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Testimony of Neal A. Palafox, MD, MPH, Before House Committee

Contributed by YokweOnline on May 21, 2010 - 08:12 AM
Testimony of Neal A. Palafox, MD, MPH, Before House Foreign Affairs Committee

Subcommittee on Asia, Pacific, and the Global Environment



Written Testimony of Bill Graham, Marshall Islands Nuclear Claims Tribunal, for House Committee

Contributed by YokweOnline on May 21, 2010 - 08:05 AM
Written Testimony of Bill Graham, Public Advocate (retired), Marshall Islands Nuclear Claims Tribunal, for the the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and the Global Environment

Statement of the Minister Jack Ading Before U.S. Subcommitee

Contributed by YokweOnline on May 21, 2010 - 07:57 AM
Statement of the Honorable Jack Ading on Behalf of the Enewetak People Before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment, U.S. House of Representatives

Marshall Islands: Audit Reveals Job Inequity and Inconsistency

Contributed by YokweOnline on May 08, 2010 - 03:02 PM
Marshall Islands: Audit Reveals Job Inequity and Inconsistency



Too many of Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) public sector jobs are duplicated unnecessarily, lack accurate job descriptions, and are misaligned in job category and pay. The RMI Public Service Commission's "Limited Personnel Audit" was developed under an ADB technical assistance project in late 2009. The audit reviewed a sample of 50 positions in three of the RMI's largest ministries -- sixteen from the Ministry of Public Works, eighteen from the Ministry of Education, and sixteen from the Ministry of Health.




Marshalls Energy Company is 'Achilles Heel" of RMI Economy

Contributed by YokweOnline on Apr 24, 2010 - 12:21 PM
Marshalls Energy Company is 'Achilles Heel' of RMI Economy



The Marshalls Energy Company (MEC), a public enterprise of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), is facing full-blown insolvency, although 2008 reform measures hope to shore up the company over the next few years. But a disclosure this month by MEC management that a $9 million balloon payment on a $12 million loan, obtained by the RMI from the Bank of Guam in 2007, is due on June 1, 2010, has once again put the energy company and RMI government at immediate risk.



A closer look at MEC's financial standing reveals the depth of the energy company's problems. A recent report states that the status quo is unsustainable, and business as usual is severely hindering the RMI economy.


Cross-Party Parliamentarians’ Group Launches Report on Maternal Health in the Pacific

Contributed by YokweOnline on Feb 28, 2010 - 12:57 PM
Cross-Party Parliamentarians’ Group Launches Report on Maternal Health in the Pacific



A new report on maternal health in the Pacific from the New Zealand Parliamentarians’ group on Population and Development (NZPPD) calls on the New Zealand, Australian and Pacific Island governments to take immediate action to improve the maternal health situation in the Pacific.

Marshall Islands Gov't Requires "More Proactive Stance" to Expand Economy

Contributed by YokweOnline on Nov 12, 2009 - 12:07 AM
Marshall Islands Requires "More Proactive Stance" to Expand Economy

RMI Report

An economic review of the first five years of the amended Compact of Free Association between the United States and the Republic of the Marshall Islands points to declining real resource inflows for the small, Northern Pacific nation. The private sector must take center stage and become the engine of growth. While the new report says some reform measures have been taken recently, it emphasizes the need of leadership of the RMI to "take a broader view and to make rational decisions about the nation‘s future during the remainder of the amended Compact."



The report, published August 2009, was prepared to assist both the RMI Government in its annual report and the U.S. in its required Compact review every fifth year. It contains two main parts: a review of economic developments and a section on policy developments, prospects, and issues.


Marshall Islands Leaders Dive into Water Issues at Honolulu Seminar

Contributed by YokweOnline on Jul 31, 2009 - 12:55 AM
Marshall Islands Leaders Dive into Water Issues at Honolulu Seminar

EWC Training Group

Government officials and environmental specialists from the Marshall Islands (RMI), the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and Palau met this month at the University of Manoa's East-West Center for training to conduct integrated water resource management planning and implement National Integrated Water Resources Management Demonstration projects.



According to Carl Hacker, director of the RMI Economic Policy, Planning and Statistics Office, most of the activities where were done together as teams, a boot camp for government officials and other managers wrapped around development of water policy and water demonstration projects.


Integrated Water Management & Development Plan For Laura Groundwater Lens, Majuro Atoll

Contributed by YokweOnline on Jul 30, 2009 - 09:25 PM
Integrated Water Management & Development Plan For Laura Groundwater Lens, Majuro Atoll



The Republic of the Marshall Islands wrote in 2008 that assistance is required from the GEF to co-finance the RMI Government’s plan to demonstrate sustainable water resource and wastewater management in the Laura, Majuro Atoll.



The overall project purpose is to achieve improved water resources management, reduction in groundwater pollution from inadequate waste water facilities, piggeries, cemeteries and landfills and improved water supply on and around the Laura area. This will be carried out with the provision of infrastructure and improved management to protect the Laura groundwater lens, the largest natural water resource in Majuro which provides support to the public reservoirs for over 30,000 residents.

EPPSO Trip Report: Leadership and Water Planning Seminar

Contributed by YokweOnline on Jul 30, 2009 - 08:40 PM
EPPSO Trip Report: Leadership and Water Planning Seminar



The purpose of the seminar was for participants form the FAS to build capacity to conduct integrated water resource management planning and implement National Integrated Water Resources Management Demonstration projects. The seminar provided useful information and assistance to adopt new, pragmatic approached to more effectively mobilize political constituencies, increase knowledge, technical competence, and facilitate, organize and coordinate the development and implementation of integrated water resource plans (IWRM).

SOPAC: Micronesians Rise Up to Water Challenge

Contributed by YokweOnline on Jul 30, 2009 - 08:11 PM
SOPAC: Micronesians Rise Up to Water Challenge



Throughout the Pacific the availability of fresh water is vital to health and development. However, increased demand and limited supply is putting pressure on water resources.



Micronesia has critical water and sanitation issues that are exacerbated by climate variability. Over the last two weeks representatives from the Marshall Islands, Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), met in Honolulu, Hawaii to develop a roadmap to improve water planning and management.

ADB: Marshall Islands Economic Growth to Remain Low in FY2009

Contributed by YokweOnline on Apr 01, 2009 - 12:37 AM
ADB: Marshall Islands Economic Growth to Remain Low in FY2009



The Asian Development Bank (ADB) released its annual economic outlook publication today, forecasting bleak times ahead for the Asian and Pacific nations. Severe recession in industrialized nations is transmitted to Asian and Pacific emerging markets. The area is in a better position to cope then it was in the 1997/98 crisis. Economic expansion in the Pacific Islands is anticipated to slow to about 3% in 2009. In the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the global financial slump cut the value of the Compact Trust Fund by US$20 in 2008. Economic growth is expected to remain low, at only 0.5%, in FY2009.

REPORT:

Compact Amended Regarding New Kwajalein Land Use Agreement

Contributed by YokweOnline on Dec 17, 2008 - 01:31 AM
FIVE YEARS AGO: Compact Amended Regarding New Kwajalein Land Use Agreement



The following is the agreement concerning the Kwajalein Land Use Agreement (LUA), under the COMPACT OF FREE ASSOCIATION AMENDMENTS ACT OF 2003, signed by the U.S. and previous RMI Administration in April of 2003, and approved by President Bush on December 17, 2003.



SEC. 103 (l)(3) DISPOSITION OF INCREASED PAYMENTS PENDING NEW LAND USE AGREEMENT.



Until such time as the Government of the Marshall Islands and the landowners of Kwajalein Atoll have concluded an agreement amending or superseding the land use agreement reflecting the terms of and consistent with the Military Use Operating Rights Agreement dated October 19, 1982, any amounts paid by the United States to the Government of the Marshall Islands in excess of the amounts required to be paid pursuant to the land use agreement dated October 19, 1982, shall be paid into, and held in, an interest bearing escrow account in a United States financial institution by the Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands. At such time, the funds and interest held in escrow shall be paid to the landowners of Kwajalein in accordance with the new land use agreement. If no such agreement is concluded by the date which is five years after the date of enactment of this resolution, then such funds and interest shall, unless otherwise mutually agreed between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, be returned to the U.S. Treasury.


CBO Reports on Marshall Islands Supplemental Nuclear Compensation Bill

Contributed by YokweOnline on Oct 28, 2008 - 12:45 AM
CBO Reports on Marshall Islands Supplemental Nuclear Compensation Bill



A bill to "provide supplemental ex gratia compensation to the Republic of the Marshall Islands for impacts of the nuclear testing program of the United States, and for other purposes" was reported and placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders, Calendar No. 976, on September 16, 2008. The cost estimate, completed last week by the Congressional Budget Office(CBO), follows:



S. 1756 would amend the Compact of Free Association Amendments Act of 2003 and the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000. The legislation would appropriate $4.5 million annually (plus adjustments for inflation) over the 2009-2023 period to supplement health care in communities affected by the U.S. nuclear testing program. In addition, under S. 1756, workers employed at nuclear test sites would be eligible for compensation and medical benefits. Finally, the legislation would require monitoring of a specific nuclear test site.

Large-Scale Assessment and School Principals are Focus of New REL Technical Briefs Issued by PREL

Contributed by YokweOnline on Sep 26, 2008 - 08:54 AM
Large-Scale Assessment and School Principals are Focus of New REL Technical Briefs Issued by PREL



Two reports recently prepared for the United States Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) by Regional Educational Laboratory Pacific (REL Pacific), administered by Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (PREL), focus on the status of large-scale assessment and the status of the preparation and hiring of school principals in the Pacific region.




UW Students Climate Change Course Completed

Contributed by YokweOnline on Aug 21, 2008 - 09:56 AM
UW Students Climate Change Course Completed



A handful of University of Washington students recently concluded Dr. Holly Barker’s college anthropology course entitled Climate Change in the Marshall Islands. The Spring 2008 course highlighted the benefits of developing the capacity of the Marshall Islands to prepare for climate change in partnership with the international community, stated the press release of August 18.

Marshall Islands Commission of Inquiry Releases Findings and Recommendations

Contributed by YokweOnline on Aug 12, 2008 - 12:34 AM
Marshall Islands Commission of Inquiry Releases Findings and Recommendations



The 2007 General Election was described in the Marshall Islands and the Pacific region as “chaotic,” a “fiasco,” and an “election debacle.” Suspicions were raised as the nation awaited the results of the protracted counting process.



In constituting the Commission, the President stated that an inquiry into the conduct of the 2007 Election was necessary, not only to avoid a future election debacle, but, most importantly, to restore voter confidence in the electoral process.

Healthy Marshall Islands' Coral Reefs Face New Threats

Contributed by YokweOnline on Jul 07, 2008 - 07:38 PM
Report: Healthy Marshall Islands' Coral Reefs Face New Threats



"Today, coral reef ecosystems in the Marshall Islands are in excellent condition. The outer and less populated atolls in particular support healthy and diverse communities of marine life. However, in recent years, the coral reefs in the Marshall Islands have become increasingly threatened by pressures of fisheries, climate change and sea-level rise, increased urbanization and a loss of cultural traditions."



A 569-page report, the third in an ongoing series of assessments of the condition of coral reef ecosystems in the United States and Pacific Freely Associated states by NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program, evaluates the impacts of thirteen major threats and summarizes the current conservation management activities being implemented in the 15 jurisdictions. Highlights from the Marshall Islands Chapter follow:


Marshall Islands Participates in UN High-Level HIV/AIDS Meeting

Contributed by YokweOnline on Jun 13, 2008 - 11:26 PM
Marshall Islands Participates in UN High-Level HIV/AIDS Meeting

Amenta Matthew

  • RMI Minister of Health Amenta Matthew at UN - Greater international support is needed to address TB & HIV/AIDS
  • VIDEO: Minister of Health Amenta Matthew addresses a high-level meeting on HIV/AIDS - Marshall Islands (on behalf of the Pacific Small Island Developing States)
  • Statement by Marshall Islands for Pacific SIDS - Delivered at UN on June 10, 2008
  • United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV and AIDS (UNGASS) 2008 Marshall Islands Progress Report - Reporting period: January 2006–December 2007; submitted January 2008

  • IMF Executive Board Concludes Consultation with Marshall Islands

    Contributed by YokweOnline on Jun 13, 2008 - 10:16 PM
    IMF Executive Board Concludes Consultation with Marshall Islands



    On June 4, 2008, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the Article IV consultation with Republic of the Marshall Islands.



    Background

    The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), scattered across an area of nearly 1 million square miles in the Central Pacific, is heavily dependent on external grants. Like other small Pacific island countries, RMI is remote from major markets, has a narrow production and export base, and is vulnerable to external shocks and climate change. The most important aid source has been U.S. financing, primarily through the Compact of Free Association (Compact).

    Marshall Islands: Epidemiological Profile Finds Substance Abuse a Major Issue

    Contributed by YokweOnline on May 19, 2008 - 08:38 AM
    Marshall Islands: Epidemiological Profile Finds Substance Abuse a Major Issue



    The use of alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs is emerging as a serious problem contributing to decreased health status and low quality of life in the Marshall Islands, states the recently released 2008 Substance Abuse Epidemiological Profile. The Executive Summary points to key findings regarding consumption and consequences.

    Micronesian Leaders Make Regional Projections in Eleven Focal Areas

    Contributed by YokweOnline on May 18, 2008 - 08:31 PM
    Micronesian Leaders Make Regional Projections in Eleven Focal Areas



    The Communique for the 9th Micronesian Chief Executives Summit makes recommendations for regional cooperation in areas of waste management, energy, health, transportation, telecommunications, and zoning. Heads of state and government representatives from Palau, Guam, CNMI, Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia attended. Better mechanisms and technical assistance were requested from the U.S. in the areas of regional health, Prior Service funding, and port security.


    Western Micronesian Chief Executives Summit Welcomes Marshalls and Remainig FSM Nations

    Contributed by YokweOnline on May 18, 2008 - 07:51 PM
    Western Micronesian Chief Executives Summit Welcomes Marshalls and Remainig FSM Nations



    The Chief Executives of the Republic of Palau, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Territory of Guam, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and its states, Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae, held their Ninth Micronesian Chief Executives’ Summit (MCES) in Koror, Palau on April 25-26, 2007.

    Progress Made, but Policy Support Needed, in Solid Waste Management

    Contributed by YokweOnline on May 18, 2008 - 07:35 PM
    Progress Made, but Policy Support Needed, in Solid Waste Management



    The Pacific Islands Regional Recycling Initiative Council (PIRRIC) reported to Micronesian Chief Executives at the 9th Summit, held this year in Palau, that continued headway has been made following the last Summit held in the CNMI.



    PIRRIC also reported that significant forward momentum has been maintained in the public-private partnerships designed to remove metallic waste from our islands.

    Fundraising Focus Needed to Implement Micronesia Challenge

    Contributed by YokweOnline on May 18, 2008 - 07:28 PM
    Fundraising Focus Needed to Implement Micronesia Challenge



    The Steering Committee reported to the Chief Executives on the progress that has been made to implement the Micronesia Challenge regional commitment to "effectively conserve at least 30% of the near shore marine and 20% of the terrestrial resources across Micronesia by 2020."
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