The long-awaited Northern Islands conference has been postponed again due to logistical and financial issues.
According to Saipan and Northern Islands Municipal Council chair L.J. Castro, the planning committee decided it was best not to push through with the Konferencian Dinana Islas Mariana this June.
Castro said that although Northern Islands Mayor Vicente Santos prepared the island of Pagan for the guests interested in participating in the conference, the logistics and transportation to get there still remains an issue.
The planning committee of the Konferencian reached out to neighboring islands in Micronesia to attend the event but, according to Castro, the cost to charter vessels from neighboring islands to Pagan costs more than they anticipated. Castro did not disclose the exact amount.
Castro said it was decided a few weeks ago that it would be best to reschedule the conference for mid-June next year.
Although it is disappointing that the conference has been postponed for the third time, Castro remains optimistic. According to him, now that the planning committee has been given more time, the committee will strive to make the conference as perfect as possible for all its attendees.
The idea of conference was introduced back in 2016 before the death of late Northern Islands mayor Jerome Aldan.
Konferencian is expected to be unlike other forums, serving as a vehicle or a process aimed at inspiring conversations in re-awakening and re-connecting the islands’ ancestral heritage, despite being separated by geography, distance and historical circumstances or anomalies, and re-bonding the indigenous people of Islas Sinahi Pacifico in the Marianas together in fellowship from Guam to Farallon de Pajaros.