For the first time in the history of the Micronesian Presidents’ Summit (MPS), Nauru and Kiribati joined Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia and Palau for the 18th MPS in Majuro this week.
The sub-regional leaders meeting got down to business following a formal opening at Marshall Islands Resort’s Melele Room Tuesday.
Presidents Hilda Heine (RMI), Tommy Remengesau (ROP) and Peter Christian (FSM) acknowledged the inclusion of Nauru and Kiribati as an “historic” development. “The voice of Micronesia is now complete with the inclusion of Nauru and Kiribati,” Heine said.
“Although Micronesians are the smallest contributors to climate change, we are nonetheless the strongest supporters (of action),” Heine said.
Remengesau was joined by Christian and Nauru President Baron Waqa who offered condolences to Kiribati President Taneti Maamau for the tragic ferry sinking in Kiribati that claimed the lives of over 80 passengers and crew. The ferry was heavily overloaded and did not have adequate safety gear on board when it broke apart and sank during a voyage from Nonouti to Tarawa. The condolences were a gesture Maamau took to heart.
Remengesau called on leaders gathered in the forum to regard themselves as large ocean states rather than small island countries to better tackle the bigger world. Waqa said his government is ready to cooperate in dialogue with his brother and sister nations.
Read more about this in the March 2, 2018 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.