Marshall Islands Students Honor the Victims of Sandy Hook

Students and parents at the Majuro Cooperative School honor the victims of Sandy Hook in the Republic of the Marshall Islands on December 21, 2012. [U.S. Embassy Photo/Public Domain]

About the Author: Doug Carey serves as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy Majuro.

Majuro Cooperative School in the Republic of the Marshall Islands put away their traditional red school uniforms and instead wore green and white - the school colors of Sandy Hook - to honor the children and teachers who lost their lives in Newtown. 

In a condolence card delivered to Ambassador Thomas Armbruster on December 21, the students said, “even though we are half a world away and living on a tiny island in the Pacific, we felt the pain…of the families and the community of Newtown.” Even though the United States and the Marshall Islands are geographically very distant from each other, the connection between the peoples of our two countries is particularly close. 

The Compact of Free Association between the Marshall Islands and the United States allows Marshallese students to travel, live, work and study in the United States; nearly…more »

Deputy Secretary of State William Burns discusses the United States’ commitment to free and transparent trade as he addresses U.S. Policy Priorities for the East Asia and the Pacific Region during his visit to Tokyo, Japan, October 15, 2012. Go to http://video.state.gov for more video and text transcript.]

Our Commitment to the Pacific Island Countries

Admiral Haney, Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, speaks at a ceremony recognizing the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the Guadalcanal campaign in the Solomon Islands. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Edgard Kagan serves as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. He is responsible for relations with Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands.

Our commitment to the Pacific Island countries is rooted in years of shared historical experience. One experience which affected all Pacific countries, including the United States, was the struggle in the Pacific during World War II. Thousands of Americans and citizens of today’s Pacific Island countries lost their lives in this conflict. During this trip through the Pacific, the delegation was able to visit some of the battlefields and pay tribute to our servicemen and other Allied troops who paid the ultimate sacrifice many years ago for the peace, security, and freedom that we enjoy today.

While in Palau, I visited the island of Peleliu, where between September and November of 1944 tens of thousands of Americans fought to secure the island. I attended a wreath laying ceremony at Orange Beach,… more »

Assistant Secretary Jose Fernandez Traveling to Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Indonesia

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
August 1, 2012


Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs Jose W. Fernandez will travel to Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Indonesia August 2-9 to meet with economic officials and business representatives and to discuss ways to deepen our economic ties in the Asia-Pacific region.

Assistant Secretary Fernandez will travel to Hong Kong August 2-5 to meet with economic officials and business representatives. He will speak at an American Chamber of Commerce luncheon about the relationship between economic progress and strong diplomatic ties. Assistant Secretary Fernandez will also speak with leaders from the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce about U.S. economic engagement and inward investment. He will discuss investment and financial issues during meetings with the Hong Kong Financial Secretary, the CEO of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, U.S. financial services-related experts, and U.S. corporate executives for the Asia-Pacific region. MORE

Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell poses for a photo with Philippe Cousteau, Chief Spokesperson for USA Pavilion 2012 in Yeosu, South Korea, on July 14, 2012. [State Department photo by Brendan Thornton/ Public Domain]

Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell poses for a photo with Philippe Cousteau, Chief Spokesperson for USA Pavilion 2012 in Yeosu, South Korea, on July 14, 2012. [State Department photo by Brendan Thornton/ Public Domain]

A Visit to the Yeosu Expo

Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell meets with U.S. Student Ambassadors at the USA Pavilion 2012 in Yeosu, South Korea, on July 14, 2012. [State Department photo by Brendan Thornton/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Kurt M. Campbell serves as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

At the end of a long trip through Asia with Secretary Clinton, I was lucky enough to have the chance to visit the USA Pavilion at the Yeosu Expo in the Republic of Korea. Fitting for its seaside location, the theme of the Expo (World’s Fair) is “The Living Ocean and Coast.” With dynamic multimedia displays and Korean-speaking U.S. Student Ambassadors, my visit to the USA Pavilion was a truly impressive experience.

The USA Pavilion is the result of a public-private partnership between the Department of State, corporate sponsors, and Earth Echo International, an ocean conservation non-profit organization. I was able to experience the visually stunning high-tech water screen featured in the USA Pavilion,… more »

Fifty Years of Independence in Samoa

A marching band practices on Parliament Grounds in Samoa on May 31, 2012.  On June 1, 2012, Samoa will celebrate its 50th anniversary of independence from New Zealand rule.  The Pacific Island nation has a week of festivities planned from May 31-June 5.  Highlights include a UB40 concert at Apia Park, Step Afrika performances throughout the country, and the U.S. Navy 7th Fleet Marching Band. [U.S. Embassy photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: David Huebner serves as U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand and the Independent State of Samoa.

Tomorrow will be a great day. I am in Apia, and will be participating in celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the former Western Samoa’s independence from foreign rule. I feel a particular connection to the event because New Zealand was Samoa’s former administrator, and I am officially accredited to both nations.

Also, as an American, I have an affinity for independence days. Americans, like Samoans, instinctively understand the importance of empowering citizens to direct their own destiny, to speak freely, to assemble as they wish, and to pray to their Creator as they see fit, without government interference. Independence is not about nationalist rhetoric, it is about personal liberty.

The first of the island territories to regain independence after World War II, Western Samoa — officially renamed in 1997 as the Independent State of Samoa — has been… more »

U.S., Papua New Guinea, World Bank Host Women’s Regional Policy Dialogue

About the Author: Brian Asmus serves as Political, Economic, and Public Diplomacy Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

During her visit to Papua New Guinea (PNG) in November 2010, Secretary Clinton announced the Pacific Women’s Empowerment Initiative. She said, “Giving women access to education, health services, economic opportunities, and the structures of power is critical to alleviating poverty and disease in every part of the world. The United States is committed to working with you.”

From May 31 to June 1, Embassy Port Moresby hosted Healthy Women, Healthy Economies. The State Department, including Embassy Port Moresby and the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues, teamed up with the PNG government and World Bank Group to organize the event.

We knew that logistics would be problematic. Flying anywhere in the Pacific takes time, effort, and money. Getting the women… more »