After a series of high level discussions in Honolulu between senior officials from the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Nauru, Kiribati and representatives from Australia, Japan, and the United States, the group signed a Joint Communique to advance the building of the East Micronesia Cable (EMC) Project that will link the three nations together.
The EMC Project is a fibre optic submarine cable funded by the Governments of the United States of America, Japan, and Australia to provide safe, secure, and reliable internet capacity to the Republic of Kiribati, the Republic of Nauru, and the FSM State of Kosrae.
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. The three countries will continue to work together to explore opportunities for the region and share relevant learnings and 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.
Senior officials from the three countries will brief the wider Micronesian sub-region on the benefits of the Project, and opportunities for future cooperation at the Micronesian President’s Summit to be held in Pohnpei 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,” said U.S Secretary for Transport and Communications, Carlson D. Apis in a statement.
The East Micronesia Cable (EMC) Project is an initiative that will connect Pohnpei to Kosrae, completing the submarine fibre optic cable network that will connect all four states in FSM. “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, said Secretary Apis.