Thursday, July 31, 2014

President Mori holds bilateral meeting with Russian Federation envoy at the Pacific Islands Forum, Palau

from left: Secretary Lorin Robert, Ambassador Nikolay R. Kudashev, Secretary April Dawn Skilling, President Manny Mori, and Mr. Igor Khovaev

FSMIS (July 31, 2014): On Monday, July 28, Federated State of Micronesia President Manny Mori held a meeting with representatives of the Russian Federation at the Palau Pacific Resort in Koror, Palau.

The meeting was President Mori's first official encounter with Russia, facilitated by the occasion of the 45th Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) being held in Palau. The Russian officials have taken the opportunity to engage with Pacific countries as an invited country in the Post-Forum Dialogue between PIF Member States and their respective country and agency development partners, which will be held on Friday, August 1st.

Representing the Russian Federation were Ambassador Nikolay R. Kudashev and Mr. Igor Khovaev, who said they were grateful for the opportunity to meet with President Mori.

Ambassador Kudashev stated that based on new opportunities and global conditions, Russia is enhancing bilateral and multilateral relations with Pacific countries, including the FSM.

He also pointed out that Russia's interest in deepening ties with the FSM will take on genuine and mutual cooperation without creating obstacles or undermining FSM's relations with other countries.

Accompanied by his Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Lorin Robert, Secretary of Justice, Mrs. April Dawn Skilling, and his Chief of Staff, Mr. Leo Falcam Jr., President Mori discussed some interests in the areas of climate change support, tourism, renewable energy, health, sport development, and others.

The Russian officials stressed that people to people exchange, through tourism and other program, would be the most beneficial way in enhancing understanding between the two countries. They also spoke about Russia's experience of the visa-free program that facilitates tourism in other parts of the Pacific.

Ambassador Kudashev also highlighted climate change as a priority agenda for his country, noting FSM's active role in climate change discussions in the global arena.

Ambassador Kudashev invited the FSM to take advantage of the Russian Federation's diplomatic trainings in Moscow, which include the study of Russia's foreign policy in a changing world.

Kudashev is the Ambassador-designate to the FSM. At this meetings, the schedule for his presentation of credentials in Palikir during the October-November timeframe was also explored.

The meeting allowed the FSM and Russia the opportunity to reaffirm diplomatic relations established in 1999.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Micronesian Presidents meet in Pohnpei ahead of the 8th Micronesian Games

left to right: President Loeak, RMI; President Mori, FSM; President Remengesau, Palau; MPS opening meeting in Pohnpei

FSMIS (July 18, 2014):  Three days ahead of the opening of the 8th Micronesian Games in Pohnpei, the Micronesian Presidents' Summit (MPS) opened its session yesterday, July 17, at the Pacific Mission Aviation Auditorium in Kolonia, Pohnpei.

As an annual event, the MPS brings together the Presidents of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) and the Republic of Palau (Palau) to jointly address common concerns and advance mutual interests in the spirit of Micronesian solidarity refined through shared culture, political history, and economic aspirations.

The event started with a formal welcome by Governor John Ehsa of the State of Pohnpei, followed by the opening remarks by FSM President Manny Mori. President Mori welcomed his Peers and thanked all who played a part in making the meeting possible. Among the highlights he directed attention to, President Mori noted advancements collectively made in the management of fisheries within the Micronesian region. However, he underscored that collectively, the three governments should find ways to increase their benefit as fish-stock owners in an industry with a net worth estimated at around 7 billion.

RMI President Christopher Loeak, accompanied by the RMI First Lady, Minister of Foreign Affairs Tony Debrum and a few staff, also welcomed the opportune time for such gathering. At the end of his remarks, President Loeak noted that this would be President Mori's last MPS as FSM President and expressed his gratitude to President Mori for his leadership and guidance throughout the MPS processes.

President Tommy Remengesau Jr. emphasized his Government's support of the regional endeavors that the President have been facilitating, especially in terms of environmental conservation collaborations, such as the Micronesian Challenge, and resource management and protection. He also echoed President Loeak's words of appreciation to President Mori for his steadfastness in pursuing the interests of the Micronesian region through the MPS system as well as the regional and international leadership mechanisms. President Remengesau said the Micronesian nations should ensure that their agendas are well addressed at the upcoming Pacific Islands Forum to be held in Palau early August and the Third Small Island Developing States Conference in Samoa this coming September.

The opening meeting was attended by FSM Vice President Alik L. Alik, the Diplomatic Corp, Cabinet and staff of the three Governments, and  some community members.  

The meeting agenda included some presentations on the FSM-Palau fiber optic connectivity project, un update on air transportation project for the FSM, un update on Palau's marine surveillance and patrol program upgrading, and review of progress made in climate change negotiations towards a binding framework for mitigations of disasters -- presented by the Marshall Islands.  

The Presidents are having a retreat today on Ant Atoll. It is at such "sit-together" that sensitive issues and other pressing matters are chipped and shaped to build consensus, conformity and commitment.

It is expected that the President will endorse the MPS meeting outcome document tonight at a closing dinner reception at the Cupid Bar and Grill.

A report on the meeting outcomes will be forthcoming.

For more information, email fsmpio@mail.fm.
           

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

FSM Telecommunications Connectivity Project Moving Forward


FSM TC&I (July 16, 2014): President Mori updated the FSM Congress on recent developments in the FSM Telecommunications Connectivity Project, including availability of financing and 2014 timelines.

 It was erroneously reported in the July 14, 2014 edition of the Kaselehlie Press that the FSM Congress overrode the President’s veto of C.A. 18-75, popularly known as the moratorium on implementation of the FSM Telecommunications Act of 2014.  The fact is, Congress did not override the veto.  FSM’s liberalized telecommunications law continues to be effective and ready for immediate implementation, and the President’s efforts to secure funding for that implementation have been successful.

 On July 9, the World Bank formally informed the President that it can confirm the availability of up to US $51 million in grant financing for FSM’s portion of the Palau-FSM Connectivity Project.  This grant would fund 100% of the FSM’s share of a proposed Palau-Yap-Guam fiber optic cable, as well as fund 100% of a fiber optic cable connecting the islands of Weno and Satowan in the State of Chuuk to the existing Pohnpei fiber optic cable.  In addition, the grant would subsidize next-generation O3B satellite connectivity for the State of Kosrae for five years. 

 The World Bank proposes to secure formal Board approval for the project by November 30, 2014.  In order to meet that deadline, both FSM and the Republic of Palau will have to meet key project milestones, including finalizing the project design, recruitment of a project manager for the Palau-Yap-Guam portion of the project, and completion of the environmental and social safeguards work.  President Mori informed Congress that FSM’s Telecommunications Task Force and the Micro-Pal Fiber Optic Joint Committee, which contains members from both the Palau and FSM governments, have been diligently working to meet these milestones.

 In addition to the funds for infrastructure improvements for Chuuk, Kosrae, and Yap, additional grant money will be available for project management and for technical assistance.  The technical assistance money will assist the FSM in transitioning to a modern, liberalized telecommunications environment in line with the FSM’s Telecommunications Policy, and the legal framework provided for in the FSM Telecommunications Act of 2014.  The goal of the liberalized telecommunications environment is better service, including broadband internet services, and lower prices for consumers in the FSM.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Secretary Robert and Chief of Staff Falcam update President Mori on Micronesian Presidents' Summit matters

FSMIS (July 15, 2014): Federated States of Micronesia President Manny Mori had a briefing meeting this morning by the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Lorin Robert, Chief of Staff Leo Falcam Jr., and two Foreign Affairs Department staff members: Mr. Carl Apis and Mrs. Shanty Sigrah.
 
The meeting covered updates on key aspects of the preparation for the Micronesian Presidents Summit (MPS), which will take place on July 17 and 18 at the Pacific Missionary Aviation Auditorium in Kolonia, Pohnpei.
 
The President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, His Excellency Christopher Loeak, arrived in Pohnpei earlier today.
 
His Excellency President Tommy Remengesau Jr. is expected to arrive tomorrow, July 16th.  
 
The main discussion focus for the meeting will be fully fleshed out by a group of selected high ranking officials from the three governments when they hold an "officials' session" on Thursday morning ahead of the main plenary for the Presidents. However, there is interest to include on the agenda common concerns relating to fisheries, maritime surveillance practices, Trafficking in Persons (Human Trafficking), and air transportation issues, among others.
 
A part of the Presidents' meeting also includes a three hour retreat on Ant Islet on July 18th, where the Presidents may want to hash out more sensitive issues amongst themselves in a less structured and more exclusive manner.
 
About a year ago, the Presidents agreed to hold their meeting immediately before the opening of the 8th Micronesian Games in the FSM State of Pohnpei in order to take part in the important region-wide undertaking.
 
For more information of the MPS, contact the Department of Foreign Affairs at 320-2641 or email fsmpio@mail.fm.

Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Krebs speaks at his presentation of credentials in FSM, July 11, 2014

Archbishop Martin Krebs making his remarks at the occasion of his presentation of credentials to Federated States of Micronesia President Manny Mori at the President's Office in Palikir, Pohnpei.

PetroCorp promo umbrella

With Vital FSM PetroCorp being the largest supplier of energy in the Federated States of Micronesia - a promotional high quality umbrella was dropped off today at FSMPIO by our friends from Vital.