CNMI Governor Torres visits FSM, reinforces strong ties

FSM Information Services


TorresPALIKIR, Pohnpei—On Friday, February 1st 2019, the Honorable Ralph Torres, Governor of the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas (CNMI), arrived in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) with a delegation of 14 officials from the CNMI Department of Public Safety (DPS). While the delegation will be staying in the FSM for a week, assisting with building public safety capacity, Governor Torres arrived in response to an invitation from His Excellency Peter M. Christian, President of the FSM, and to demonstrate CNMI’s appreciation of its close relationship with our Nation.

After arriving on Pohnpei, Governor Torres and his delegation met President Christian and members of his cabinet. “I want to wish you well and welcome all of you…thank you for taking the time to visit with us. I know the relationship between FSM and CNMI…is culture-based, steeped in mutual respect and mutual understanding,” said President Christian.

While the meeting in the afternoon was shortened due to unforeseen events, both President Christian and Governor Torres reunited in the evening—first to speak at a table with each other in a small group, and then as part of a larger ceremony inclusive of the Honorable Marcelo Peterson, Governor of Pohnpei State, the Honorable Jose San Nicholas, Mayor of Kolonia Town, and other honorable members of FSM National Government, Pohnpei State Government, Kolonia Town Government, and members of the Pohnpei State Legislature.

In the small group, Governor Torres said “We came here to strengthen the relationship with the FSM...your country is fortunate to have a President that is aggressive yet able to have a strong trust relationship, and that’s the reason why I’m here: to stress the relationship and the opportunity [if he’s reelected] to work with him for the next four years.”

Speaking about his delegation, Governor Torres said “We have fourteen officers in different capacities, from certified firearms to investigation and homicide, officer survival to grants management and human resources…even as far as public information and counseling. And the reason why they’re here is to do an assessment or work with the public safety departments to assess and to offer our assistance in collaboration with the President and the Mayor of Kolonia,” said Governor Torres.

“We’re going to be giving uniforms to the [DPS] officers…we want to give some to the National and also for the states and local municipalities. We have more coming in May again, and we’ll have four vehicles that we’ll be turning in here for Pohnpei State,” said Governor Torres. “There’s…four cars, but later on our goal is to bring up a bucket truck for the CUC [Pohnpei Utility Corporation] guys, an augur…and also a fire truck,” said Governor Torres. “So this is something I was telling the Mayor [of Kolonia Town]: Kolonia is your downtown, and you need to protect that because that’s where money is made…but you also need to take care of the outskirts. Like for the ambulance we brought…do you want us to bring a couple more?”

Continuing, Governor Torres said “I’m here to offer my appreciation and support for the FSM and this President…I’d also like to personally thank President Christian for sending over crews from across the FSM to help Saipan’s recovery [from Typhoons Mangkhut and Yutu].”

“It’s too bad that you’re here for such a short time,” said President Christian, “But we’re glad, honored, to have you here…. Governor, again, congratulations [on your reelection]…not every place in the world understands us, so it’s imperative that Micronesians no matter where they hail from stand together.”

In the evening celebration, Governor Torres said to the crowd “On behalf of the people of the CNMI…we appreciate the FSM…our goal is to help each other and build each other and build our friendship. For the next four years while I’m here…my goal is for us to provide and learn from each other…. We are one—and I would like to maintain that, and build it…. And most especially I want to thank the people of Pohnpei for taking care of my aunt Bernie [Helstrom, Principal of Pohnpei Catholic School]…you take good care of her and all of our CNMI citizens in the FSM, just as we take care of the FSM citizens in Saipan.”

After Governor Torres’ speech, Governor Peterson stood up at the microphone and said “Let me give you my thanks and respect for the people of CNMI…as brothers and sisters, we all value what we are all about…. I want to share something I always share in my speeches, which is an African proverb: if you want to walk fast, walk by yourself. But if you want to walk far, walk with a group. So this is [the CNMI and FSM] being friends and promoting peace among our brothers and sisters in Micronesia.”

The FSM is committed to a positive and ongoing partnership with the CNMI that transcends mere friendship—we stand together as brothers and sisters, and we stand together as one.

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