The 14th Micronesia Presidential Summit
The 14th Micronesia Presidential Summit was held July 17-18, 2014 in FSM, Pohnpei. Since I have been following this sub-regional movement from the beginning it is a special feeling to know its development.
The Sasakawa Pacific Island Nations Fund has focused on Micronesia since 1998. Some of our projects indeed supported the architecture of their sub-regional cooperation framework.
Around 2000, three Micronesian countries had an urgent common challenge i.e. negotiation of a Compact of Free Association(COFA) with the United States. I believe that this is the main reason why these three countries started to cooperate. They needed to discuss and share information and opinions on not only COFA but also the following agenda’s such as: The Niue treaty arrangement; telecommunications; education; and all other social development issues.
Furthermore, there was a common feeling among the three countries that the PIF was relatively dominated with their agendas set by both Australia and NZ. For example the Fiji issue was not a Micronesian countries priority.
At the first stage of this sub-regional co-operation, the most successful outcome was the “Micronesia Challenge”. This has been of influence to other parts of the world. This was the initiative of the current President of Palau, Hon Mr Remengesau. Micronesian regional framework was started by leadership the former President of Palau, Hon. Mr Nakamura. We should not forget Hon Mr Billy Kuartei who took an important role for both Nakamura and Remengesau Administration.
The Communiqué tells us a lot about the current concerns and priorities of Micronesia. Personally I am very interested in fiber optical cable development between Palau-Yap-Guam. However, more importantly three Micronesian Presidents agreed to:
2) Support stand-alone Ocean Development as post MDGs.
3) Strengthen the north Pacific capacity to have a UNDP sub-regional hub, a Micronesia Center for Sustainable Future, and a Small Island States Office.
“14th Micronesia Presidents Summit Communiqué”
This year Palau is the Chair of PIF, with PNG taking the Chair the next year, and then FSM. Also the President of Palau may be the Co-Chair of the 7th PALM along with the Prime Minister of Japan in 2015. Our Prime Minister has just visited the Caribbean countries and had a meeting with the heads of CARICOM. He confirmed that Japan will focus on Ocean development and issues in the coming SIDS in Samoa.
Japan – Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Summit Meeting ~Japan’s CARICOM Policy~