Call for Nomination: 2018 Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr. Environmental Award

Press Release
September 19, 2017
Palau International Coral Reef Center

Call for nomination for the 2018 Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr. Environmental Award is now open

In January 2017, the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) celebrated its 16th Anniversary with the Annual Fundraising Dinner Gala. During the celebration the first and last “Visionary Award” was presented to President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. for his exceptional visionary leadership in moving conservation forward. Through innovative conservation actions, President Remengesau Jr. has inspired Palauans and the world. He has shown that although Palau is a small island nation it is pioneering in world conservation.

The Visionary Award was retired that night and in its place, the Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr. Environmental Award was created.  This new award will be presented to those who have shown great initiative and contributed significantly to the conservation, management and protection of Palau’s environment in the past few years or over a lifetime.

Now as Center’s Annual Fundraising Gala nears, PICRC is calling for nominations for the 2018 Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr. Environmental Award. The deadline for nominations for the 2018 Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. Environmental Award is November 10th, 2017. The award will be presented at PICRC’s 17th Anniversary Annual Fundraising Dinner Gala, which will be held January 18, 2018.

The nomination form can be downloaded here. To learn more information about PICRC visit www.picrc.org. Please contact Ms. Geraldine Rengiil at grengiil@picrc.org or 488-6950 for any questions or further information.

Source: Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC)

The National Emergency Committee: Public Advisory on El Niño Issued on October 13

The National Emergency Committee
October 13, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PUBLIC ADVISORY

The National Emergency Committee (NEC) and the National Emergency Management Office (NEMO) hereby inform the General Public that current weather patterns in the Pacific indicate that the possibility of the occurrence of El Nino and drought in the Republic of Palau has reduced from 50% to 40%.

According to the Palau National Weather Service, sea surface temperatures of Palau and the Micronesia region have slightly cooled as compared to warmer temperatures in June, July, and August of 2017.   This slight change in sea surface temperature ultimately reduces the chances of El Nino occurring in Palau. While the possibility of drought now stands at 40%, the National Weather Service will continue to monitor weather patterns and advise the NEC, NEMO, and the General Public accordingly.

The NEC continues to implement voluntary actions of public advisory notices including enhanced water conservation measures, national and state needs assessments and supplies inventory, and maintenance of existing water sources with on-going water supply level monitoring and weather forecasts updates.

Water Conservation is instrumental in addressing any predicted water shortage. The General Public including the public and private sector is urged to practice water conservation by minimizing water use and detecting and repairing water leaks in government property, private businesses and residences.

Click on the following link to download this advisory in PDF: NEC Public Advisory on El Nino October 13_Final

Special Weather Statement: October 13, 2017

Special Weather Statement
Friday, October 13, 2017

This is a Special Weather Statement from the National Emergency Management Office in collaboration with the National Weather Service informing the public that heavy shower, isolated thunderstorms and windy conditions are forecasted for this weekend through early next week.

The public is reminded to take precaution when driving for possible flooding, landslides/mudslides and debris.

Sea conditions may become hazardous with a combination of swells and wind waves across Palau.

**THERE ARE NO TYPHOON WATCHES OR WARNING IN EFFECT FOR PALAU.**

NEMO and the National Weather Service continue to monitor weather conditions and will update the public accordingly.

Click on the following link to download this special weather statement in PDF: Special Weather Statement Friday, October 13, 2017

Palau National and State Leadership Meeting Discussion: Aug. 29, 2017

Summary of Discussion
National and State Leadership Meeting
Office of the President, 10th Olbiil Era Kelulau, Council of Chiefs,
Governors’ Association and the Association of Speakers
Ming’s Restaurant, Palasia Hotel│ 12:03 am – 2:30 pm
Tuesday, August 29, 2017

1. Opening Remarks

President Remengesau welcomed and thanks all leaders and meeting participants, including members of the media and non-profit organization in attendance. He further welcomes everyone’s participation in the meeting.

President Remengesau notes three (3) important agenda items for briefing:

  • Progress of the U.S.- Palau Defense Cooperation (Maritime Domain Awareness & Aerial Domain Awareness)
  • Follow up of the Palau Energy Summit
  • Palau Airport Terminal Project

2. US. Defense Cooperation Proposal (Maritime Domain Awareness & Aerial Domain Awareness)

Vice President and Minister of Justice Raynold Oilouch presented the following update:

The U.S. first approached Palau in February 2017 to discuss this proposal. The U.S. proposed to install radar systems in Palau. Following this initial discussion, a survey was conducted by the U.S. from Kayangel to Hatohobei to identified areas for installation. The U.S. identified areas for two aerial domain awareness (ADA) sites for exclusive use and five sites for maritime domain awareness (MDA) for surveillance of Palau’s territorial waters.

In July 2017 following the survey, the seven total sites were presented to Palau. President Remengesau established the Technical Team headed by Vice President Oilouch and Minister Rehuher-Marugg to look into the proposal and negotiate on behalf of Palau. Meetings have been conducted I the OEK, Rubekul Belau, Governors and Speakers in regards to this proposal.  In addition, meetings were held with state leaders and landowners of the designated states proposed for these sites by the U.S.  The general understanding received from the Governors, State leaders, landowners and state land authority is that they approve of this proposal.

The first meeting with Palau Technical Team and the U.S. Technical Team led by Ambassador Amy Hyatt was held on August 17. Vice President Oilouch expressed the Palau Technical Team approached this proposal as a separate request not concerning the Compact of Free Association and the lands Palau is obligated to give to the U.S. Therefore, the Team treated the proposal as a separate matter outside of the COFA. During the August 17 meeting, Ambassador Hyatt informed the Palau team that the U.S. is triggering its right to Palau lands within the COFA. An official request is to be made through diplomatic note to Palau. Ambassador Hyatt through this meeting states the U.S. is not responsible for releasing payment to Palau for additional lands. This created challenges between both teams. An agreement was reached for attorneys of both parties to look into the matter further for further discussion.

Vice President clarifies the U.S. sole interest is in two sites for ADA: 55 acres or 200,000 square meters of land in Ngaraard and 65 acres or 250,000 square meters of land in Angaur. The Palau Technical Team has identified private and public lands within the proposed land size in Ngaraard. The private and public landowners have agreed to release the lands concerned, however requests for compensation. In Angaur, private landowners have also agreed to release the concerned lands with compensation. Blessing was also given by the Governor and state leaders. The national government holds retention rights of a portion of this designated land in Angaur while the remaining section is owned privately. The main challenge of these two sites requested by the U.S. is compensation. Discussion and negotiation is ongoing between the national government and landowners in regards.

The five MDA sites the U.S. identified for installation can be moved if Palau so chooses as these systems is for Palau’s use in surveillance and monitoring of its territorial waters. The MDA sites are significantly smaller at approximately 1,000 sq. meters. Additionally, the systems are movable.

The U.S. expressed interest to issue official request through diplomatic note by end of August 2017. The Technical Team requested to delay the issuance of this official request to the end of September 2017 to allow some time to address concerns, including the matter of compensation with landowners in order for Palau to respond to accordingly.

Following the August 2017 meeting, attorneys of both parties met to discuss matters of compensation and other challenges. Additionally, the Palau Team met again where the Guam Accord was brought into discussion. The Guam Accord states if the U.S. requests for additional lands outside of lands designated within the Compact, Palau may request the United States for financial assistance in additional to that provided in Title 2 of the Compact. If the United States proceeds, it will require appraisal reports of said lands. The Guam Accord changed the tide of discussion between Palau and the U.S. The Guam Accords further states any agreement in regards to lands requires consent and approval from the Olbiil Era Kelulau and must comply with Palau’s Constitution and laws. Following this discussion, the U.S. requested Palau to submit their proposal in regards.

The Technical Team is now looking into mapping both sites, Ngaraard and Angaur, and for the preparation of the actual appraisal reports of the lands. Bid will be required to hire an appraiser that both parties approve of to conduct appraisal of the lands. Two options are being considered in terms of how to address release of these lands. Through leasing or purchase by the national government and then leased to the U.S. Vice President clarifies the national government will not be releasing these lands based on its imminent domain power.

Discussion and work is ongoing with the national government and landowners while Palau continues discussion with the U.S. team. The Technical Team plans to address all concerns and matters regarding land value, appraisal and negotiation with landowners ahead of the U.S.’s official request through diplomat note by end of September in time for final discussion during the upcoming Joint Committee Meeting (JCM) between Palau and the U.S. in October.

Vice President further clarifies the U.S. and any country, according to our Constitution, cannot own any lands in Palau unless it’s for diplomatic purposes. The Technical Team is working to ensure that no government funds will be expended, but rather compensation of said lands will be made entirely by the U.S.

Delegate Isechal requested for the Technical Team to look into the $5 million set aside in 1994 as non-trust fund through the Compact for lands designated for the U.S. Minister Sadang clarifies the $5 million was authorized and appropriated for other projects, however $3.5 million balance remains. The funds however can only be accessed as compensation for specific lands identified in the Compact and does not cover these additional lands requested for radar systems.

Governor Uyehara reminds the Technical Team that the Angaur Constitution prohibits the sale of Angaur lands therefore leaving only one option – leasing.  Delegate Gulibert further request for the Team to pursue the lease option and to allow Angaur to lease out the lands to the U.S. directly rather than through the national government. Additional request made for the Team to advise the State of any potential health risks or impacts the radar towers may have, and to further advice of the State Government’s role. Vice President requests for the State to issue a resolution in support of this project. Vice President informs the proposal by the U.S. is for use of the radar towers until 2044. Based on a report from EQPB, there are no environment threats presented, however the Technical Team will take look into it. Suggestion made for the Technical Team to potentially negotiate for restoration fund.

President Remengesau notes there will be employment opportunity for Palau.  Additionally, the U.S. has offered to provide aerial assistance to Palau by flying maritime law enforcement officials to patrol Palau’s waters in response to criminal activities detected.

3. Palau Energy Summit Briefing

President Remengesau thanks national and state leaders of Palau’s pursuit of its ambitious renewable energy target of 45% by 2025. The objective of this Summit was to identify ways in which PPUC, national and state leadership can move forward towards achieving this target.

Nick Ngwal, Special Assistant to the President on Maritime Affairs presented the following update:

The Palau Energy Summit was held from August 8-10 with participations from representatives from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), SPC, Government of New Zealand, U.S. Department of Energy, Earth Justice, Okeanos Foundation for the Sea, EARTHx and GridMarket.

Palau through the Paris Agreement agreed to increase renewable energy production by 45% and energy efficiency by 35% in addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 22%.

If Palau is to becoce a leader of renewable energy in the Pacific, Palau as a whole will need to take ownership and work together to achieve its target.

Summit findings include recommendation to strengthen PPUC and Palau Energy Administration, the nation’s leading agencies in energy.

Nick further reports a study has been conducted by IRENA and submitted to the Palau Energy Administration outlying the cost effective ways to achieve Palau’s energy goals. During the Summit, it was projected to cost Palau an estimated $40 million to achieve its energy goals.

The Committee detailed four items within the Summit Action Plan:

  1. Comprehensive stakeholder engagement and capacity development strategy – business unusual
  2. Priority Technical Issues – in regards to surveying of roof tops, lands and others that can host solar panels to generate energy
  3. Review Energy Policies such as RPPL 9-4: Palau Utilities Consolidation Act, RPPL 9-54: Palau Energy Act and SB 8-69: Net Metering Act
  4. Identify Partnership and Financial Options

Palau National Energy Committee created by President Remengesau through Executive Order is set to meet this afternoon to begin progress towards achieving Palau’s targets.

President Remengesau emphasizes the Committee includes membership from the Rubekul Belau, the two Chairman of Energy Committees in the OEK, Energy Office, Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Industries and Commerce, and PPUC. It also includes membership from tourism industry, Chamber of Commerce, Governors’ Association and Speakers Association as well as technical experts. This project may also incorporate public-private partnership as we explore options and seek partners to work with PPUC as we move forward. Building and business code is suggested for exploration to require businesses to incorporate renewable energy generation.

Governor Miles requests for inclusion of Sonsorol and Hatohobei in the Action Plan.

President Remengesau announced as a result of the Summit, the Government of New Zealand issue $400,000 to improve Kayangel’s water system.

4. Palau Airport Terminal Project

Minister Obichang provided the following overview of the project:

Palau has been working with Sotijz and Japan Airport Terminal Compancy (JATCO) for the past two years to establish a public-private partnership for the airport expansion and renovation project.  The joint venture agreement was signed on August 7 and on August 11th the concession agreement was signed between Palau, Sojitz and JATCO. Two major components are ongoing, including the basic design of the project in renovating and expanding the airport. Construction timeline is considered for the beginning of next year for estimated two years depending on operation, weather and other factors. Airport operation will not be interrupted during the duration of the project. Review of financial package from JICA for the project is ongoing.

MPIIC and the national government continue to work with Sojitz, JATCO and JICA in implementation of this project.

President Remengesau emphasizes the Pristine Paradise Palau brand calls for improvement of services to encourage and entice high-value tourism. The airport is the first impression of arrival and the last impression of departure. JATCO successfully manages the Haneda Airport, the fifth busiest airport in the world.

Delegate Isechal expressed support of project and confirms the validity of RPPL 10-11, which was questioned in the media and in other meetings. He further read memo issued by an attorney to the House of Delegates which states, “whether RPPL 10-11 is consistent with the prior laws or conforms with the procedural requirements of prior laws, that does not have any barrier at the present of the validity of this law. RPPL 10-11 just as any other law remains valid with full force and effect unless the Court determines it is constitutional in whole or in part” or if the OEK repeals this law. Delegate Isechal further comments any citizen who wishes to challenge this law can file a case before the Court of law.

President Remengesau encourages the whole to share information with their constituents and to disseminate information accordingly to better inform the public.

5. Miscellaneous

  • New Mariculture Center: Minister Sengebau announced signing of contract agreement for new Mariculture Center. Construction to begin in September with completion in October through a $6 million JICA grant aid. At this time, Palau is producing 250,000 seedlings. The new Center will increase seedling to over 1 million annually. Visitor’s center will be incorporated into the new building for visitors as an added revenue generating mechanism.
  • Port States Measure: The Port States Measure Agreement Workshop commenced in Palau. Palau is among the first nation to sign onto this agreement with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The measure focuses on combatting illegal, unregulated, unregistered (IUU) fishing activities. FSM, Kiribati, and Nauru representatives in attendance. Review of Palau’s policy ongoing. All port related authorities, Customs, Immigrations and others are participating in the workshop. FAO has approved $450,000 grant assistance to support the Micronesian Association for Sustainable Aquaculture (MASA). Palau chairs this association.
  • NDBP Loan: President Remengesau announces $4 million balance remains with NDBP for agriculture and aquaculture projects. He encourages Governors to work with NDBP who continues to conduct meeting in states to provide information and assistance to interested applicants.
  • Audit Report: Minister Sadang reports 2016 audit has been completed with a $6.2 million surplus. Some findings were listed, of which majority were on matters concerning procurement.
  • Independence Day Program: Minister Temengil-Chilton reports of Independence Day celebration. Official program to take place on Sunday, October 1. Boat race scheduled for Monday, October 2. Fireworks scheduled on the evening of October 1. Independence Day Organizing Committee membership including Governors’ Association, Chamber of Commerce, BTA. The first meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 5.
  • Road Pavement Work: Director Melairei reports within the Japan grant aid the pavement work was scheduled to begin from Sansaro, Ngermid to Ice Box, however due to the delayed Koror-Airai Sanitation Project (KASP), PPUC management requested for extension of completion for the water project. Discussion to shift the pavement from Ngeruluobel, Airai to the bridge equivalent to the Ngermid to Ice Box length. Palau to submit request to JICA for pavement from Bridge on.
  • Director Decherong reports dispensaries in Melekeok, Ngarchelong and Ngerulmud are now equipped with doctors from Monday to Friday. As of dengue cases, for August cases are reported a 27, significant reduction from previous month. Ministry of Health continued to conduct outreach program until cases falls under threshold of less than 10 cases per month.
  • Minister Soalablai reports in partnership with PCC, the Ministry of Education has successfully enrolled Ms. Lorinda Uro, as the first dual full-time student as an 11th Grade at Palau High School and in her first year at Palau Community College. The plan is for her to graduate simultaneously from PHS and PCC.

President Remengesau requests the Senate President Baules and Speaker Anastacio to look into and to action on the Pristine Paradise legislation pending in the OEK.

Senator Senior suggests exploring and revisiting the matter of visa to address the issue of tourism, terrorism attacks, security and others.

President Remengesau requests for the Senate’s support and confirmation of Jeraldine Tudong’s appointment as Ambassador to the European Union. Senator Senior comments of appointment of Ms. Tudong and expresses she is well-qualified for this position.

Senator Skebong requests the leadership’s assistance to delay PPUC’s increase of power rates. He expresses concerns of NDBP loan requirement for licensing and training. Additionally, Senator Skebong inquires of impact of sewage spill-off, if any, of the clam seedling production and the new Mariculture Center. President Remengesau informs quality of water in the hatchery was tested and proven in good quality.

Senator Inabo requests the leadership to conduct oversight of PPUC. Senator Inabo reports PPUC has excess revenue with a $15 million cash balance. She further stated the cost of fuel dropped by 30% while PPUC’s revenue hardly dropped which means it overly covered cost of fuel, further overstated cost of water and sewer. Senator Inabo suggested PPUC to conduct a tariff review to determine the actual cost of water and power.

President Remengesau announced Minister Sadang worked to delay loan payment to ADB of project, however the ADB Board of Director did not approve of the delay.

6. Closing Statements

Senate President Baules commends the leadership for this gathering and further encourages of similar meeting arrangements in the future. The meeting was very fruitful.

Speaker Anastacio further commends the arrangement of this meeting and encourages for partnership and teamwork among all the leaders.

Governor Shmull expressed appreciation to the President, Rubekul Belau, Senate President and the Speaker for the opportunity to be part of the discussion of important matters facing the Republic. On behalf of the Governors, Governor Shmull requested for leaders to consider moving venue for future leadership meeting to another state allowing for participation from the community and the public to be better informed of public affairs.

***Note: This Summary is subjected to corrections and change*** 

Click here to download this meeting discussion in PDF.

 

11 Cadets Successfully Complete 11th Basic Police Academy

For Immediate Release
Serial No. PR-17-059
October 4, 2017
Office of the President

11 Cadets Successfully Complete 11th Basic Police Academy

On September 29th, eleven cadets successfully completed their 7-week training program under the 11th Basic Police Academy.

The graduates, whom are all employed with the Ministry of Justice with ten cadets under the Division of Marine Law Enforcement and one with the Division of Fish & Wildlife Protection, are as follows:

  1. Mr. Wyzer Meyar Seklii
  2. Mr. Alcapone Nobuo
  3. Mr. Ashtin R. Renguul
  4. Mr. Gerald Ringang
  5. Mr. Allen Ngiralmau
  6. Mr. Jerry Ebas
  7. Mr. Harley Remoket
  8. Mr. Carlson Ngirturong
  9. Mr. Franley Chokai
  10. Mr. Olkeriil Kordonvan
  11. Mr. Kalany R. Higgins

President Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr. in his special remarks to the graduating cadets stated the responsibility they bear in law enforcement is an important act of “tekoi el beluu”, a common Palauan proverbial saying describing unity and teamwork for the sake of everyone. He further stated blood, sweat and tears is required in this line of work to safeguard and protect lives, property and our most precious marine resources.

Vice President and Minister of Justice Raynold B. Oilouch congratulated the cadets for pushing through and fulfilling the remaining requirement of their training as they prepare to man the Republic’s new patrol vessel.  The ten Marine Law Enforcement cadets are to be assigned to the new patrol boat PSS Kedam commissioned in Japan in partnership with the Republic of Palau, the Nippon Foundation and the Sasakawa Peace Foundation.

During the ceremony, special awards were presented to Mr. Seklii for perfect attendance and outstanding leadership, Mr. Nobuo for top physical fitness, Mr. Ebas, Mr. Nobuo and Mr. Renguul for top academic recognition, Mr. Ebas for top academic award, Mr. Olkeriil for against all odds and Mr. Higgins for top gun award.

The 11th Basic Police Academy was conducted from August 7 to September 29, 2017.

Click on the following link to download this press release: Press Release_11th Basic Police Academy Graduation_04OCT2017_FINAL

The Republic of Palau Partners with GridMarket and EARTHx to Achieve 45% Renewable Power Generation by 2025 

For Immediate Release
Serial No. PR-17-061
October 3, 2017
Office of the President, GridMarket and EARTHx

The Republic of Palau Partners with GridMarket and EARTHx to Achieve 45% Renewable Power Generation by 2025 

The historic public-private partnership is targeting strategic deployments of solar PV, wind, and battery storage

The Republic of Palau, EARTHx, and GridMarket are thrilled to announce that they have entered into a partnership to help Palau meet its energy goals, including achieving 45% renewable generation by 2025. This public-private partnership will transition Palau’s energy economy away from a dependency on imported diesel and towards a resilient, self-sustaining energy infrastructure. By implementing solar PV, wind, and battery storage, Palau will strengthen its grid, reduce energy costs, and emit significantly less carbon.

A strategy was presented by the partnership and approved by President Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr. who travelled to New York for the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly.

“The Republic of Palau is committed to creating a cleaner, more resilient energy infrastructure,” said President Remengesau. “It is imperative that we act now, and I am thrilled to be launching our initiative with GridMarket and EARTHx. This is an exciting partnership because it allows us to rapidly identify and deploy the ideal solutions to meet our near term targets, while also ensuring that we create a lasting and sustainable energy economy. ”

Key points from the plan included a project deployment schedule created using the GridMarket platform, proposed project financing structures, and a number of targeted implementation programs. GridMarket’s project recommendation engine leveraged mapping technology and predictive analytics to site the most impactful utility scale projects and remotely create granular customer-sided deployment targets for Palau’s government buildings, commercials properties, and residential homes. The proposed solutions will diversify Palau’s energy generation sources, creating the most beneficial, cost-effective path to lasting energy independence.

“We want Palau’s goals for 2025 to be just the beginning of a new energy future for the country,” said GridMarket CEO, Nick Davis. “By diversifying generation, introducing new revenue streams, and educating a local workforce, this new energy economy will experience sustained growth. And by decentralizing its energy infrastructure through the development of microgrids across the country, Palau will improve its resilience and provide its citizens with more reliable access to power in the face of natural disasters.”

With the approved strategy now in place, GridMarket and EARTHx will begin leveraging their respective networks to rapidly select technology providers, secure project funding, and showcase success. A forthcoming request for proposals will be issued through the GridMarket Platform.

“It’s imperative that solution providers and partners from around the world participate in GridMarket’s RFP in order to improve the Republic of Palau’s resilience and accelerate its clean energy future,” said Trammell S. Crow, founder of EARTHx. “Palau will be a model for small island nations across the globe looking to implement renewables, strengthen resilience, and transition their economies away from a dependence on imported fossil fuels. We are proud to host President Remengesau at EARTHx in 2018 in order to celebrate Palau’s progress and the partners who’ve contributed to their success.”

Vendors interested in receiving the GridMarket RFP and any other relevant updates should create a profile here. To learn more about EARTHx’s annual Earth Day forum, please see here. For more information on the partnership and the Republic of Palau’s established energy goals, please see here.

—-

Contact:
Jillian Caramanna
Jillian.Caramanna@gridmarket.com
(212) 725-2550

About GridMarket
GridMarket has created a dynamic, data-driven platform and project portal to promote and deploy distributed energy resources. By matching algorithmically identified project opportunities with optimal solutions, GridMarket allows energy consumers to embrace the future of clean, on-site generation.

About EARTHx 
As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization focused on environmental education and awareness, EARTHx, formerly known as Earth Day Texas, has created the world’s largest annual forum for sharing the latest initiatives, discoveries, research, innovations, policies, corporate and NGO practices that are reshaping the future. Founded in 2011 by Dallas-based environmentalist, philanthropist and businessman Trammell S. Crow, EARTHx promotes environmental awareness by curating an atmosphere for conscious business, nonpartisan collaboration and community-driven sustainable solutions.  For more information, visit www.earthx.org.

Click on this link to download this press release: Press Release_Republic of Palau, GridMarket and EARTHx Announce Partnership for Renewable Energy_03OCT2017_FINAL

Statement Regarding October 2 Rock Island Boating Accident

For Immediate Release
Serial No. PR-17-060
October 3, 2017
Office of the President

On the morning of October 2, 2017, a serious boat accident involving a tour group from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) took place in the Rock Islands of Palau. This tragedy resulted in one fatality and left twenty more PRC nationals injured. The Palauan boat driver also sustained injuries.

President Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr., and government leaders express their regrets for this incident and convey their deepest condolences to the victims and their families.

The government of Palau is actively cooperating with local communities, PRC mainland groups, charter parties, and other relevant organizations. Vice President Raynold Oilouch, Senate President Hokkons Baules, House Speaker Sabino Anastacio, Delegate Sebastian Marino, Delegate Marino Ngemaes, Finance Minister Elbuchel Sadang, Chief of Staff Secilil Eldebechel, Hospital Director Dr. Ngirachisau Mekoll, Director of the Bureau of Foreign Affairs Gustav Aitaro, Chairman of the Board of the Palau Visitors Authority (PVA) Mr. Ngirai Tmetuchl, and Director of the PVA Ms. Stephanie Nakamura  and representatives of Blue Island International Tours, have met with the victims and have made communication with the PRC Embassy in Pohnpei, FSM, dealing with their safe and speedy repatriation. The injured continue to receive the best medical care and treatment at the Belau National Hospital and are in direct communication with authorities on the status of all arrangements being made for their safe and immediate return home.

Appropriate authorities have already begun an investigation into this tragic incident. The Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Health, and the Office of the Press Secretary will work together to ensure that police and hospital reports are made available upon completion and disseminated accordingly.  The government wishes to thank the public and the media for their strong support and ask for their continued patience during the course of this investigation.

The government is actively ensuring the continued safety and security of its tourism industry, and is confident that this incident will not discourage future visitors from enjoying Palau’s natural beauty. Palau will continue to encourage operators to follow the strict safety standards that are already in place, and will continue to review this incident to ensure any appropriate additional measures are taken.

Click on this link to download this press release: Press Release_Rock Island Boating Accident_03OCT2017_FINAL

 

 

 

 

President Remengesau Accredits Fourth Ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to the Republic of Palau

For Immediate Release
Serial No. PR-17-058
September 30, 2017
Office of the President

President Remengesau Accredits Fourth Ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to the Republic of Palau

On September 29, President Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr. accepted the letter of credence from H.E. Ly Quoc Tuan accrediting him as the fourth non-resident Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to the Republic of Palau.

In his statement to Ambassador Tuan, President Remengesau expressed the Republic of Palau’s commitment to maintain and enhance the bonds of friendship and solidarity with the Government of Vietnam, further stating “Palau is looking forward to working with you to promote mutual cooperation in areas of trade, agriculture, fisheries, and technology transfer, and to promote the welfare, peace, and security of the Asia Pacific Region.”

Ambassador Tuan congratulated Palau on its 23rd Independence Day anniversary and expressed his commitment to work closely with the Government and People of Palau on matters of mutual interest. He expressed, “In the last two days in your beautiful Palau, I have been mesmerized with the warm hospitality and the friendliness of the people here. Bearing in mind these deep impressions, as Ambassador of Vietnam to Palau I will do my utmost to further strengthen and deepen our bilateral ties in the best interest of our nations and our peoples.”

The Presentation of Credentials ceremony was held at Capitol and witnessed by Senate President Hokkons Baules, Speaker Sabino Anastacio, Paramount Chief Reklai Raphael Bao Ngirmang, Chief Justice Arthur Ngiraklsong, Vice President Raynold Oilouch, Cabinet Ministers, Ambassador Hershey Kyota, Ambassador Ngedikes Olai Uludong, Ambassador Jeraldine Tudong, Ambassador Francis Matsutaro, Ambassador Dilmei Olkeriil and Palau Consulate Office representatives. Ambassador Tuan was accompanied by his wife Madame Vu Thi Tam Dan, First Secretary Mr. Dinh Huu Phuc and Second Secretary Mr. Ngo Tuan Anh.

Click the following link to download this press release:  Press Release_President Remengesau Accredits Vietnam Ambassador_30SEPT2017_FINAL

H.E. Jeraldine Ebil Tudong Sworn-in as New Palau Ambassador to the European Union

For Immediate Release
Serial No. PR-17-055
September 26, 2017
Office of the President

H.E. Jeraldine Ebil Tudong Sworn-in as New Palau Ambassador to the European Union

 On September 26, Ms. Jeraldine Ebil Tudong was sworn-in to office as the new Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Palau to the European Union.

Delivering his special remarks during Ambassador Tudong’s swearing-in ceremony held at the Capitol Building in Ngerulmud, President Remengesau expressed confidence in Ambassador Tudong’s capabilities stating, “The European Union is a major developmental partner and with her institutional knowledge and an extensive experience representing Palau in various international bodies, Ambassador Tudong will be successful in representing Palau’s interests in the EU in areas including health, economy, education, ocean and climate change.”

In an emotional speech filled with gratitude and appreciation for her colleagues, family and friends who have inspired her and contributed to her success along the way, Ambassador Tudong stated, “As Palau’s Ambassador to the EU, I will be aggressive enough to further our cooperation and partnership to achieve our mutual interests with the EU.” And further expressed her deep commitments and to perform her duties to the best of her abilities as an Ambassador representing Palau for Palau and in pursuit of opportunities for Palauans.

Ambassador Tudong is the second woman diplomat to assume this Ambassadorial position representing the Republic of Palau in the European Union.

Ambassador Tudong is a career civil servant having begun her extensive career in the National Government serving in various capacities, including Chief of the Division of Foreign Affairs and Trade and as Director of the Bureau of Asia and Pacific Affairs under the Ministry of State.  She received her her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Politics & History in New South Wales, Australia in 1996 and later her Master of Arts Degree in Foreign Affairs & Trade in Melbourne, Australia in 2000.

Click on the following link to download this press release: Press Release_EU Ambassador Jeraldine Ebil Tudong Swearing In_26SEPT2017_FINAL

 President Remengesau at the 72nd United Nations General Assembly

For Immediate Release
Serial No. PR-17-054
September 21, 2017
Office of the President

 President Remengesau at the 72nd United Nations General Assembly 

President Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr. arrived in New York for the 72nd United Nations General Assembly on September 19th and headed straight from JFK International Airport to the Japan-Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM) hosted by Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Joining fellow Pacific leaders with Prime Minister Abe, President Remengesau discussed possible outcomes for the upcoming PALM 8 in May 2018 such as cooperation on the challenges of climate change, disaster prevention, North Korea nuclear threats, maritime security, and reforms to the UN Security Council.

Leaders from seventeen countries were invited to take part in the PALM with Prime Minister Abe including Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Republic of Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

On September 20, President Remengesau started off the day at the side event “The Oceans – a wealth of opportunities” co-hosted by the Republic of Palau and the Kingdom of Norway.  The aim of the event was to promote action and international partnerships that will strengthen the conservation and sustainable use of our oceans and marine resources.

The event was attended by nearly 200 people from national governments, the private sector, and non-government agencies to discuss and contribute experience and knowledge, that will make it easier to find sustainable solutions to today’s challenges.

The overall question presented at the event was, how can we ensure closer coordination between the various ocean initiatives and actors in the time ahead?

President Remengesau began remarks at the event calling for stronger communication between stakeholders and called for stronger participation by the United Nations as the conduit between parties towards more active implementation of SDG Goal 14- to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development.

Her Excellency, Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway, in her remarks called for stronger partnerships and accelerated activities towards SDG 14 implementations expressing that all of what needed to be said have been said, the plans have been made and we must start acting now. “We have just 13 years until 2030, we need to start doing and stop talking.”

High level speakers at the “Oceans-a wealth of opportunities” event were:

HE Ms Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway
HE Mr Tommy Remengesau, President of the Republic of Palau
Keynote by HE Ms Michelle Bachelet, President of the Republic of Chile
HE Mr Frank Bainimarama, Prime Minister of the Republic of Fiji
HE Mr António Costa, Prime Minister of the Republic of Portugal
HE Yusuf Kalla, Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia
HE Ms Amina Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary General
HE Mr Erik Solheim, Executive Director of UN Environment

“Oceans-a wealth of opportunities” -Speakers representing civil society, regional organisations and business sector:

Ms Baylee Ritter, World Ocean Day Youth Advisory Council
HE Mr Josefa Leonel Carreio Sacko, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, African Union
HE Mr Colin Granderson, Assistant Secretary General CARICOM
Mr James Movick, Director General of Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency
Ms Hege Skryseth, EVP Kongsberg Group, President Kongsberg Digital
Mr Bill Dewey, Director, Taylor Shellfish Farms
Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, Chairman, Foundation for the Global Compact

Click on the following link to download this press release: Press Release_President Remengesau at 72nd UNGA_21SEPT2017_FINAL