DOI’s Cantor to meet with Palacios next week

Posted on Jan 20 2023


Arnold I. Palacios and Carmen G. Cantor

In response to Gov. Arnold I. Palacios’ invitation and request to meet, Assistant Secretary Carmen G. Cantor of the U.S. Department of the Interior (International and Insular Affairs) has confirmed that she will be visiting the Commonwealth next week.

Cantor’s letter confirming her forthcoming visit was personally delivered to Palacios by Harry Blanco, U.S. Department of Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs field representative.

In his Jan. 13, 2023, letter and request to meet with Cantor, Palacios stated that “…upon taking the oath of office and assuming my duties as the governor of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, we have discovered that our government finances are in considerable disarray. …Consistent with the historic relationship between the government and people of the CNMI and the Department of the Interior, I urgently request consultations to disclose the extent and scope of the challenges we face, and identify any measures of support and technical assistance your office and the Department of the Interior may be able to provide.”

In her response letter to Palacios, Cantor also congratulated Palacios on his being sworn in as the 10th elected governor of the CNMI.

“There is no greater mandate under the CNMI Constitution and Commonwealth Covenant than that which the people of the CNMI have given you as their governor,” said Cantor in her letter to the governor.

Cantor also encouraged Palacios to participate in the upcoming National Governors’ Association Winter Meeting, which includes the Interagency Group on Insular Area Senior Plenary Session.

“These meetings provide important opportunities to network with White House and ranking federal officials who possess valuable information and resources that may be helpful as you seek to address challenges in the CNMI during your new administration,” she added.

Palacios stated during Wednesday’s news briefing that he would like to discuss the possibility of repurposing Technical Assistance Program grants and other OIA grants or providing additional technical training and audit support. (PR)

Press Release
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