3 Oct 2003

Marshall Islands nitijela passes legislation to ensure funding transition

11:13 am on 3 October 2003

The Marshall Islands parliament or Nitijela has passed a resolution and a bill to ensure the government continues to receive funding under the Compact agreement with the US after the Nitijela's dissolution.

The measures were passed in advance of general elections in November, before the Nitijela reconvenes in the first week of January next year.

Although expected soon, the new Compact of Free Association agreement has not yet been approved by US congress, and the Marshall Islands was concerned there would be a gap in funding.

But the Deputy director of the Marshall Islands Compact Negotiation Office, David Paul, says what the US Senate approves should be identical to what the Marshall Islands has approved.

"It wanted to make sure there was no funding gap, that the government continues to get its funding. If there was no authorisation or notification of the amendment to the existing treaty , then the cabinet and the President would not have the authority to actually appropriate funds and use those funds, because it never went through the approval process."