PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT

Pacific Islands Development Program/East-West Center
With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies/University of Hawai‘i


MARSHALLS AMBASSADOR HOPEFUL OF PEACE CORPS RETURN

By Giff Johnson

MAJURO, Marshall Islands (Marianas Variety, Sept. 2) — New United States ambassador to the Marshall Islands Greta Morris says she’s hopeful that the Peace Corps program will return to the Marshall Islands.

Her remarks were made during a ceremony where she presented her diplomatic credentials to President Kessai Note here in Majuro earlier last week.

She arrived Friday to begin a three year stint as U.S. ambassador to this central Pacific nation.

The Peace Corps program pulled out of the Marshall Islands more than 10 years ago during budget cut backs in the early 1990s. Peace Corps volunteers had been active in the Marshall Islands since the mid-1960s, when the first volunteers arrived in the islands. Since 2000, the Marshall Islands government has been appealing to Washington to restart the program with a focus on teachers to bolster sagging education standards in the country.

A Peace Corps assessment team is expected to visit the Marshall Islands later this year.

Morris said that she had met with the director of Peace Corps in Washington before arriving in the Marshall Islands late last week.

Over the weekend, she visited with newly arrived teachers from the U.S.-based WorldTeach and Dartmouth College programs, which are supplying about 45 teachers to public schools throughout the country this year. They reported to her on the warm welcome they’ve received from students and parents since arriving in the Marshall Islands to teach, she said.

"This is auspicious for the return of the Peace Corps to the Marshall Islands," Morris said.

September 2, 2003

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