Ambassador Carmen Cantor (Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior)
Ambassador Joseph Yun (Special Presidential Envoy for Compact Negotiations)
The United States has a special and longstanding relationship with the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau – collectively known as the Freely Associated States (FAS). Over the last couple of years, the U.S. has been engaged in negotiating amendments to certain provisions of the Compacts of Free Association with the FAS, and completing the negotiations is a priority for the Biden Administration.
Why do these negotiations and amendments to the agreement matter? The Compacts of Free Association between the U.S. and the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau are key to this country’s long-term commitment to these three nations, fostering economic prosperity and stability that form the foundation of U.S. strategic interests in the Indo-Pacific region. While the agreements were signed in fall 2023, where do the Compacts stand currently in Congress and what role will this ultimately play in relative to Pacific partnerships, free trade, national security strategies, and long-term diplomatic relations? Join us for a discussion with two of the negotiations key driving forces, Ambassadors Carmen Cantor and Joseph Yun and learn more about this essential development for the future of U.S.-Indo-Pacific relations.
This event is free and open to the public but registration is required, as space is limited
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS
Carmen Cantor is Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs, which carries out the Secretary of the Interior’s responsibilities for the U.S. territories; administers and oversees federal assistance under the Compact of Free Association (COFA); oversees international engagement in support of the Department’s mission and U.S. foreign policy; and leads the Ocean, Great Lakes and Coastal Program, helping to coordinate ocean and coastal programs across the Department’s bureaus and federal, state and territorial partners. Prior to this appointment, Cantor served as U.S. Ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia. Throughout her three decades of public service, she has served in various roles within the U.S. Department of State, at the Office of Civil Rights for the Foreign Agricultural Service in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity at the Federal Maritime Commission. Carmen was born in Puerto Rico and raised in the city of Mayagüez, where she earned a B.A. from the University of Puerto Rico and then an M.A. from the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico.
Joseph Yun is the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Compact Negotiations, appointed in March 2022 by President Biden to negotiate amendments to the Compact of Free Association (COFA), the agreement governing the relationship between the United States and the Freely Associated States (FAS) of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau. A 33-year career diplomat and seasoned negotiator, Ambassador Yun is an expert on Asia-Pacific affairs, having served multiple tours throughout the region and within the U.S. Department of State. Previous senior diplomatic assignments include Special Representative for North Korea Policy, Ambassador to Malaysia, and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the State Department's Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. He is recognized as one of the nation's leading experts on North Korea, as well as on broader East Asian policy.
The U.S. & the Indo-Pacific Region: The Future of the Compacts of Free Association
1207 SW Broadway
Portland, OR 97205
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