6 Nov 2003

Palau hosts Micronesian summit

4:40 pm on 6 November 2003

Four Pacific leaders are gathering this week for a meeting of the newly-formed Western Micronesia Chief Executives Summit.

The leaders of Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Yap State are joining their Palau counterpart to report progress each has made on problems which face all four nations, and which are proving intractable for them to solve on their own.

One focus for the group has been forming the four countries into what amounts to a multi-national "buying group" so that it can reduce the cost of fuel, shipping services, and airfares all of which each country, at present, buys individually.

Our correspondent, Scott Radway, explains what is hoped to come out of this meeting.

"This will be the second meeting of the summit and the idea was that in the first summit they were all given their assignment, and in this one six months later they are going to report on their plans and their progress. The real hope for the general public is that out of this summit we will see some hard details on what countries are going to do on their specific focus issue."

Scott Radway.

The countries are also looking at setting up a central health facility, the launching of a regional recycling programme, improved telecommunications and marketing a tourism plan.