In my visit to the Pacific over the next few days, the delegation and I look forward to engaging with the people and their representatives of seven Pacific Islands. On this tour, I will join Defense and USAID colleagues to continue our substantive engagement with the Pacific islanders on areas of defense, diplomacy, and development. The United States is committed to sustaining social and economic development in this region and my trip will highlight our diplomatic, economic, people-to-people, and strategic investments in the region. These people-to-people ties between our citizens are at the heart of U.S. engagement with the region. All of our programs seek to increase and enhance these ties. The United States has been, is, and will be a partner to the region for the long term.
Through our diplomacy we strive to strengthen social and economic capacity, equitable access to basic health and education, and expand trade and investment, while continuing to deepen our relationships with our Pacific partners. Each country faces unique challenges. During the course of my trip, I look forward to my candid discussions at each stop. Our relations with the Pacific have grown and strengthened over the years. This trip includes meetings with government officials, NGOs, young leaders, academics and local communities. I hope by meeting with so many individuals on the ground that we can better build our cooperation.
Our commitment to continued engagement is demonstrated by the opening of a New Embassy Compound in Papua New Guinea that the delegation will have the honor of attending. This is a physical representation of the expanding relationship between Papua New Guinea and the United States. Another example of our cooperation is highlighted by the delegation's stop to Red Beach in Kiribati to visit jointly funded waste management project by USAID and NZAID.