Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

WHO Opens Country Liaison Office in Palikir

Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): August 16, 2010 - The World Health Organization (WHO) opened their new Country Liaison Office (CLO), within the Department of Health and Social Affairs (DHSA) offices, in Palikir, Pohnpei, on August 10, 2010. This new WHO Office is the first one ever established by the organization to cover the North Pacific region; it will provide services for the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau and the Republic of the Marshall Islands. It is also the first new CLO created by the WHO in 30 years.

On that same day, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), in conjunction with the DHSA, hosted an opening ceremony for the launch of the new CLO in Palikir, by unveiling the WHO's new plaque located at the entrance of the DHSA offices. Present at the ceremony were Vice President Alik; Dr. Shin Young-soo, Director of the WHO Western Pacific Regional Office; Dr. Chen Ken, WHO Representative for the South Pacific; Dr. Boris Pavlin, FSM Liaison Officer for WHO; Ambassador Prahar of the US Embassy; Ambassador Cox of the Australian Embassy; representatives from the Japanese and Chinese Embassies; Secretary Skilling, DHSA; Deputy Secretary Chigiyal, DFA; Secretary Itimai, TC&I; Dr. Mauricio, Director of Archives; John Ehsa, Governor of Pohnpei; Dr. Elizabeth Keller, Pohnpei State Director of Health, and many distinguished guests.

"The Government and the people of this Nation are very honored and thankful to WHO," said Chigiyal. "As a small island developing nation and as a member of this global health family, the FSM will continue to play its part in advancing WHO's mission, regionally and globally, by doing the best we can in improving health for our own, as well as by supporting the strategies and work of WHO."

The CLO will work with the DHSA on such health issues as diabetes, heart disease, infectious diseases, injury prevention, health system strengthening, and tobacco control; as well as assist the FSM, Palau and RMI with detecting and responding to outbreaks of infectious diseases such as multi-drug-resistant TB and dengue. The CLO will also coordinate and provide training for health professionals in the North Pacific region.

Dr. Chen Ken said that after many years of negotiations for the establishment of the CLO in FSM: "this is a dream come true!"

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356