MIF, formerly the MCES
If you don’t already know, today is the third and final day for the Micronesian Islands Forum (MIF). The MIF started on Wednesday, 25 April 2018.
The Marianas Variety said over 200 officials would be attending this Forum. That’s a lot of people!
Last year, the Forum which was previously called the Micronesian Chief Executives Summit, was held in Guam. Governor Eddie Calvo was the Chairman. This year, CNMI Governor, Ralph DLG Torres was voted as Chairman for the 23rd Forum. The Presidents of FSM, RMI and Palau along with the Governors of Guam, Saipan, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Lt Governor of Yap attended. I did not see a Kosrae Governor or Lt Governor on the list.
We are fortunate this year because the MIF was streamed live on Youtube and Facebook! What an amazing time we live in folks. We were able to watch LIVE! I was able to listen to some parts of the forum LIVE yesterday.
Cooperation across the oceans
What I heard was very interesting. There wasn’t any conflict or drama. What was interesting was the voices of cooperation among the leaders. For some of these leaders, their fathers, uncles or older brothers may have been colleagues under the Trust Territory government. It seemed almost like a re-union, except for Guam.
There were presentations given on different subjects like tele-health and workforce development that I caught. After the presentations, the leaders gave their own perspective on the subject relating to their people and their country. Our countries have so much in common. Every leader represented there spoke of their people leaving for the mainland. Every leader there spoke about external events having significant impact on their people. I like how Chairman of the Forum, Governor Torres put it:
“As our world continues to evolve, our islands will continue to be affected by the constant trend of globalization. It is important that we as leaders dedicate ourselves to our collective mission of real action and true progress. We are tasked with a great responsibility, and it is up to us to develop a Micronesia that is ready for the challenges of the future and guided by our traditional principles. Our history as Micronesian people has always been enriched upon the foundation of inafa’maolek, which in Chamorro means ‘doing good for one another.’ As we work toward addressing our mutual concerns with collective solutions, may we continue to strengthen our family ties upon this concept of inafa’maolek as we navigate the world as one Micronesia.”
It will be interesting to sit down and watch the videos of the forum in their entirety. If you want to catch all three days, here is the link on Youtube.
Also, the 23rd joint MIF communique should be out next week. Here is last years communique for your reading pleasure.
The forum’s theme is “Navigating the World as One Micronesia,” and that is very fitting. Together, not as small island states, but as large ocean states we can “make these islands another promise land, that’s part of the FSM national anthem if you didn’t already know.