Speaks of Ongoing Partnerships and Building Relationships to Protect and Strengthen U.S. Territories and Freely Associated States
SAIPAN – U.S. Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Insular and International Affairs Doug Domenech wrapped up his visit to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands where he gave remarks and met with Micronesia’s island leaders at the 23rd Micronesian Islands Forum. Hosted this year by CNMI Governor Ralph Deleon Guerrero TORRES, the annual summit brought together the governors of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands; the presidents of Palau, the Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia; as well as the governors of two FSM states: Chuuk and Pohnpei, and Lt. Governor of Yap.
“The U.S. Government and the Department of the Interior under the leadership of Secretary Zinke will continue to be bridge-building partners,” said Assistant Secretary Domenech. “We must strengthen our relationships as we confront serious challenges together, both in the U.S. territories as well as in the freely associated states.”
The Assistant Secretary participated in a second day of presentations at the MIF to learn more about regional issues of concern for the islands of Micronesia such as workforce development, energy, invasive species, transportation, health, telecommunications, tourism, and preserving the environment.
A recording of the proceedings of Day 1 of the Micronesian Islands Forum may be accessed here; the timestamp for the Assistant Secetary’s full remarks is 2:19. Proceedings from Day 2 of the Micronesian Islands Forum may be accessed here.
The Department of the Interior is responsible for coordinating federal policy with respect to the territories of American Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and administering and overseeing U.S. federal assistance provided to the Freely Associated States of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau under the Compacts of Free Association. The Office of Insular Affairs’ mission is to restore trust and fulfill insular responsibilities by executing activities which bolster healthcare capacity, strengthen island economies, and fulfill U.S. Compact obligations. The Assistant Secretary discharges these responsibilities on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior.