Will also make stops in PNG, Guam, CNMI, American Samoa
WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will lead a high-level U.S. government delegation to the 30th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Session on Sept. 4, 2018 in Nauru.
After the forum, Zinke’s delegation will visit Papua New Guinea to meet senior officials in advance of APEC Leaders’ Week, and make stops in Guam, the CNMI, and American Samoa to underscore the importance of the U.S. territories as part of the American family.
Zinke’s delegation will include senior officials from the White House, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of the Interior, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
“It is truly an honor to lead the United States delegation to the 30th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Session,” said Zinke. “The Pacific region, including the U.S. territories, are important to America’s strategic interests. I look forward to representing the United States and our stance to advance regional order, the rule of law, and free, fair, and reciprocal trade in the region.”
Zinke’s trip is intended to emphasize that the Pacific Islands are key to the President’s vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific. Zinke’s trip highlights U.S. commitment to advancing a regional order based on respect for sovereignty, the rule of law, and the principles of free, fair, and reciprocal trade.
The PIF is the region’s premier political and economic policy organization with 18 members. It organizes an annual meeting with 18 Forum Dialogue Partners, including the United States, at the ministerial level.
At the PIF, Zinke will host a roundtable meeting with Pacific Island leaders and conduct bilateral consultations with heads of state of the Pacific Islands Forum members to discuss issues of regional and global importance, including regional security, responding to the threat posed by the activities of North Korea, combating illegal fishing, and sustainable development.
Zinke bears responsibilities for the U.S. territories of Guam, American Samoa and the CNMI in the region. Interior also administers and oversees federal assistance under the Compacts of Free Association to the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau.
Douglas Domenech, the Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Insular and International Affairs, and the Office of Insular Affairs supports Zinke’s mission in the U.S. insular areas. (PR)