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Public hearings were held in Majuro and Ebeye on September 20 and 26, 2013, respectively, to discuss Bill No. 43, also known as the Social Security Amendment Act, 2013. This bill is aimed to amend 18 sections of the Social Security Act of 1990 to provide for changes that will lead to further financial stability of the retirement fund by increasing contributions, decreasing benefits and removing loopholes that trigger benefits to uncontrollably increase.
VIEW: “What to Know about Bill No.43 – The Social Security (Amendment) Act of 2013” (includes graphs and highlights in .docx)
People of the Republic of the Marshall Islands now have a clear picture of child protection issues thanks to the first child protection study for their country and the Northern Pacific.
Titled “Ajiri in Ibunini: Value and Protect Our Precious Children” the report brings together insights from children, teachers, health workers, youth, religious leaders, police and legal workers, and was launched today.
The U.S. State Department’s Human Rights Practices for 2011 publication highlights the points of freedom and repression which lead to reform and unrest. The reports, which have been transmitted to the U.S. Congress annually for the past thirty-five years, promote the right for life, liberty, and the security of the person.
In the Marshall Islands country report noted the government continues to address challenges including poor prison conditions, government corruption, violence toward women, child abuse, and lack of worker protections.
The U.S. Department of State’s released on July 30, 2012 its report on religious liberty world-wide for the past calendar year. The International Religious Freedom Report for 2011 spotlights examples that typify and illuminate the types of problems frequently reported in each country.
In the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), the constitution and other laws and policies protect religious freedom and, in practice, the government generally respected religious freedom. The government did not demonstrate a trend toward either improvement or deterioration in respect for and protection of the right to religious freedom.
Marshall Islands' leaders returned from the Rio+20 Sustainable Development conference enthusiastic about implementing key actions for promoting our Blue Economy, placing debt swaps for climate change adaptation at the top of the agenda of this week’s Micronesian Presidents’ Summit held at the International Conference Center in Majuro.
Strategy for Financing Action on Adaptation in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) via Debt-for-Climate Swaps: a Global Approach
“Debt conversions for climate change adaptation: such innovative financing mechanisms could support the neediest countries to generate additional resources for climate change adaptation.”
"Today, it is estimated as many as 27 million people around the world are victims of modern slavery, what we sometimes call trafficking in persons," said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, at the unveiling of the 2012 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report in Washington, D.C., on June 19.
The report ranks 186 countries for compliance to the minimum standards for eliminating trafficking. For the second year, the Republic of the Marshall Islands received a Tier 2 ranking, indicating the the country is not yet compliant, but making significant efforts to come into compliance.
A new fact book for the College of the Marshall Islands was released last week by the Interim President Carl Hacker. The 2011 Fact Book takes data from the CMI’s School Minder system. Data extracts are true as of September 2011. Although the charts produced in this book show the complexities in dealing with student related performance data some obvious patterns do emerge. Highlights follow:
An assessment of public policy processes in three Northern Pacific nations found that weak monitoring and oversight functions have eroded stakeholder confidence. According to key findings of the pilot study, recent crisis-level events, including fraud in the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) public sector, bank failure in Palau, and major backlogs in infrastructure projects in Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), exposed critical policy gaps and weaknesses that have had severe economic and social impacts.Improving public policy: A North Pacific case study
Youth are not just the future, but are very much a part of the present, and because of this Pacific leaders should pay greater attention to the concerns of young people. This strong message came out at the launch of a report “Urban Youth in the Pacific – Increasing Resilience and Reducing Risk for Involvement in Crime and Violence,” on June 2, 2011. It contains case studies from six Pacific Island countries – the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Samoa and Tonga.
A new ADB study on the comparative performance of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) in the Pacific has confirmed that the best performing SOEs are those that operate with private sector discipline and under competitive market pressures. This approach forces SOEs to focus on their core mandate of operating as successful businesses, meet their costs of capital, and undertake community service obligations on a commercial basis. Applying these principles can bring significant economic benefits to the Pacific Region, the report says.
The report, 'Finding Balance: Benchmarking the Performance State-Owned Enterprises in Fiji, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, and Tonga’ was launched this weekend at a two-day Pacific Leaders Retreat in Nadi, Fiji.
COP 16: Statement of Hon. Mr. Ruben Zachkras, Minister In Assistance to the President, Republic of the Marshall Islands
“While the Marshall Islands understands the reluctance of some nations to fully commit to binding and definitive agreements at this time, we are also deeply concerned that if there is not a consensus to undertake serious preventative and restorative action on a global scale, time may run out.”
Those are the words spoken in 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit by late Marshall Islands President and Iroij His Excellency Amata Kabua.
“For too long, women in our region have not been effectively engaged in decision-making institutions and processes, both at national and local levels. We need to develop coordinated, realistic and focused strategies to try to tackle this problem, so that our women can more effectively contribute to the decisions that will take our nations forward.”
This was a comment made by Honorable Senator Regina Mesebulu in the Palau National Congress at the sub-regional consultation for Smaller Island States (SIS) to discuss and endorse the SIS Action Plan on Supporting Women’s Participation in Decision Making Processes for the next five years.
U.S. District Judge J. Michael Seabright ruled yesterday to deny the State of Hawaii's motion to dismiss a class-action suit on behalf of migrants from the Compact of Free Association (COFA) countries of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and Republic of Palau.
Earlier this year, the COFA citizens residing in Hawaii filed the class action suit against the State's Department of Human Services (DHS) officials, challenging the new Basic Health Hawaii (BHH) program which reduces the benefits and services previously provided to critically-ill dialysis and cancer patients.
Kurt M. Campbell, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, gave testimony today before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and the Global Environment, in Washington, DC. His prepared statement follows:
Chairman Faleomavaega, Representative Manzullo, and distinguished Members of the Committee, it is a privilege to testify before you today on U.S. policy toward the nations of the Pacific. I welcome the opportunity to discuss our approach to this important region.
Countries of Asia and the Pacific are at a crucial point in driving forward progress to cut hunger and poverty and achieve higher levels of health and education by 2015, according to a new report launched earlier this week at the start of a three-day summit on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) at United Nations headquarters in New York. “In the aftermath of the financial crisis, poverty reduction and achievement of the Millennium Development Goals should occupy centre stage of development strategies for countries in Asia and the Pacific,” said Dr. Noeleen Heyzer, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).”
- Paths to 2015: MDG Priorities in Asia and the Pacific - Asia-Pacific MDG Report 2010/11
The Pacific is particularly vulnerable to rising oil prices, as the region pays more for fuel than other regions, according to the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Pacific Economic Monitor. The July 2010 edition of the report, a tri-annual economic review of 14 Pacific island countries by ADB, warns that inflation is now projected to reach 5.9% in the Pacific region overall this year due to the post-crisis rise in world oil prices.
In the Marshall Islands, the outrigger canoe has been at the heart of cultural life as well as practical survival for millennia, but is there room for the canoe tradition in a rapidly changing Marshallese world? A new thesis, by University of Hawaii graduate student Rachel Leah Miller, explores "the state and shape of the canoe tradition for Marshallese people today, how and why it has changed over time, and how it articulates with broader Marshallese culture and modern way of life."
Micronesians in the United States are a younger population than the general public with three-fourths native to the United States. A recent U.S. census survey estimates that of the foreign-born Micronesian population, 52 percent entered the U.S. in 2000 or later.
The American Community Survey (ACS), an on-going sampling replacing the Census long-form, puts the Micronesian population at 159,403 out of the general U.S population of 301,237,703.
According to David Huskins, a geographer who works for U.S. Census Bureau in verifying and correcting mapped information for the ACS, the Micronesian data profile includes Marshallese, Chamorros, those from the Federated States of Micronesia, and a smattering of others.
“In response to the invitation of the UAE, heads of state and government and ministerial representatives of Pacific Small Islands Developing States and ministers and representatives of the League of Arab States met in Abu Dhabi on 24 June 2010, under the chairmanship of HH Sheikh Abdalla Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister of the UAE, the meeting’s host, in the company of HE Amre Moussa, Secretary General of the Arab League. The meeting was held in order to explore ways and means to invigorate cooperation between the two parties in the various political, economic, social and cultural fields, and to review prospects of future development of that cooperation.
The small, Pacific nation of the Republic of Marshall Islands needs qualified teachers, especially for its rural island schools where the majority of the elementary teachers are only high school grads. For many years, American volunteer teachers have been solicited to boost student achievement and cover for local teachers on sabbatical for professional development. A former volunteer says there are few assessment measures being used to determine the effectiveness of these expatriate teachers.
- EFFECTIVE TEACHING IN A CROSS-CULTURAL SETTING: COMPARING THE VALUES OF COMMUNITY MEMBERS AND TEACHERS IN THE MARSHALL ISLANDS - by Natalie E. Nimmer, June 2010
I thank you for this special opportunity. I am here as a Senator from Kwajalein Atoll in the National Parliament of the Marshall Islands, the Nitijela. With me from Kwajalein are Iroij Senator Michael Kabua, Iroij Senator Christopher Loeak, Iroij Rod Nakamura, Senator Jeban Riklon, Alap Fredley Mawilong, and Alap Irumne Bondrik. We appear before you today representing the four Traditional Leaders of Kwajalein: Iroijlaplap Imata Kabua, Iroijlaplap Anjua Loeak, Iroij laplap Nelu, and Leroij Likwor Litokwa, all their elders, and all the people who belong to Kwajalein. This all inclusive leadership and grass roots delegation is unique in this aspect but is also reflective of our fervent desire to find a solution to the continuing disagreement which threatens to undermine the long and enduring relationship between our two countries.
Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity today to discuss the United States’ relationship with the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI).