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JCRP Leaders, Guam Governor and Lt. Governor Pledge Close Cooperation

HAGÅTÑA, Guam—FSM Joint Committee on Compact Review and Planning (JCRP) Chairman Asterio R. Takesy and Director of the JCRP Secretariat, Epel K. Ilon, met this afternoon with the Governor of Guam, the Honorable Lourdes A. Leon Guerrero, and Lt. Governor Joshua F. Tenorio, to discuss issues related to the expiring provisions of the Amended Compact of Free Association and ways in which the two governments can further their close bonds of friendship and cooperation.

Left to right: Melvin Won Pat-Borja, Carlotta Leon Guerrero, Justina Takesy, Epel Ilon, Asterio Takesy, Lt. Governor Joshua Tenorio.

Chairman Takesy provided background on the mandates of the JCRP in anticipation of the expiring economic provisions of the Amended Compact in 2023 and explained that the JCRP was formed, in part, to review the FSM’s performance during the amended Compact period and coordinate the country’s preparation for 2023 and beyond.

The Chairman stated that the FSM’s development of a robust private sector as well as fostering greater participation by non-governmental organizations and philanthropic entities would be critical in this regard. The parties also discussed access by FSM citizens in Guam to federal programs and services, the impact of remittances on the FSM economy by citizens living abroad, and areas of potential cooperation between the two governments on health and education sector initiatives.

Governor Leon Guerrero stressed that one of her Administration’s priorities was improving access to health care for FSM citizens residing on Guam. She expressed a desire to work with leaders throughout the FSM and the other Freely Associated States to look at ways to accomplish this goal. The officials present agreed to work closely to ensure that the Amended Compact best serve the needs of all Micronesians now and in the future.

To help Guam’s own effort to address the growing sentiment to have a voice at the international arena, the meeting discussed FSM’s experience with nation-building, specifically its path to participation in the international arena including membership in the United Nations.

The meeting was held at the Governor’s Office with other officials from Guam in attendance, including Mr. Tony Babauta, Chief of Staff to the Governor; Ms. Carlotta Leon Guerrero, Chief Adviser for Military and Regional Affairs; and Mr. Melvin Won Pat-Borja, Director of the Guam Decolonization Office. Also in attendance from the FSM were Mrs. Justina Takesy; Ms. Debrah Ann M. Retuyan, JCRP Secretariat Staff Counsel; and Mr. Lance Laack, JCRP Secretariat Information & Communications Specialist.

Left to right: Epel Ilon, Lt. Governor Ray Tenorio, Asterio Takesy, Justina Takesy, Carlotta Leon Guerrero, Melvin Won Pat-Borja.