CONGRESSMAN UNDERWOOD FROM GUAM SECURES INCLUSION OF FREELY

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CONGRESSMAN ROBERT A. UNDERWOOD Delegate from Guam U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C.

News Release

February3, 2000

ASSOCIATED STATES CITIZENS IN GATES FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM

For a third time, Congressman Robert A. Underwood has successfully requested the consideration of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on behalf of Pacific Islanders. He was informed today that his request to allow citizens of the Freely Associated States (Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands and Palau) to participate in the Foundation’s Millennium Scholars Program has been granted.

"Over the past few weeks, I have been working very hard with the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), who are the agents for the Gates Foundation Millennium Scholars, trying to make sure that Pacific islanders are included and I am very happy to report that the Fund has decided to include citizens of the Freely Associated States for eligibility in the scholarship program.

"We have worked hard to make sure that U.S. nationals, primarily from American Samoa, and permanent residents were included. Now we have taken this additional step to include our fellow islanders from the surrounding region," the Congressman said.

Congressman Underwood also said the UNCF also agreed to use the criterion that anyone who qualifies for the federal Pell Grant program should also be eligible for the Millennium Scholars Fund. "This was a particularly critical step, because I think that a number of Micronesians may find themselves eligible and may meet the qualifications and we wanted to make sure that they are included," he said.

The UNCF also agreed to work with Congressman Underwood, Congressman Eni Faleomavaega of American Samoa and Senator Daniel Akaka of Hawai‘i to undertake as wide reaching an effort as possible to get the word out to potential nominees and nominators. "We are going to be assisting in distributing nominations forms, although they can be accessed on the Gates Foundation website," Underwood said. "I’m going to be communicating the availability of these nomination forms to every high school and post secondary school in Guam. And hopefully, some of our people will be among the 5,000 recipients to be selected at the end of the year. We’re trying to extend these opportunities and we will continue to work hard to try to provide as many scholarship opportunities for Pacific Islanders."

More information about the program can be found at www.gatesfoundation.org and www.gmsp.org 

 

News Release February 3, 2000

CONGRESSMAN ROBERT A. UNDERWOOD FROM GUAM CALLS FOR SUPPORT FOR TAIWAN

In floor remarks Monday (February 1, EST), Congressman Robert A. Underwood spoke in favor of H.R. 1838, the Taiwan Security Enhancement Act, calling on his colleagues to pass the bill and send the clear message that the United States will not tolerate aggression against Taiwan.

"It is well known that since the inception of the PRC (People’s Republic of China), the PRC has considered Taiwan a renegade province. The government in Beijing has long heralded the ‘one-China’ policy to reemphasize its claims to Taiwan and insist that foreign governments adhere to it as well. Officially, we support the ‘one China’ policy while at the same time we insist that China relinquish the use of force in any reunification effort," Congressman Underwood said.

"Despite assurances by China to the world community to peacefully settle this sovereignty dispute, China refuses to disavow the use of force . . . . Previously, the distinguished gentleman from California indicated that we should be ambiguous and ambivalent. We may be forced to be ambiguous in our diplomatic relations, but we should not be ambivalent in the message that we send to the PRC. We must pass this Taiwan Relations Act," he continued.

"The legislative supplement by Congress unambiguously and without ambivalence gives notice to Beijing that the United States is indeed committed to the security of Taiwan and will not tolerate an act of aggression to settle the sovereignty dispute," he concluded.

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