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Regional News

Palau hosts 5th Micronesian Traditional Leaders Conference

KOROR (Palau Horizon) — Scores of traditional chiefs from all over the Micronesia Region have gathered for the 5th Micronesian Traditional Leaders Conference hosted by the Palau government and held at the Nyarachemayong Cultural Center in Koror, Palau from November 22-25.

Dilmei Olkeriil, Director, Council of Chiefs, disclosed that more than 50 traditional chiefs from Palau and five other countries in the Micronesia Region have gathered at the conference venue to discuss and deliberate on various issues affecting the Region.

“Twenty-two traditional chiefs from outside Palau are here to attend the event,” she pointed out. The 22 off-island attendees are from Yap, Pohnpei, Kosrae, Nauru and Marshall Islands.

According to Olkeriil, there were five traditional chiefs from the Marshall Islands, 10 from Pohnpei, five from Kosrae and two from Yap.

The rest of attendees are traditional chiefs from Palau.

“We are pleased that many traditional chiefs from the different countries in the Micronesia Region have attended this important event,” she declared.

According to her, the conference is significant to all countries in the Micronesia Region because it provides a means of balancing the roles of government and tradition in societies.

“Also, we are happy that the gathering is going on smoothly without any major problems,” she added.

The conference started on the 22nd with the registration of participants. It was followed by the opening remarks of former Palau President Thomas Remengesau, Sr. After the former president’s remarks, Palau President Johnson Toribiong delivered his special remarks to the participants of the four-day event.

The presentation of the Charter of Incorporation followed the President’s remarks. Afterwards, the heads of the different delegations delivered their own statements.

The whole afternoon of the 22nd was devoted to a tour around Babeldoab.

During the tour, the delegates visited the Ngarchelong State historical sites, Ngardmau Waterfall Park, Ngatpang Aquaculture Project and Taiwan Technical Mission-ICDF.

On the 23rd, the main activities were the overview of the 4th MTLC, presentation of each delegation, overview of past decisions and resolutions and introduction of proposals.

The next day was devoted to the signing of declarations and resolutions.

On the 25th and last day of the conference, delegates will have another tour, this time to the Dolphin Park and Rock Island Picnic.

The Micronesian Traditional Leadership Conference was founded in Palau in 1999 at the initiative of the Palau Council of Chiefs under the guidance of IBEDUL Yutaka Gibbons and REKLAI Raphael Ngirmang.

The Conference is held every three years and offers a forum for the traditional leaders to reaffirm the roles and values of culture and tradition in the Micronesian Islands.

It also provides a common ground for government and tradition leaders to collaborate on community issues such as health, education and the preservation of the environment.

The last conference was held in Majuro, Marshall Islands in 2008.