PALIKIR, Pohnpei—In Honolulu, Hawaii, after a series of discussions between officials from the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), the Republic of Nauru, and the Republic of Kiribati, and representatives from Australia, Japan, and the United States of America, the Honorable Carlson D. Apis—Secretary of the Department of Transportation, Communications, & Infrastructure—signed a Joint Communique with the Honorable Pyon Deiye, Minister of Communications for Nauru, and the Honorable Tekeeua Tarati, Minister of Communications of Kiribati, so as to advance the building of the East Micronesia Cable (EMC) Project that will link the three nations together.
The EMC Project is a forthcoming fiber optic submarine cable funded by the Governments of the United States of America, Japan, and Australia, so as to provide safe, secure, and reliable internet capacity to the Republic of Kiribati, the Republic of Nauru, and the FSM State of Kosrae.
Secretary Apis, Minister Deiye, and Minister Tarati agreed that the FSM, Nauru, and Kiribati—through the EMC—will strengthen ties and make possible future connections and upgrades; that securing the EMC is an important first step that will make it possible for future cables to connect to Kiribati, Nauru, and the FSM which would add further resiliency to the region; that the three countries will continue to work together to explore opportunities for the region and share relevant learnings; and to commit to supporting one another during the implementation of the EMC, so as to ensure that the Project’s ultimate intention is met on schedule.
Secretary Apis, Minister Deiye, and Minister Tarati also agreed that the next immediate step is to brief the wider Micronesian sub-region on the benefits of the Project, and opportunities for future cooperation at the Micronesian Island Forum and Micronesian Presidents Summit to be held in Pohnpei, FSM, in February.
“The Panuelo – Palik Administration attaches priority and importance to their flagship project called ‘the Pave the Nation Initiative’ which focuses on building roads and bridges to connect our people and our communities,” Secretary Apis said in a statement. “The East Micronesia Cable (EMC) Project is another road under the Initiative which will connect Pohnpei to Kosrae, and thereby completing the submarine fiberoptic cable network that will connect all four states in the Nation. It will also bring the rest of the world closer to us as we connect the FSM to the world through Guam, Kiribati, and Nauru allowing for improved communications connections and providing widespread services of tele-health, tele-education and e-commerce to all citizens and residents in our country, including our remote islands. We thank Kiribati and Nauru for joining us in this effort which will bring the whole Micronesian region closer together, and give special thanks to the United States,
with whom we share an Enduring Partnership, to Japan, with whom we share a Kizuna or special bond, and to Australia, with whom we share a Trusted Pacific Partnership, for their support for this essential project.”