The United States. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary of Insular and International Affairs, Douglas W. Domenech praised outgoing President Tommy Remengesau as a global leader in environmental and marine conservation initiatives.
Assistant Secretary Domenech commended President Remengesau in a virtual address during the signing of the memorandum of agreement establishing a sister sanctuary arrangement between Palau and American Samoa on Dec. 16.
“President Remengesau, as you wrap up your term, in your time Mr. President, you have shepherd Palau in the global community, a leader in environmental and marine conservation. Thank you for your leadership, and setting a strong example,” he said.
“I congratulate President Tommy Remengesau Jr. for his long and admirable service to his people and the island nation of Palau,” Secretary Domenech said.
He said Remengesau’s public service is historic, first, as the youngest president and the longest service president of Palau.
Domenech also commended Palau for its Palau National Marine Sanctuary five-year anniversary.
In less than a month, President Remengesau finishes the last year of his two-term presidency.
President Remengesau Jr was a two-term senator from (1984-1992); Vice President from 1992- 2000; Palau President (2001-2008), Senator (2009-2012), and President again from 2013 until his second term as president which will end in 2020.
The president has a three-decade-long career in Palauan politics which will end on January 21.
His last term, however, is marked with the Covid-19 pandemic, which he said are “unusually hard times, not only in Palau but for populations and families throughout the world.”
In an earlier interview, Remengesau said he wants to be remembered as the leader who maintained a ‘Pristine Paradise Palau’.
“Nation-building has been a balancing act for me, I felt with the majority of Palauan people, we needed to preserve the best, while improving the rest.”
“Our culture, our environment, our identities have to be reconsidered as we ensure economic developments and opportunities,” he said in an interview.
Remengesau said he was involved in a government that transitioned the country from a Trust Territory status administered by the United States to an independent nation.
Serving at that time as the Vice-President of the late Kuniwo Nakamura, he said he has ushered the country in fostering partnership and developing the tourism industry,
“Everything Palau has achieved in the 16 years I have been president has been true and consistent -maintaining a Pristine Paradise Palau while pursuing planned and appropriate developments for all Palauans. I hope people remember me for this.”

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