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Working group formed to keep project on track

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSMIS, Mar 19, 2009) - The working group for the Micronesian Village Project met for the first time at the Department of Foreign Affairs yesterday.

The project is designed to be similar to the Suva Pacific Village, where regional and international stakeholders will be brought together under "one roof" in the North Pacific, to improve collaboration and coordination of activities of all organizations that provide assistance to Pacific island countries and territories.

This facility will provide office and conference space for regional organizations like the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, which already has a regional office in Pohnpei, and other agencies that may wish to relocate to Pohnpei, including those of the United Nations and other international organizations.

The working group is chaired by Vice President Alik Alik and the meeting was attended by several members of the president’s cabinet, the Pohnpei state government, the Kolonia town government, the manager of SPC’s Northern Regional Office, Amena Yauvoli, and the country development manager of the U.N. Joint Presence Initiative, OKean Ehmes.

They discussed and finalized the terms of reference for the working group which maps out the proposed activities against the stipulated timeframes, as well as providing a reporting obligation to the working group so that progress of the work is conveyed to the political leadership for their updates and decisions.

One of the biggest issues for discussion was for Pohnpei to identify a suitable and sizable land site needed for the implementation of the project and to secure the appropriate legislative decision required to accomplish this.

This project has gotten a lot of attention since there is a growing demand from member states for regional organizations to decentralize their services and move closer to the member states that they serve.

When this project becomes reality, the Federated States of Micronesia will finally have a "one stop shop" facility to the northern Pacific countries and territories for technical assistance, research, training and support in scientific, technical and social issues.

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