9th Micronesia Presidents' Summit Begins in Majuro
Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): July 20, 2009 - With the departure of the Governors and their delegations from the 11th Micronesia Chief Executives' Summit (MCES) on Thursday morning, July 16th, the three Presidents of Palau, the FSM and the Marshall Islands remained to hold the 9th Micronesia Presidents' Summit (MPS). Using the same theme of the MCES, "Climate Change and the Energy Challenge: Proactive Leadership for a Resilient Micronesia", the Presidents gathered at the International Conference Center to begin the opening ceremony of the MPS.
Without the flair of the singing and dancing that marked the opening of the MCES, the Presidents walked into the Conference Room and with a brief set of welcome and introduction remarks from Mrs. Neijon Edwards, RMI's Chief of Protocol, the President's each gave opening statements, starting with H.E. Litokwa Tomeing, President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
President Tomeing opened his remarks by "casting formalities to the wind" and welcoming his fellow heads of state by addressing them as friends and colleagues. President Tomeing expressed his gratitude and congratulations to the Micronesia Chief Executives for their dedication to the issues that they tackled during the 11th MCES. He reiterated his points from his speech during the opening of the MCES in regards to the people of Micronesia "being gripped as helpless victims of global forces such as climate change, financial and economic downturns, and an energy crisis." The President ended his speech by saying that it was his sincere hope "that Micronesia will stand up to the challenges and fasten for itself a solid foundation for genuine individual cooperation and support."
The next set of remarks was from H.E. Manny Mori, President of the Federated States of Micronesia. President Mori said, "Given the multitude of challenges we continue to face, either together or individually, it is in our collective interest to have an inclusive discussion on concrete issues affecting us all and to maximize and explore ways of pooling resources for collective benefits." He went on further to say that, "I also note the strategic importance to continue our practice of holding our Summit before major regional and international meetings such as of the Pacific Islands Forum and the United Nations General Assembly. In this way, it would certainly enable us to share our views and agree on common positions to advance in such Forums. After all, it is given that we would achieve much better results by working closely together as one. This naturally would only strengthen our Micronesia region, and would no doubt enhance our Micronesian spirit of partnership and solidarity. We need each other now more than ever."
To end the Opening Ceremony, H.E. Johnson Toribiong, President of the Republic of Palau, gave his opening remarks, where he mentioned that he is an optimist and that he joins the MPS with 100% effort to work in full cooperation to build upon the issues of the past summit meetings and find solutions to overcome the challenges before them. The challenges he pointed out were climate change and the energy challenge that each country faces. He encouraged the Presidents to commit to "work together at every forum", and ended his statement by quoting General McArthur, saying, "Defeat is just another word for too late. We must heed his advice and act now, before it's too late."
After the opening ceremony, the President's took a retreat to the reef island of Eneko, where they met informally to discuss issues such as climate change and energy in a relaxed setting. The three Presidents and a moderator sat quietly at a table under a tree on the beach and called technical people over to answer questions from time to time. These discussions are meant to help them address the issues that were to arise during the plenary sessions tomorrow.
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