Vice President George Receives Richard Griffith, New Zealand’s Director for the North Pacific

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Press Release

Vice President George Receives Richard Griffith, New Zealand’s Director for the North Pacific

PALIKIR, Pohnpei—On July 30th 2019 the Honorable Yosiwo P. George, Vice President of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), received the Honorable Richard Griffith, Director of the North Pacific within New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade. Director Griffith was visiting the FSM to attend the Joint National Inauguration Ceremony.

“On behalf of the President [His Excellency David W. Panuelo], thank you so much for your presence here at the Joint National Inauguration Ceremony,” Vice President George began. “We look to New Zealand’s leadership in many areas.”

“It’s my honor [to attend] and I wanted to thank you for inviting New Zealand,” Director Griffith said. “We are learning from our partners as well, and that’s the value of partnership—the two-way exchange of ideas. So we’re very much learning from [the FSM] as well. Our job is to listen to our partners and hear what they’re telling us.”

Director Griffith noted that the Government of New Zealand is putting an additional full-time staff in the New Zealand Consulate in the U.S. State of Hawaii, and that the staff member's full-time responsibility will be to the North Pacific. “We expect them to be traveling regularly through your part of the world.”

Vice President George and Director Griffith spoke at length about the Nation’s goal to become a paragon example of an environmentally-friendly country, including protecting and promoting the Nation’s fisheries.

“I was reflecting on the President’s speech,” Director Griffith said, “And [regarding fisheries]…I would like to get in touch to see if there’s some support that New Zealand can provide to support the President’s desires to [develop a Fisheries Investment Plan].”

“Thank you very much,” Vice President George replied. “These are priority areas and we…welcome New Zealand’s help.”

Although New Zealand’s positive influence in the FSM may be overshadowed by the Nation’s larger allies, the FSM National Government recognizes—and deeply appreciates—New Zealand’s development contributions to the Nation, in areas ranging from renewable energy to fisheries management.

The people and Government of the FSM welcome the continued strengthening of the relationship with the people and Government of New Zealand.

Before the meeting concluded, Director Griffith noted again his appreciation for being invited to the Joint National Inauguration Ceremony. “Your cultural representatives were amazing!...I sent videos back to [the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade] just to highlight how talented the people of the FSM are, and how enthusiastic they are for the inauguration of their President.”

The FSM National Government extends its very sincere appreciation to the people and Government of New Zealand for their continued friendship and support, and calls on the people and Government of New Zealand to always feel warmly invited to the Nation’s shores.

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