RMI Mayor To Head Regional Mayors’ Network

admin's picture

Newly formed regional organization focuses on local government

By Giff Johnson

MAJURO, Marshall Islands (Marianas Variety, July 19, 2013) – A Marshall Islands mayor has been named to head a new Pacific regional mayors’ network that is linked to Commonwealth countries, which are mostly former British colonies.

Marshall Islands Mayors Association President James Matayoshi, who is a five-term mayor representing the nuclear test-affected atoll of Rongelap, attended the meeting of the Pacific Island Local Government Associations Network, or PILGAN, in New Zealand earlier this month, and was elected president of this newly established entity.

"There are lots of opportunities" for local governments with the new organization, he said in Majuro Wednesday.

PILGAN has a secretariat based in Fiji that is connected to the Commonwealth Local Government Forum. Matayoshi said CLGF is linked to many international donors and PILGAN will work with CLGF to identify partnership opportunities for the local governments in the islands.

Matayoshi was the only north Pacific representative at the local government meeting. "PILGAN is a voice for the grassroots, and CLGF is a clearinghouse for funding," he said.

From the Marshall Islands perspective, Matayoshi’s ascendance to leadership in PILGAN has connected this north Pacific country to the large network of Commonwealth nations. Matayoshi said this new link opens the door to a network of organizations that normally have not focused on the Marshall Islands because of its close relationship with the United States.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment