome FSM into the family in a true Pacific way”.
President of the Federated States of Micronesia H.E Peter Christian was then led into the chamber by the Secretary General of the Pacific Island Forum Dame Meg Taylor to officially take his seat.
In respond to the welcome, President Christian said “The Federated States of Micronesia takes this as a great honor to be included as a member of SIS. It is something we have wanted for a longtime”
Top in the agenda discussed about is on air transport. SIS is looking forward for equitable and fair access to air services to their country. They are also looking into strengthen more control over their sovereign upper air space.
In a meeting earlier this year, SIS leaders have endorsed a new regional strategy to ensure greater influence and presence by SIS in shaping up the regional policy agenda. The strategy is to focus on SIS efforts in addressing issues relating to climate change, air and sea transport, marine, and health and labor mobility.
SIS reiterated their commitment to implementing the climate goals identified in Paris Agreement and called upon all countries to take ambitious climate change actions. Leaders are also looking into further options of the joint proposal for a green climate fund. At a recent GCF meeting in Suva, the fund was indicated to align for such proposals. The whole discussion is to focus on the need for the proposal to demonstrate tangible benefits for the people at the national and community levels of SIS.
On the closing remark, Prime Minister of Cook Islands and Chair to the SIS, Honorable Henry Puna said ‘Today’s meeting is the first of suit of very important events for us and our region this week. I am confident that the SIS, through our SIS regional strategy, is taking the right step to both addressing challenges and maximizing our opportunities. Our deliberations within the wider forum family and development partners later on the week will set out a solid foundation to lead and carry forward our regional priorities.
Contributed by Pacific Island Forum
The Smaller Island States grouping was established in 2005 to facilitate special assistance to those Forum countries that experience limited development capacity and fragile and vulnerable environment. Information contributed by Pacific Island Forum [/restrict]