Panuelo solicits Peace Corps to return to FSM 


David W. Panuelo

PALIKIR, Pohnpei—Federated States of Micronesia President David W. Panuelo wanted the return of Peace Corps Volunteers to the islands.

“In so many ways, the Peace Corps’ contributions were the greatest testaments to the good and enduring partnership between our two countries. From assisting in the procurement of grants ranging from funding Upward Bound programs to water catchment tanks in remote islands, and from developing health curricula to building sustainable school gardens, and from teaching English and Science in our classrooms while building capacity with local counterparts to partnering with principals on how to improve our school accreditation processes, Peace Corps Volunteers—who learn our languages and cultures, who live amongst us and with us as family—remain, by an order of magnitude, the best bridge at uniting peoples and promoting peace,” Panuelo wrote in his Sept. 25 letter to Carol Spahn, chief executive officer of the U.S. Peace Corps.

“It is not enough, in my view,” the president continued, “for the FSM-U.S. Enduring Partnership to be strictly viewed under the lens of our Compact of Free Association and regional peace and security; while the Compact is important, and regional security is important, what is ultimately just as important—and risks being forgotten—is the everyday well-being of our citizens. With the reinstatement of the Peace Corps in the FSM, our two governments and peoples can work closely together to strengthen our FSM-US Enduring Partnership to newer and greater heights.”

One of the intended discussions at the forthcoming U.S.-Pacific Summit is on People-Centered Development. It is the hope and intention of the FSM government to ensure that the U.S. Peace Corps hears loudly and clearly that the return of their program to the FSM, and to many other Pacific countries, is essential towards strengthening U.S.-Pacific relations. (PR)

Press Release
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