Outcomes of Chief Executive Summit Meeting in Guam
Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): December 15, 2009 - The finalized documents from the 12th Micronesian Chief Executives' Summit (MCES) held in Guam from December 3-4, 2009 have just been released. These documents contain the official Joint Communiqué, letters to various U.S. government officials, and documents relating to the Micronesian Center for a Sustainable Future, which is being set up as the Secretariat for the MCES.
The Joint Communiqué contains the reports and action items for each of the regional committees that gave reports to the chief executives during the plenary session of the summit. A full copy of the communiqué can be found by clicking on the following link: http://www.fsmpio.fm/MCES/12thJointCommunique.Signed.pdf.
Below are some of the highlights of the accomplishments and tasks of the committees based on the 12th MCES:
Regional Workforce Development Council
The Chief Executives supported the establishment of a regional market identity for workforce development and the development of a unified website for workforce development discussions to enhance the sharing of program information and data.
Since the 11th MCES, the Micronesia Challenge (MC) has completed a draft of the regional communications strategy, made strides in development of a regional monitoring protocol, worked on a draft MC business plan to ensure sustainable funding for the future, and submitted a $6 million regional proposal for Global Environment Fund grant money.
The Committee provided leaders with a brief overview of the benefits associated with the MC including the completion of the Micronesia Biosecurity Plan, which is a U.S. Department of Defense funded project that was initially intended for Guam alone, but through the framework of the Challenge, the MBP now includes all the MC jurisdictions, and the creation of the Micronesia Challenge Young Champions. This internship program, which will build capacity within the region, was a Federated States of Micronesia program but has been expanded through MC to be available to young people from all five jurisdictions.
Micronesia Regional Invasive Species Council (RISC)
At their two meetings since the 11th MCES, the Micronesia Regional Invasive Species Council (RISC) discussed support for the development of the Micronesia Biosecurity Plan and has been addressing issues including funding needs, creation of an interagency biosecurity task force on Guam, ongoing efforts to prevent the spread of the brown treesnake, and various prevention and control activities in the nine RISC-member jurisdictions.
Renewable Energy Committee (renamed Micronesian Energy Association)
The Regional Energy Committee reviewed highlights and successes since the previous Summit, which included the development of a National Energy Policy and Strategic Action Plan and the creation of an Energy Efficiency Subsidy Program. The Chief Executives endorsed the change of the Committee name to the Micronesian Energy Association (MEA) with MEA serving as the central hub to implement energy policy and energy related matters and recommended that Guam serve as the interim Secretariat for one year, with the permanent Secretariat to be established during the second year in FSM, RMI or Palau.
Pacific Island Regional Recycling Initiative Committee (PIRRIC)
The Pacific Islands Regional Recycling Initiative Committee reported that RMI and FSM have become official members of PIRRIC and based on the recommendations of PIRRIC, the Chief Executives committed to the endorsement of the Strategy for Solid Waste Management Pacific Island Countries and Territories, an initiative to support regional recycling.
Regional Tourism Council
The Regional Tourism Council, in cooperation with the Micronesia Chapter of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), reported to the Chief Executives on its latest regional marketing and promotions which include acquiring sole ownership of domain names www.magnificentmicronesia.com and www.magnificientmicronesia.travel. PATA Micronesia Chapter re-launched the Magnificent Micronesia Website in October 2009 with the following new features:
Based upon the Council's recommendations the Chief Executives supported the development of a regional brand for promoting tourism to Micronesian and supported proposals to select a professional branding agency.
Regional Health Committee (HC)
The Regional Health Council reported on progress made toward recommendations from previous MCES Communiqués. The Health Council addressed three key issues: 1) The Micronesian Health District; 2) Emergency Preparedness and 3) Health Workforce Development. To this end, the Micronesian Chief Executives directed the Health Council to draft a briefing paper summarizing the background, opportunities, and recommended next steps for the development of the Micronesian Health District endorsed at the 10th MCES, and directed them to continue to develop a Regional Level-2 Public Health Reference Laboratory in Guam by December 2011 which will have the ability to address the threat of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases in the U.S. affiliated Pacific islands.
Also worthy to note, the Chief Executives expressed their respect and gratitude for the compassionate leadership of U.S. Congressman Neil Abercrombie for his historical advocacy on behalf of U.S Affiliated Pacific Islands and, most recently, for sponsoring legislation that would re-extend Medicaid eligibility to citizens of the Freely Associated States residing in the United States. A letter was drafted and sent to Congressman Abercrombie. A copy of the letter can be viewed by clicking on the following link:
Micronesia Center for Sustainable Future (MCSF)
The Secretary General (SG), President Manny Mori of the FSM, with the assistance of the Strategic Design and Planning Team, reported on accomplishments that have been made in line with the recommendations of the Chief Executives at the 11th MCES. These accomplishments include a grant proposal that has been developed with the Department of Interior to fund the launch of the MCSF, completion of an Alliance Agreement with the Micronesian Empowerment Center, completion of development of Non-Profit 501 (c) (3) documents, and the drafting of teaming agreements with institutions such as the University of Guam, the USRDA Graduate School, and Micronesian Seminar.
The Chief Executives supported the recommendations of the Secretary General to establish the MCSF Summit Implementation Review Group (SIRG), with membership by every MCES jurisdiction that will drive the development of the MCSF Strategic Framework and for the MCSF to implement the MCES Summit communiqué directives.
During the plenary session, a motion was made by the Governor of Yap to nominate Governor Benigno Fitial of CNMI as Assistant Secretary General of the MCSF. The motion was seconded by the Governor of Chuuk and passed unanimously.
The Chief Executives closed the 12th Summit and once again stressed the need to move forward on prior and new initiatives. There was also a recommitment by the Chief Executives to the implementation of these sub-regional initiatives endorsed since the start of the Micronesian Chief Executives' Summits. They agreed to greater coordination and communication to accomplish the goals set out since 2003. They also committed to fully integrating regional issues into ongoing governmental planning and budget processes within each jurisdiction. It was decided that the Thirteenth Summit of the Micronesian Chief Executives will be held in the CNMI sometime in mid-2010.
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