The Micronesian Islands Forum (MIF) leaders announced plans to push ahead with the hiring of a professional Secretary-General for its secretariat office.

The leaders made this announcement in its communique at the recently concluded meeting held from 15 -17 February in Pohnpei.

Three presidents and six governors of island states and territories — Palau, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands ­ and the Federated States of Micronesia and its states of Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae gathered in Guam for the meeting where they “reaffirmed their prior commitment” to hire a professional Secretary General.

The MIF agenda included Micronesia Challenge, Invasive Species Council, regional health, transportation, regional labor development, public safety and recycling initiative and gender equality.

Palau President Surangel Whipps Jr joined the meeting with FSM President David Panuelo, RMI President David Kabua, and Guam Governor Lou Leon Guerrero among others.

The leaders also agreed to expand the work of the MIFS which means hiring more staff to better implement the agenda.

The leaders also agreed to identify funding opportunities for the secretariat.

Guam has agreed to host the 2024 meeting.

“We are stronger together and we are thankful to all of our brothers and sisters in Micronesia following the Micronesian Island Forum. We were all present in Pohnpei to discuss important issues that will help improve services to our respective people.,” a statement posted on Palau’s Office pf the President’s Facebook page stated last week.

It added, “Palau is taking notes from the Ministry of Health and Human Services, as we committed to helping organise a Regional Health Summit. We also agreed with our fellow islanders on a recommendation to create two additional committees: Oceanic Resources and Trade.