Every year, the chief executives of Micronesia meet to discuss and establish regional cooperation on a variety of issues that are of mutual concern to the region.
Known as the Micronesian Islands Forum, this annual summit brings together the six governors and three presidents of Micronesia, as well as policy representatives from the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Territory of Guam, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia and its members states of Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei and Yap.
This year, the CNMI will be hosting the 23rd Micronesian Islands Forum on Saipan from April 25-27, 2018 at the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan. Last year during the 22nd Micronesian Islands Forum held on Guam, island leaders agreed to hold this year’s MIF in the CNMI.
As part of being the host island jurisdiction, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres will serve as host and assume the formal chairmanship of the forum, leading policy discussions on a wide array of issues important to the region. Preparations for this year’s MIF began in January.
Torres underscored the significance of the meeting between the island leaders, noting that Micronesia is undergoing a period of increased globalization that requires its leaders to continue collaborating and strengthening the ties within the region.
“As leaders within Micronesia, we are fully aware of our similarities in culture and history, but we are also cognizant of our shared limitations with economic viability, education, and healthcare as island nations due to our size and location. Collective problems require collective solutions, and we are uniquely positioned to determine sustainable policies and reforms that would develop our economies successfully and provide resources for our region’s critical needs. We’re looking forward to the discussions from our chiefs, our special guests, and the Micronesian community at large,” he said.
The three-day event will feature presentations from all nine island jurisdictions and several key federal and regional partners including the Office of Insular Affairs, the U.S. Department of State, the Western Pacific Fishery Council, and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education or WICHE.
In addition, the agenda includes committee reports from the MIF’s nine standing committees, which are comprised of policy representatives from the nine island jurisdictions led by the CNMI’s designated representatives:
-Regional Workforce Development Council
-Micronesia Regional Invasive Species Council
-Renewable Energy Committee
-Pacific Island Regional Recycling Initiative Committee
-Regional Transportation Committee
-Regional Health Committee
-Regional Telecommunications Committee
-Regional Tourism Council
At the conclusion of the forum, the island chief executives will sign a communiqué that outlines the steps and initiatives that will be taken moving forward to get the leaders closer to achieving the region’s goals. The MIF will also coincide with the CNMI’s annual Flame Tree Arts Festival held that weekend and brings together artists from all over Micronesia in a shared display of culture, tradition, history, and progress moving forward.
“It’s our collective goal to have stronger regional partnerships that can lead to effective policies that will benefit our various communities. Whether that be how we tackle issues of invasive species to how we promote environmental sustainability to how we achieve economic success, we are using this forum to bring Micronesia together on all fronts. In the midst of globalization, we can navigate our world as one Micronesia,” Governor Torres said.
The community is encouraged to participate in this year’s forum, but space is limited and is only open for registrants. To register for the 23rd Micronesian Islands Forum, email Glenna SP Reyes at email@example.com. (PR)