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MAJURO, Marshall Islands (January 14, 2000 – The Marshall Islands Journal)---President Kessai Note was formally sworn in at the Nitijela Monday, and promised the Marshall Islands that his government will be "credible and accountable" to the people.

He said, "full recognition of the independence of the judicial," strong support for the private sector, cooperation with the media to increased transparency in government operations, and continuing public reforms will be among the goals of his new administration.

The Marshall Islands must embark on a "process of national reconstruction, restructuring and development," the President said.

He described the just-ended administration of former President Imata Kabua as a "period of recklessness, great uncertainty and one most difficult for us all."

"The road ahead of us is a very difficult one," he said.

To achieve economic growth, the government will need to reintroduce "certain necessary but painful reform and restructuring measures previously undertaken several years ago." He acknowledged that these reforms hadn’t been easy for the country, but some of the reforms are essential to ensure long-term existence and prosperity.

In an effort to "return credibility of government and confidence of the donor community and our bilateral partners," Note said that the new government will carefully review its economic development policies, and "restructure, rebuild and restore the integrity of the country’s institutions. We will advocate discipline and transparency in all sectors of government."

He emphasized the importance of the private sector, saying the government will provide the support need for "full and effective participation" of the business community.

He said the country enjoys its special and friendly relationship with the U.S. through the Compact, and looked forward to continuing the relationship into the future.

The Marshall Islands Journal, Box 14, Majuro, Marshall Islands 96960 E-mail:  Subscriptions (weekly): 1 year US $87.00; international $213.00 (air mail).

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