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Camacho at Federal Regional Council meeting

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by Lannie Walker

Guam - Today in San Francisco Governor Felix Camacho attended a meeting of the Federal Regional Council, joining leaders from the U.S.-affiliated territories and Freely Associated States representing the Micronesian Chief Executive's Summit.  Also in attendance were CNMI governor Ben Fitial, American Samoa governor Togiola Tulafon and foreign affairs officials from the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau.

"The FRC is an important and influential group," said Governor Camacho.  "We as leaders have gone to Washington D.C. and have wondered, why go to a place where we are not understood?  Here you understand us and you must stand as our advocates for change."

Camacho spoke to over 100 attendees, including representatives of 191 branch agencies who manage over 30 programs in the Pacific, saying, "I recall speaking about the implementation of federal programs in our area, how we need their attention, and how they must recognize Guahan's shortfalls in meeting federal standards."

Director of the U.S. Health and Human Services Region IX Herb Schultz chaired the meeting, which featured the convening of a action planning session. Key issues of both the FRC and the MCES were identified during the meeting. As a result of the session a joint resolution was signed that pledges commitment to grants management, renewable energy, sustainable communities, workforce development and communication and infrastructure.

"The FRC and the MCES have forged a new relationship," remarked Governor Camacho after the signing of the Joint Resolution. "We will take this back to the leaders of the region later this year and discuss efforts to make this a reality versus a plan that will not gain traction in our respective jurisdictions."

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