Secretary Haaland Wraps Weeklong Pacific Islands Visit, Leads Delegation to Inauguration of the President of the Federated States of Micronesia

Last edited 07/26/2023

Date: Wednesday, July 26, 2023


PALIKIR, FSM — Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland wrapped a weeklong trip to the Pacific Islands today, including visits to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, the Republic of Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia.

Secretary Haaland led the U.S. delegation for the inauguration of the 10th President of the Federated States of Micronesia, H.E. Wesley W. Simina. Vice President Aaron Palik and members of the newly constituted 23rd Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) were also inaugurated. The FSM is one of three freely associated states in the Pacific whose relationship with the United States is underpinned by a Compact of Free Association (Compact).

Secretary Haaland, Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs Carmen G. Cantor, and Deputy Assistant to the President and Asian American and Pacific Islander Senior Liaison Erika L. Moritsugu met with the newly inaugurated president and highlighted the Biden-Harris administration’s ongoing commitment to the prosperity of the FSM. They also discussed the importance of the negotiations regarding the extension of economic assistance under the Compact of Free Association.

Secretary Haaland also announced $976,918 in Office of Insular Affairs Technical Assistance Program (TAP) grant funds that will support several projects and programs in Pohnpei and Yap States, including:

  • $250,162 to Pohnpei State Government to meet requirements for a management unit for the Nan Madol World Heritage Site and conduct vegetation removal and management training;
  • $198,304 to the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation for technical assistance support to Yap State to conduct a comprehensive review of the Dinay Water Reservoir;
  • $195,492 to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory for technical support to Pohnpei State for Pohnpei Utility Corporation’s Photovoltaic and Island Energy Systems optimization project;
  • $176,960 to The Nature Conservancy in support of developing capacity among local conservation partners who manage marine and terrestrial resources across the FSM; and
  • $156,000 to the Pohnpei State Office of the Public Auditor for training.

On May 23, 2023, the United States and the FSM signed an agreement marking the successful conclusion of Compact-related negotiations to extend economic assistance beyond 2023. The Administration’s proposal to extend economic assistance to the Federated States of Micronesia beyond 2023 under the Compact of Free Association is being considered by the U.S. Congress.

During their weeklong visit to the Pacific Islands, Secretary Haaland, Assistant Secretary Cantor, and Deputy Assistant to the President Moritsugu also visited the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), where they met with CNMI leadership and visited natural and cultural resources across the island. The visit highlighted how President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is making significant investments in climate resilience and ecosystem restoration in CNMI.

In Guam, the delegation met with the territory’s leadership, visited historical sites intended to conserve and interpret outstanding natural, scenic and historic values and objects of the island of Guam, and met with Interior Department staff. The President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act are making historic investments in Guam, from climate resilience and ecosystem restoration to species management and water infrastructure.

Secretary Haaland, Assistant Secretary Cantor, and Deputy Assistant to the President Moritsugu also traveled to the Republic of Palau, where they met with leadership and experienced firsthand how Palau is investing in unique opportunities for climate resilience and coastal development planning.


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