New President Casten Nemra highlighted key issues facing the country, focusing on the need to improve services to the public during his inauguration speech following his swearing in ceremony with his Cabinet Monday at Nitijela.
He also declared that his first overseas trip will be to Washington, DC, and noted that he has already requested US Ambassador Tom Armbruster to begin initiating plans for a visit to the capital of the RMI’s major donor partner.
“It is time to work together and tackle issues in the RMI,” he told a national audience Monday in remarks broadcast on V7AB radio. “The Marshallese people went for the November election and the results clearly show what they want.” He said people want the Nitijela to “be more cooperative and work together.”
He identified priority areas for improvement, many of them relating to life on the outer islands:
• The current situation of not paying cash to copra makers on the outer islands.
• Issues relating to shipping and airline service to the outer islands.
• Operations of state owned enterprises, many of which continue to require subsidies from government.
• The RMI retirement fund’s possible bankruptcy in seven years unless there is intervention to fix the system.
Following a motion by Foreign Minister Kessai Note, the Nitijela recessed until Speaker Kenneth Kedi calls the session back to meet.
Read more about this in the January 15, 2016 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.