Fellow leaders, citizens and friends of the FSM.
In the festive spirit of the holiday season and the New Year 2013, please allow me to extend my best wishes to you and to thank you for all the support and cooperation you have extended this past year.
This New Year 2013 is a pivotal year for the Nation as we are half-way into the implementation of our Amended Compact of Free Association. During the most recent leadership conference in the FSM, I shared my views and perspectives with the conference participants, impressing upon them that the issue of 2023 and Beyond has now become our most pressing national focus of attention. I also stated that this is not a one-man show as it will require the support and cooperation of all leadership at all levels of government, among the branches of government, as well as the participation of our traditional leaders, members of the clergy, private sector, and civil society.
Needless to say, underpinning our collective efforts to address 2023 and Beyond is the paramount issue of National Unity, which can be sustained only through support and cooperation from all of our five governments. As in any federation, this will be a formidable task and a challenge, but I am pleased to acknowledge that we have taken the necessary steps in the right direction in working with state governments in addressing their pressing needs. Burden sharing is now generally accepted as a way to share the nation’s resources, achievements as well as disappointments all across our governments as we move forward together.
Secondly, while acknowledging that much progress has been made in our political institutions and processes, we must accelerate our efforts in developing our economy through the four priority sectors – fisheries, agriculture, tourism, and energy. Our heavy reliance on foreign financial assistance and imported goods must change. We must reorient our attitude toward our God-given natural and human resources and realize the value in nourishing and using them sensibly and sustainably. We must persist in promoting the planting and consumption of healthy local food to foster a productive instead of a consuming economy.
Thirdly, in addressing 2023 and Beyond or any issue of development, our environment must be an integral part of the discussion. As a Pacific island developing state with a fragile environment vulnerable to disasters, this is even more imperative and urgent. Thus, in developing our economic and social strategies, including further investments in the trust funds, the environment must continue to command our attention and resources.
Lastly, we will be remiss when we talk about development without acknowledging the contributions of our development partners and friends to our nation building. We are indeed appreciative and grateful for their generous assistance and cooperation which are not only contributing to our economic and social improvements, but most importantly, are cementing and strengthening the friendship that our peoples have come to enjoy. As small Pacific island nation, we cannot reciprocate all that is given to us, but we are always pleased to “…extend to all nations what we seek from each: peace, friendship, cooperation, and love in our common humanity.”
As we celebrate the holiday season and embrace the dawn of the New Year 2013, we thank the good Lord for the many blessings bestowed upon us and our families. May He continue to shower us with His blessings of good health, peace, and prosperity, and keep the Federated States of Micronesia in His loving care.
Happy New Year!
Emanuel ‘Manny’ Mori
Emanuel ‘Manny’ Mori