6 Sep 2007

US House approves bill to strengthen Pacific ties

3:18 pm on 6 September 2007

The U.S. House of Representatives has unanimously approved the Pacific Island Economic and Educational Development Act of 2007, a bill sponsored by American Samoa Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin.

Faleomavaega says the bill's passage will significantly strengthen America's important alliance with the South Pacific Island nations.

He says the legislation pushes for greater activity in the Pacific Islands by authorizing the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development to listen to the needs of Pacific Island leaders and provide assistance accordingly.

The measure also authorises funds to increase the number of Fulbright Scholars from the Pacific Islands as part of the training of future Pacific Islands leaders.