Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that he was unanimously elected to be Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and the Global Environment. Faleomavaega is the fourth most senior member of the Foreign Affairs Committee which was previously known as the House Committee on International Relations.
As the fourth most senior member of the committee, Faleomavaega’s name was presented for consideration to be chairman of the subcommittee which will have broad oversight and jurisdiction for US foreign policy affecting Australia, Burma, Cambodia, China, Brunei, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, New Caledonia/French Polynesia, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, North and South Korea, Mongolia, Nauru, Niue, New Zealand, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tonga, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
“Given that American Samoa is positioned in the Asia Pacific region, I am pleased that our territory will have a voice in the serious matters affecting this important part of the world. Some of these issues include finding new ways for the US to resolve the North Korea nuclear crisis. Our relationship with South Korea, where many of our soldiers from American Samoa are stationed, is also of vital importance.”
“We must also examine our economic, political and security relationship with China, a global power that requires our attention. As a Vietnam veteran, I firmly believe we need to strengthen US-Vietnamese relations. We also need to continue our partnership with Japan.”
“As Chairman, it is my intention to also review tsunami recovery as well as human rights and democracy efforts in Indonesia. I continue to have concerns about the situation in West Papua and look forward to working out reasonable solutions that bring about peace.”
“The Marshall Islands Changed Circumstances Petition will also come under the purview of this subcommittee and I am committed to making sure that this petition is thoroughly reviewed to determine if there should be additional compensation for US nuclear testing in the atolls during the 1950s.”
“This subcommittee will also have broad jurisdiction for the countries of Central Asia, including Kazakhstan, where the Soviet Union conducted its nuclear testing program from 1949 to 1991 exposing more than 1.5 million Kazakhs to the horrifying effects of nuclear radiation. Considering that the people of the Pacific know firsthand what the Kazakhs have suffered and continue to suffer, I look forward to bringing greater visibility to Kazakhstan which has been a loyal ally of the US.”
“In addition to its regional jurisdiction, the Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and the Global Environment will also have responsibility for oversight of international environmental policy, international fishing agreements, and scientific developments affecting foreign policy. With more than 80% of American Samoa’s private sector economy dependent either directly or indirectly on the US tuna fishing and processing industries, I am very pleased that the Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and the Global Environment will have oversight for international fishing agreements which will determine the viability of American Samoa’s future as well as the Pacific region’s fishing industry.”
“Finally, global warming is a critical issue that our nation must address. This issue is of utmost importance to the people of the Pacific, including American Samoans, and I am hopeful that as we draw attention to this issue we will be able to begin to address this very serious problem.”
“Again, I look forward to representing the people of American Samoa as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and the Global Environment. For the first time in the history of this subcommittee, it will be chaired by a member whose roots are from the Asia Pacific region and I thank the people of American Samoa for allowing me the opportunity to serve in this capacity. I sincerely hope that with your support this will send a signal that American Samoa can make a meaningful contribution not only to our nation but especially to our Pacific Island community,” Faleomavaega concluded.