Monday, June 30, 2014

FSM Coconut Development Authority's functions now repose under FSM PetroCorp

FSMIS (June 30, 2014): On June 16, Federated States of Micronesia President Manny Mori signed into law a bill that dissolves the FSM Coconut Development Authority (CDA) and reposes the CDA's responsibilities under the FSM Petroleum Corporation.
 
In a brief signing message to Congress, President Mori emphasized, "...the intention of the Act is dissolve the FSM Coconut Development Authority and assign its essential function and responsibility to the FSM Petroleum Corporation. The FSM Petroleum Corporation will assume the assets of the dissolved government agency and utilize the assets to develop the coconut industry".
 
The President expressed appreciation to Congress for its "favorable action" in passing the bill.
 
By request of the Executive, the bill was introduced by Floor Leader Singkoro Harper on September 16, 2013.  

Friday, June 27, 2014

Snap-and-send selflie campaign in the name of youth all over the world

The United Nations Population Fund is proposing that a goal specific to youth be included in the global development that is to be embarked on after 2015. The way to do this is through the modern influence of hand-held media devices --- a campaign under the slogan, "make your selfies count".
 
A UNFPA Pacific region release today says, "From German chancellor Angela Merkel to Pope Francis, people of all walks of life who have access to smart phones are doing it: taking a selfies, one can perhaps safely say, is a given in this day and age with the increased accessibility to the virtual world enabled by hand-held devises".
 
The UNFPA Pacific office is encouraging "everyone" to take part in the campaign by taking a selfie and send it to oceniaselfies2014@gmail.com if you support the proposal by UNFPA based on the conviction that "a goal specific to youth is a critical component of the post-2015 global development agenda".
 
"Selfies collected globally will then be used to communicate to decision-makers and world leaders that young people all over the world want to make sure that they are "put in the picture" of future development plans."

Updates on the campaign are posted on www.pacific.unfpa.org.

FSM Secretary Robert delivers remarks at Pacific Day in DC


FSM Secretary of Foreign Affairs Lorin S. Robert
FSM D.C. Embassy (June 26, 2014):  Last week the Federated States of Micronesia Secretary of Foreign Affairs Lorin S. Robert and the Director of the FSM National Oceanic Resources Management Authority (NORMA), Mr. Patrick McKenzie, participated in two key events in Washington, DC related to oceans and the Pacific community, along with FSM Ambassador  to the United States, Mr. Asterio Takesy, and a number of ministers from around the world.  The first was the international conference “Our Ocean” that was convened by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the beginning of the week, and the second was the Pacific Day celebration hosted by the Embassy of New Zealand on Wednesday evening.

Pacific Day is an annual tradition of the diplomatic community in Washington, DC, featuring food and dance of Pacific countries and discussions pertaining to key issues. Because of the timing of Secretary Kerry’s meeting, many Pacific leaders also attended Pacific Day this year, including Secretary Robert, Palauan President Tommy Remengesau, RMI Minister of Foreign Affairs Tony DeBrum, and FFA Director-General James Movick, all of whom delivered remarks during the Seminar associated with the event.  Secretary Kerry and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key also addressed the gathering later.

Secretary Robert’s remarks focused on the importance of oceans and fisheries resources and the impacts of climate change on islands. He said he was encouraged by the ongoing global discussion on oceans, which exemplifies the spirit of collaboration and partnership at the heart of the Pacific Way. He highlighted the importance of ocean resources and the tuna industry to many islands, but noted that these resources are being depleted and contaminated.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key leaving the NZ Embassy in D.C. (photo by Celeste Pinto)
With respect to climate change, Secretary Robert called it “a cruel twist of fate” that the Ocean is now the antagonist of small islands due to rising sea levels, eroding coastlines, and increasingly intense storm surges. Warming sea temperatures may also exacerbate overfishing and illegal harvesting of pelagic species by altering their normal migration patterns.

In the face of these impacts, FSM has adopted a Climate Change Act and an integrated disaster risk reduction and climate change policy. It has also contributed some innovative proposals for climate change mitigation to international negotiations, including its proposed amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phase down production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). If adopted, this strategy would complement reductions of CO2 emissions and would provide “fast-action mitigation”, because most HFCs are much more potent than CO2 but do not last in the atmosphere very long. Furthermore, it would slow climate warming and sea-level rise.

Secretary Robert said that islands still pin high hopes on the UNFCCC to address the long-term problem of CO2 emissions, but he pointed out that impacts of climate change are already being experienced in islands. This is why FSM has proposed reducing HFCs and other short-lived climate pollutants. In addition, a victory on HFCs under the Montreal Protocol this year could build critical momentum for a successful outcome at the UNFCCC COP 21 in Paris next year, he concluded.

 
More information about Pacific Night, including audio and video recordings is available at: http://csis.org/event/pacific-day-2014.

President Mori signs amendment law on captive insurance license and revolving fund

Provided through the link below is President Manny Mori's signing message on a law that is deemed to bring further stability to captive insurance in the FSM. The law also creates a revolving fund for the FSM insurance commission. Check out the message below.


http://fsmpio.fm/Executive_Order/transmittal_letter/Public%20Law%20No.%2018-71/public_law_18_71.pdf

Thursday, June 26, 2014

President Mori line item vetoes $4.84 million from Congressional projects totaling $5.1 million

FSMIS (June 26, 2014): In a Congressional project bill totaling $5.1 million, Federated States of Micronesia President Manny Mori vetoed nearly all items except for a funding of $260,000 for some administrative costs of the 8th Micronesian Games.

In providing a detailed statement on his decision to veto most of the budget items, President Mori raised that in a ten-years period, Congress has appropriated a total of $40 million for public projects without any "verifiable report" showing sustainable, tangible benefits. In the last five months, Congress appropriated $10 million for public projects.

Consult the President's veto message linked below for detail.



http://fsmpio.fm/Executive_Order/transmittal_letter/Public_Law_18-70/public_law_18_70.pdf

President Mori vetos bill to delay implementation of Telecom Liberalization Act

FSMIS (June 26, 2014): President Mori has vetoed Congressional Act 18-75 which seeks to delay the implementation of the Telecommunications Liberalization Act of 2014 to May 12, 2015.

Click the link below for the entire veto statement by President Mori.


http://fsmpio.fm/Executive_Order/transmittal_letter/veto/veto.pdf

FSM Department of Health and Socail Affairs launches Fruity Friday initiative


 
FSMH&SA (June 26, 2014): On Friday, May 30, 2014 the Department of Health & Social Affairs (H&SA) launched the “Fruity Friday” initiative.  Every Friday, each staff is encouraged to bring any sort of fruits to the office to be shared among the staff. This is a healthy initiative promoting the spirit of sharing that is good for office morale.  It is one of many that the Department of H&SA is taking toward promoting Healthy Lifestyle and at the same time protecting the welfare and maintaining high morale for department staff.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

No-Smoking zone within 150 feet of FSM Government facilities: PL 18-69


FSMIS (June 24, 2014): Federated States of Micronesia President Manny Mori signed into law on June 20th a legislation that prohibits smoking within 150 feet of all facilities owned by the FSM National Government.

Part of the new law reads, "smoking of tobacco products shall be prohibited on boats, ships, on other sea-faring vessels owned or leased by the National Government except in designated areas".

In his signing message, President Mori pointed out that the intention of the law is good, but there may by difficulties implementing it due to the 150 feet requirement.

The President stated, "many of our rented public buildings are built closely to sidewalks or roadways that lie within 150 feet". He also pointed out that some private rental places are closely next to public rental places. These situations pose a problem regarding the 150 feet distance.

"While I am signing this Act because of its obvious public health benefits, it is my hope that Congress will provide some guidance on its expectations of enforcement given the above issues."

This new law is the latest amendment to Title 41 of the Code of the FSM on Public Health, Safety and Welfare.

For further information, email fsmpio@mail.fm.                                         

FSM SBOC issues Internation and Interstate Movement report

FSMIS (June 24, 2014): The FSM Office of Statistics, Budget and Economic Management, Overseas Development Assistance, and Compact Management (SBOC) has released its publication on International and Interstate Movement.
 
Ms. Evelyn Adolph, Director of SBOC, explains at the beginning of the document:
 
"This report, formerly called International Visitor Arrivals and later International and Interstate Visitor Migration, has now been changed to International and Interstate Movements. This is to reflect the additional information not previously captured such as arrivals and departures of FSM citizens, and to properly denote the information presented. This expansion has been made possible by the improved immigration database system."
 
Mr. Mathew Chigiyal,, SBOC Assistant Director in charge of the Division of Statistics, also indicates that the report covers the period from 2008 to 2013. In terms of the data, Mr. Chigiyal says,
 

"The data in this publication are based on the declared information by all persons, FSM and non-FSM citizens, arriving into and departing from FSM and each of the states. This report provides information on the international and interstate migration for each state by year, month, purpose of visit & departure and citizenship."
 
The report shows that in 2013, there were a total of 42,109 non-FSM citizens visiting the country compared to 38,263 in 2012.
 
Of this number, 63.4% visited Pohnpei; Chuuk had 18.6%; Yap 13.3% and Kosrae 4.6%.
 
The availability of the report coincides with the recent upsurge in discussing the factors that impede the tourism sector in the FSM as well as the problems that are sustained by the largely fragmented transportation services.
 
 
 




 
 

Statement document from the Disaster Risk Management Conference

The first FSM-wide conference on disaster risks management and building community resilience ended on June 20th. The conference was held in Pohnpei.

Key disaster responders from all the FSM states and some community-based organization members attended the conference put together by the Office of Environment and Emergency Management with assistance from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, which administers the 10th EDP ACP EU Pacific project, and the International Organization for Migration.

The organizers have issued the Statement Document from the conference, which can be accessed through the link below.

http://fsmpio.fm/Speeches/statements/First_Annual_FSM_DRM_Platform_meeting_statement.pdf

Monday, June 23, 2014

United and Asia Pacific Airline agree on mail hub relocation to Chuuk


FSMIS (June 23, 2014): In a June 9th travel report, FSM Post Master General, Mrs. Ginder Porter Mida, briefed President Manny Mori on the newly launched contract between the United Airlines (United) and the Asia Pacific Airline (APA).

The new contract between United and APA  concerns an agreement that establishes the State of Chuuk in the Federated States of Micronesia as the new hub for mail coming in to the FSM through Guam.

PMG Mida indicated that the State of Pohnpei had been the mail hub for mails received through Guam. However, the decision to relocate the hub to Chuuk was taken "due to the greater volume of mail going to Chuuk". In this arrangement, APA will terminate its inbound mail delivery in Chuuk. United will then pick up from Chuuk mails bound for Pohnpei, Kosrae and the Marshall Islands.

PMG Mida said she had met with Governor Johnson Elimo, Chuuk State, to secure his support regarding the hub relocation and related concerns. She also discussed logistics matters with Mr. Anthony Mori, manager of United ground operations, and Mr. Kane Phailym, manager of Chuuk International Airport.

According to Mrs. Mida, the Matson Company has agreed to provide a forty-footer  standard container to be placed at the Chuuk Airport to secure outbound mail awaiting onward service by United.

The contract between United and APA was announced by Mr. Joshua Yoak, United's Global Mail Performance Manager at its Headquarters, during the annual meeting between the United States Postal Services and the Postal Services of the FSM, RMI and Palau held in Koror from May 19th to 22nd.   

For further information, call the FSM Postal Services Office at 320-2614 or email fsmpio@mail.fm.

Friday, June 20, 2014

FSM Government marks Men's Health Week with activities around Capital compound


The front pack of walkers on the main road through Palikir, heading toward the FSM Capital compound
FSMIS (June 20, 2014): Organized by the Non-communicable Disease Program crew at the FSM Department of Health and Social Affairs (DHSA), several employees of the FSM National Government offices in Palikir spent the afternoon of June 20th participating at the Men's Health Week highlight events.

Wehnsner David doing PB; Donna recording data; Selma waist-line and weight measurements..
Some staff members from the Office of the President, the Department of Health and Social Affairs, the Department of Justice, and the National Public Auditor and his staff gathered at the  Transnational Crime Unit backside ball-court where health personnel were conducting Body Mass Index (BMI) measurements and blood pressure reading. The data were recorded to allow tracking of improvement overtime. Individuals were encouraged to maintain their fitness programs. The health officials will be able to redo measurements upon requests for those who might wish to work on improving their BMI and other health indicators.

Mr. Pelep and Selma at height reading spot
DHSA Secretary, Dr. Vita A. Skilling, spoke to the crowd on the need for the FSM to take advantage of events like the Men's Health Week to boost personal health and strengthen all-around community health activities. Noticing the many women who came out in support of the day, Secretary Skilling praised the effort put together by the NCD Program staff and encouraged the facilitation of gender-inclusive wellness and health fitness activities throughout the year to sustain strong impacts for participants.

The Men's Health Week program also included a 3-mile loop fun-walk, nearly half of which was on the main road leading to the College of Micronesia-FSM Palikir Campus. The walkers were given environmentally-friendly shopping bags and custom-made water bottles at the end of the program.

According to Mr. Xner Luther, main coordinator of the activity, the event turnout was a huge step up compare to previous similar activities in terms of the response by other offices, especially the Public Auditor's Office.

One ONPA employee said that Mr. Haser Hainrick, the FSM Public Auditor, encouraged his staff through email to attend the funwalk and make use of the provided services. Mr. Hainrick joined the walk with his sizable coed team who provided competition at the funwalk.

For further information, email fsmpio@mail.fm.

FSM Disaster "managers" to harmonize risks management and enhance resilience and safety


Participants, facilitators and officials during the opening day of the week long Disaster Risk Management Conference at the Pohnpei State Governor's Conference Room in Kolonia, Pohnpei.
FSMIS (June 20, 2014): Enhancing Safety and Resilience from Disasters and Climate Change Risks is the overall focus of a week-long conference organized by the FSM Office of Environment and Emergency Management (OEEM) with support from the International Office of Migration (IOM) and the 10th EDF ACP EU project in the Pacific that is being managed by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).

The conference is attended by various representatives of the State Governments with disaster risks management-related roles, NGO's and other key personnel from Health, Education, Public Safety, Public Works, Statistics and Weather Services. It is part of a nation-wide effort to strengthen resilience to climate change and disaster impacts of all communities throughout the FSM after the adoption of the Nationwide Integrated Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Policy and the Climate Change Act 2013.

Held at the Pohnpei State Administration Building, the conference started on June 16th with a brief formal kickoff ceremony at which Governor John Ehsa of the State of Pohnpei welcomed all participants and expressed his and Pohnpei State's support for the conference. The kickoff was also attended by members of the Diplomatic Corp.

When opening the conference, FSM OEEM Director Andrew Yatilman thanked the participants from the States as well as the facilitators and stressed the need for active participation throughout the week. He also highlighted that he anticipated having this type of get together on a yearly basis to allow for broad review of joint action on interventions and activities called for by the conference.

The participants at the conference shared experiences in their disaster response efforts at the States and viewed how disaster management plans are done in other regions. The over-riding emphasis throughout the week was, "how can the FSM and the States be more coordinated in providing internal support to one another in response to disaster and in building community resilience" apart from mitigation assistance for disaster recovery or other climate stress assistance from partners.

The conference outcome would serve to harmonize system-wide response to disaster and put in place a framework for mainstreaming actions towards building community resilience in the face of increasing threat of climate change. Each State would have the opportunity to strengthen the framework of action based on peculiar needs and priorities in coordination with the National Government counterpart and other partners.

The conference is concluding today.

For more information, contact the Office of Environment and Emergency Management at 320-8814 or email oeemdir@gmail.com.

 

Bank of Guam Pohnpei Branch top officials pay courtesy call on President Mori


left to right: President Mori, Ms. Simmering, and Mr. Cruz
FSMIS (June 20, 2014): On June 18, Federated States of Micronesia President Manny Mori availed himself for a brief visit by two officials of the Bank of Guam, Pohnpei Branch.

Mr. Christopher  Cruz, BOG Pohnpei Branch manager, and Ms. Maria Simmering, who will replace Mr. Cruz in a few days time, called on President Mori as they proceeded with transitioning for the managerial role at the bank.

Mr. Cruz has been at the post for about two years and has been recalled back to Guam by the bank's headquarter.

Ms. Simmering has been the manager for the BOG Kosrae Branch and now shifted to a different location within the FSM.

President Mori expressed his appreciation to Mr. Cruz for his excellent service at the BOG Pohnpei Branch and wished him success as he moves on.

The President also welcomed the new manager and encouraged strong collaboration between the Bank and the FSM, especially in terms of private sector growth facilitation and consumer support in lending area.

Mr. Cruz thanked the President for his support to the Bank of Guam and spoke favorably on a number of initiatives pursued by the Mori Administration, especially the positioning of the Governments by putting in place the current 2023 Planning Committee mandate in preparation for the termination of Compact sector grants assistance from the United States in 2023.

In wrapping up the brief meeting, President Mori shared his view on how the FSM people would benefit from having one branch of the Bank of FSM situated in Guam.

While in Pohnpei, Mr. Cruz became an avid participant in the monthly fishing tournaments organized by the Pohnpei Fishing Club.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

FSM Telecom upgrades cellphone service; O3B interneting soon in Yap and Chuuk

FSMIS (June 18, 2014): The Telecom Corporation in the FSM has released information on its on-going cellphone service upgrade project.
 
According to FSMTC, engineers from ZTE and Acclinks are in Pohnpei since mid-May to help install FSMTC's 3G mobile data system network.
 
FSMTC's website reflects, "The 3G service will deliver broadband Internet speeds directly to customers 3G capable mobile devices. The service is currently scheduled for launch in Pohnpei in early July, just ahead of the 8th Micronesian Games. The Games will provide a unique opportunity for FSMTC to stress test the system and resolve any issues prior to deployment across the Federation. Service will be rolled out in Yap, Chuuk and Kosrae in the months following the games".
 
FSMTC is in the process of packaging competitive price plans to provide varying options for users to select suitable need-based packages.
 
The FSMTC has entered into five year agreements with the O3B to provide internet service for Yap and Chuuk using the company's satellite technology.
 
Various internet searches reveal that O3B stands for (The) "other 3 billion" people for whom internet connectivity for communications is essentially non-existent.
 
FSMTC believes that this agreement will allow for significant improvement for internet communications in Chuuk and Yap.
 
The FSM Government sees the O3B internet service as a short term solutions to outstanding internet problems in the states other than Pohnpei. The long-term objective for is to procure submarine fiber optic connectivity with O3B technology as a possible gap-filler in broadening services to hard-to-reach areas.  
 
"Pending the successful launch of the next four satellites on July 10, FSMTC aims to begin testing the new service in Yap by early August. Deployment of O3b service in Chuuk is currently scheduled for September. Customers in those states will be transparently migrated to the new service once testing is complete", FSMTC's website indicates.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Tobacco Control workshops seek harmonized control throughout the FSM


Workshop participants in group photo. Mrs. Shra Alik, FSM Tobacco Control Program coordinator, second from left in front row and WHO's Moadsiri third from right in front row.
FSMIS (June 2, 2014): During the week of the World No Tobacco Day of May 31, the Federated States of Micronesia Tobacco Control Program, with technical assistance from the World Health Organization (WHO), undertook a Tobacco Taxation and Tobacco Law Enforcement Workshop.

The FSM has been a party to the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) since March 2005.

A WHO FCTC Needs assessment on the implementation of the FCTC was conducted by the FSM Government and the Convention Secretariat from April to November 2012. This assessment included an initial analysis of the status, challenges and potential needs deriving from the FSM’s most recent implementation report, which drew from wide range of information involving departments, agencies and representatives of the State Governments.

The tobacco taxation workshop focused on matters relative to Article 6 of the Convention which covers price and tax measures as "effective and important means of reducing tobacco consumption by various segments of the population, in particular young persons". The article also stipulates that FSM "should take account of its national health objectives concerning tobacco control" through tax and price policies.

The tobacco law enforcement workshop focused on identifying ways to strengthen enforcement of the Pohnpei State Code on tobacco products.

The main facilitators at the workshop included Ms. Ada Moadsiri, the Tobacco Free Initiative focal point for the WHO Division of Pacific Technical Support in Suva, Fiji and Mr. Richard Moufa who is with the WHO Country Liaison Office in the FSM, which provides direct technical support to the FSM, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Bank of Guam spearheads finance and business conference in the FSM


Left to Right: Mr. Joe William, Acting-Executive Director, Pohpei Small Business Guarantee and Finance Corp., Mr. Ignacio Stephen, Vice President/COO FSM Development Bank, Mr. Antonio John, Vice President, Bank of FSM, Mr. Aren Palik, President and CEO, Pacific Islands Development Bank, and Mr. Christopher Cruz, Pohnpei Branch Manager, Bank of Guam.
FSMIS (June 12, 2014): President Manny Mori was the keynote speaker at the opening of the 2-day FSM Finance and Business Conference that is being held at the College of Micronesia-FSM National Campus starting this morning.

Spearheaded by the Bank of Guam as the main organizer and sponsor of the event, the conference brings together the financing institutions that impact the FSM economy as well as several business entrepreneurs, some local government agencies, foreign government representatives and programs, and others that play a role in business development and banking.

After a welcoming from the FSM Association of Chambers of Commerce, President Mori addressed the group of bankers, lending institutions, business community, and other relevant government officials, stressing the critical need to enhance collaboration as the FSM seeks to "jump start" a more viable economy.

President Mori touched briefly on his administration's efforts in the area of more targeted partnership with the private sector. For this, he thanked the Bank of Guam for taking the initiative to contribute to the efforts in terms of the conference. The President also pointed to the creation of the 2023 Planning Committee and the proposed Investment Development Fund as strategic efforts, among others, as FSM looks ahead to the termination of Compact sector grants in 2023.

The 2023 Planning Committee Secretariat, through Director Evelyn Adolph and Department of Resources and Development advisor, Mr. Roger Mori, provided further details to the President's remarks. Director Adolph highlighted that the 2023 Committee was tasked to recommend specific ways to address budgetary shortfall projected to occur after Compact sector grants are withdrawn. She said the FSM has got to expedite the strengthening of its economy and maximize potentials through infrastructure development projects that create jobs and revenues in the remaining nine years.

Mr. Roger Mori highlighted the familiar message that FSM must turn around the stifling business climate for both local and foreign investors to thrive more profitably. He also brought up some strides made in the direction of improving confidence in the enforcement of contracts and awareness of the court system to the need for dependable timetable in progressing business related cases.

Mr. Joseph P. Bradley, Senior Vice-President/Chief Economist for Bank of Guam made a presentation on "economic prospects for the FSM", which spurred exchanges of views and discussions from the audience. Mr. Bradley advised that the FSM needed to watch closely other regional events that have impacts on financial situation in the FSM. He reminded his audience of the saying in Guam that "when Tokyo sneezes, Guam gets a cold".

In the form of panel discussions, other topics were discussed by a wide range of authoritative panelists. Topics included: "Specific Bank Requirements for Business Financing"; "What can be done to stimulate Business Financing"; "United States Federal Government Lending Programs"; and "Foreign Government Assistance offered to the FSM".

Two more panel discussions will take place tomorrow before the conference wraps up.

The cadre of panelists for today included:

Mr. Ignacio Stephen, Senior Vice President/COO, FSM
       Development Bank
Mr. Aren Palik, President and CEO, Pacific Islands Development
       Bank
Mr. Antonio John, Vice President, Bank of the FSM
Mr. Christopher Cruz, Pohnpei Branch Manager, Bank of Guam
Mr. Joe William, Acting-Executive Director, Pohnpei Small 
       Business Guarantee and Finance Corp.  
Mr. Adelman Joseph, Trade Program manager, FSM Department of
       R&D
Ms. Anna Mendiola, President and CEO, FSM Development Bank
Mr. Kenneth Lujan, Branch Manager U.S. Small Business
       Administration (Guam)
Mrs. Melsihner Hadley, Acting Banking Commissioner, FSM
       Banking Board
Mr. Chris Kanazawa, State Director, Hawaii State Office, U.S. D.A.
Mr. Gary Bloom, Manager, U.S.D.A. Rural Development -- Pohnpei
H.E. Dr. Terry Beven, Ambassador, Australian Embassy
H.E. Masaki Sakai, Ambassador, Japan Embassy



For more information, call 320-2548 or email fsmpio@mail.fm.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Japan Ambassador Sakai takes up post in the Federated States of Micronesia


Ambassador Sakai, with lei, President Mori on his right and his spouse on the his left, along with other officials from FSM and Japan during the Presentation of Credentials at the President's Conference Room, Palikir.
At the Nation’s capitol, a newly appointed Japan Ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia, H.E. Masaki Sakai, presented the letter of recall for his predecessor and his letter of credence to President Manny Mori on Friday, May 30th at the President's Office.

President Mori welcomed Ambassador Sakai and congratulated him on his new assignment. He noted that the Ambassador has a strong background in fisheries and agriculture.

On this occasion, President Mori also stated his appreciation for the many support the Government of Japan has extended to the FSM in infrastructure improvement as well as other expert and technical assistants in the field of health, education, fisheries, and other. He also mentioned the "Kizuna" program as a vital element in the long relationship the counties have cherished, which got formalized in the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1988.

In responding, Ambassador Sakai thanked the President for the warm welcome extended to him and his wife since they arrived a week ago.

The Ambassador said he intended to work very hard with everyone in making sure the relations between Japan and the FSM remains strong. He also noted that the President is aware of his fisheries and agriculture background. And he concurred with the President that the Kizuna special relationship between Japan and the FSM is a core element that deepens diplomatic ties.

Ambassador Sakai replaces Ambassador Eiichi Suzuki whose assignment ended on May 15, 2014.

 
For more information, contact the Department at 320-2641 or email fsmpio@mail.fm.

 

FSM Congress allocates over $5 million for new public projects and withholds action on Investment Fund and others matters


FSMIS (June 11, 2014): The 4th Regular Session of the 18th FSM Congress concluded on May 31st with the following bills passed.

1. C.B. 18-65: This bill was submitted to Congress by the President to dissolve the FSM Coconut Development Authority (CDA) and integrate its functions  under the FSM Petroleum Corporations.

2. C.B. 18-107: This bill was introduced by Senator Joseph Urusemal in order to ban smoking within 150 feet near buildings owned and leased by the FSM National Government.

3. C.B. 18-136: This bill further amends Public Law No. 17-59, which has been previously amended seven times. The change in the law was made by Speaker Dohsis Halbert for the purpose of changing allottee to certain public project.

4. C.B. 18-138: This bill was introduced by Speaker Dohsis Halbert to further amend Public Law 17-36 in order to change the use and allottee of certain funds in a public project appropriation. This bill is the sixth change to said appropriation law.

5. C.B. 18-152: This bill further amends sections 1003 and 1015 of Title 37 of the FSM Code and creates new sections in order to clarify and establish an Insurance Board Revolving Fund for the regulation of captive insurance companies. The bill was a request from the Executive Branch.

6. C.B. 18-162: This bill was introduced by Senator Isaac Figir to create subaccount for the States in the FSM Trust Fund.

7. C.B. 18-163: Introduced by Floor Leader Singkoro Harper, this bill amends Public Law 18-35 to change use of certain funds for public projects in the Mortlocks region, Chuuk State. This is the third change to the specified law.

8. C.B. 18-164: The bill basically seeks to delay the effective date for the Telecommunication Act of 2014, moving implementation of the Act to May 12, 2015. Senator Wesley Simina introduced the bill.

9. C.B. 18-166: Introduced by Senator Victor Gouland, the bill includes a supplemental budget for Congress (Representation Fund) and a $1,000,000 subsidy for Our Airline service to Kosrae and Pohnpei. The subsidy was line item vetoed by the President. Congress overrode on May 31st.

10. C.B. 18-168: This bill changes the use for an amount of $18,000 in order to fund travel for nurses from Yap to attend the Asia-Pacific Nurse Leadership Conference in Honolulu. The bill was introduced by Senator Joseph Urusemal.

11. C.B. 18-169: Introduced by Senator Joseph Urusemal, the bill is for the purpose of changing the use of funds previously appropriated for public projects in Yap in Public Law 15-80.

12. C.B. 18-170: This bill appropriates an amount of $5.2 million for new public projects in all the States. Senator Tony Otto is the introducer.

13. C.B. 18-173: Introduced by Senator Yosiwo George, the bill changes the use of certain funds for public projects in Kosrae originally set in Public Law 18-05.

14. C.B. 18-174: The bill changes the use of funds previously appropriated in Public Law 17-68 for public projects in Kosrae. The bill was introduced by Senator Yosiwo George.

 There were other priority requests from the Executive Branch that were not acted upon by Congress. For instance, the President specifically asked Congress to "set aside" into a Investment Development Fund $15 million from domestic revenue. The President has been discussing with Congress the purpose of the Fund. In his latest "state of the Nation" address, President Mori also made mention of the need to create the Fund leading to 2023.

The President also asked for $5 million to be put into the FSM Trust Fund. According to the President, the FSM Trust Fund currently has around $21 million.

In a separate report, we will highlight other pivotal Congressional actions in terms of funding allocation and other policy-related decisions. This includes the decision to forgo action on the sunset clause of the Revenue Administration Act.

For questions, call 320-2548 or email fsmpio@mail.fm.                

 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

GEF Small Grants Programme funds Tamil Marine Conservation Area

By Sean Kadannged, Tamil Resources Conservation Trust

 
 
Photo Credit: Sean G Kadannged
“Signing of TRCT’s Project Declaration and Launching of Tamil MCA project on May 09, 2014”
Front Row (From Left to Right): Steven Mar (Tamil Municipal Chief), David Yow (Tamil Council Member and TRCT Vice-Chairman of Education and Awareness Sub-Committee), Peter Tharngan (President of Tamil Resources Conservation Trusts (TRCT)), John Mooteb (TRCT Advisor), John Kadannged (Chief of Maa’ Village), Patterson Shed (NC for GEF-SGP FSM), Christina Fillmed (GEF-SGP Steering Committee  Member and TRCT’s Local Partner EPA) , Dr. Margie Falanruw ( TRCT’s Resource and Advisor), Tom Fetan (Tamil Council Chairman and TRCT’s Advisor)
 
Back Row (From Left to Right): Stan Filefiney (Tamil Council Member), Cyril Pong (TRCT’s Vice-President), Nicholas Gamagag (TRCT Board Member), Henry Giltamag ( TRCT Board member), Vitus Foneg (Tamil Council Member, Chief of Bugol village and TRCT Chairman of Education and Awareness Sub-Committee), Raymond Pitmag (TRCT Secretary), Javez Mooteb (TRCT Chairman of Monitoring Sub-Committee), Jesse Faimau (Tamil Council Vice Chairman and TRCT’s Advisor), Paul Yarmad (TRCT Board Member,) Peter Ruechugrad (Tamil Council Advisor), Ivan E. Kadannged (TRCT Member) 
 
 
On May 9th, 2014 the Tamil Resources Conservation Trust (TRCT) was granted funding from the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme FSM in the amount of $50,000, and launched its first project. The 18 month project, “Tamil Marine Conservation Area with Tamil Resources Conservation Trust”, has a goal to sustain and increase fish abundance and marine biodiversity in Tamil’s near-shore marine area to contribute toward food security for the Municipality, neighboring communities, and Yap state in the years to come.

This project contributes to TRCT’s long term goal and efforts towards protecting and managing Tamil’s natural resources for the betterment of livelihoods today and for future generations of the Tamil municipality, Yap State, and Micronesia region.  The implementation of this project will include the following:

Activity 1: Effectively implement a Marine Conserved Area.  

Activity 2: Monitor and protect area from poachers by developing and implementing a system that integrates both modern surveillance and enforcement methods and Tamil’s traditional practices of resource management.

Activity 3: Conduct marine resource assessments within the area to track changes over time and to use                   the data to help drive management decisions.

Activity 4: Develop and conduct education and awareness outreach activities in the community and Yap State to increase project knowledge, importance, and support.

 
Tamil’s village Chiefs, Council and local partners such as Yap Community Action Program (YapCAP), Yap State Resources and Development (R&D), and other communities who manage or support MPAs are an important component to the success of this project. Both local partners and other regional partners, specifically The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) and Micronesia Conservation Trust (MCT), have been involved in the project design and are integral contributors to the success of TRCT today. Working together with partners has taught us and the Tamil municipality so much, which has greatly impacted the community’s perception towards our own environment, increased our knowledge about the condition of our environment, and emphasized the need and urgency to take the lead and manage our own natural resources effectively. Special recognition to TNC, PICRC, YapCAP, MCT and the GEF Small Grants Programme for their commitment towards TRCT’s Tamil MCA project’s implementation and success.

 

The Small Grants Programme, FSM is part of a global GEF funding modality initiative implemented by UNDP on behalf of GEF partnership to provide grants to FSM NGOs and community-based initiatives that works to mitigate threats to the environment, support sustainable community livelihood development and to build capacity of its grantees to be more effective.  The Programme is hosted by the UN Joint Presence Initiative office in country on Kaselehlie Street in Pohnpei.

 

2014 FORUM TRADE MINISTERS MEETING


The 2014 Forum Trade Ministers Meeting (FTMM) was held in Tarawa, Kiribati on May 28, 2014 with the theme “Leveraging Economic Growth Opportunities through Trade Promotion and Facilitation Reforms”.

The key trade and trade-related issues discussed by Trade Ministers included Pacific Trade in the global context, progress in PACER Plus negotiations, core trade promotion and facilitation initiatives such as the Pacific Aid for Trade Strategy, trade and culture, and protection of creative industries and indigenous knowledge products, and the Pacific Islands Trade & Invest (PT&I) network.

With regards to Pacific trade in the global context, Trade Ministers noted the importance of the changing global trade landscape and new emerging developments, and its impact on the region, including the need to strengthen the Pacific region’s beneficial integration into the international trading system. The Meeting discussed the need for the Pacific region to be proactive in addressing global challenges and to explore strategies to capitalize on the opportunities emanating from global trends.

Concerning PACER Plus negotiations, Trade Ministers were updated on the progress of negotiations between Forum Island Countries (FICs) and Australia and New Zealand and noted that, with the exception of Customs Procedures, all other priority issues in the negotiations remained outstanding and would be further discussed at the next inter-sessional meeting scheduled to take place in Adelaide, Australia in June 2014. It was also noted that New Zealand had tabled a proposal on Labor Mobility and Development Cooperation, which were worth considering to progress discussions on those issues. Labor Mobility and Development Cooperation are the two key offensive interests for FICs, including the FSM, in the negotiations.

Trade Ministers also discussed a possible trade and development arrangement between FICs and the United States. A study on this possible arrangement is being conducted by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, in several FICs, including the FSM, which has been scheduled for early August 2014.

With respect to the developments on trade and culture and protection of creative industries and indigenous knowledge products, Trade Ministers were provided an update of the work of the second phase of the Traditional Knowledge Action Plan, which was being undertaken in conjunction with World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO). The FSM was among the FICs that reaffirmed their interest to benefit from this second phase. 

Regarding PT&I network, Trade Ministers also considered the report on the review of the PT&I network, including possible actions identified for strengthening the PT&I network and broader private sector development work in the region delivered by PT&I. The FSM acknowledged the assistance received, in collaboration with the South Pacific Tourism Organization (SPTO), to undertake an e-marketing workshop for tourism providers in the FSM.

The 2014 FTMM was attended by Trade Ministers and Heads of Delegations from all Forum Member Countries, with the exception of Fiji. The FSM was represented by Mrs. Camille Movick-Inatio, Assistant Secretary for Trade and Investment, and Mr. Jean Bertrand Azapmo, National Trade Adviser under the Hub & Spokes Programme administered by the Commonwealth Secretariat. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

2014 YOUNG PROFESSIONALS PROGRAM (YPP) EXAMINATION


As a member of the United Nations, one of the benefits afforded to the world body’s membership is employment opportunities.  This year, the United Nations is looking for highly qualified candidates who are ready to launch a professional career as an international civil servant.  The young professionals program (YPP), a recruitment initiative that brings new talent to the United Nations through an annual entrance examination is now open to young professionals across the globe.

The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), which joined the United Nations in 1991, is among the 54 member countries of the Organization that are invited to participate in this year’s YPP examination.  These are countries that are un-represented, under-represented or are in danger of falling under-represented at the United Nations.  Since 1998, the FSM has only one national working as an international civil servant with the United Nations.

For the 2014 examination, there are six (6) job families or areas of interest that are being offered and they are as follows:
  •            Economic Affairs
  •         Human Rights
  •            Information Systems and Technology
  •            Photography
  •            Political Affairs
  •            Radio Production (only for Arabic/Chinese/Kiwahili/Russian/Spanish speakers)

 To be eligible to take the examination, an applicant must first meet the following requirements:

·                   Nationality: must be a Micronesian citizen or a citizen of one of the 54 member countries that are   invited to participate in the examination at the time of the application

·                 Age:  must be 32 years of age or younger (Date of birth: On or after 1 January 1982)

·                Education:  first-level university degree (bachelors) acceptable for each job family

·                Language:  fluency in English or French (working language of the United Nations)

·                Experience:  no experience required

 The date of the examination is 4 December 2014.  The application period begins from 14 June 2014 to 27 August 2014 (11:29 p.m. EST) through the United Nations careers Portal at http://careers.un.org.  The dates for application to the six (6) different Job families are staggered, and must be adhered to according to the following dates:

  • 14 June – 13 August:  Information Systems and Technology, and Political Affairs
  •   21 June – 20 August:  Economic Affairs and radio Producer (Arabic/Chinese/Kiswahili/Russian/Spanish)
  •   28 June – 27 August:  Human Rights, Library/Information Management, and Photography

 Throughout the application process it is important to note the following:  Any incomplete, incorrect (field of study) and/or late applications will NOT be considered.  And for those who have successfully submitted their application, he/she will receive by e-mail an acknowledgement receipt of their application number and all successful applicants will receive notification regarding their admission to the written examination.

As the examination will only be given out in the Capitals of the invited member countries, the examination for the Federated States of Micronesia will be held in Pohnpei.  The venue for the examination will shortly be announced by the Department of Foreign Affairs.  It must be pointed out, however, that the examination will only be administered in Pohnpei if at least 15 convoked examinees are available for that location.  Falling short of the minimum number, all convoked examinees will have to travel to the nearest testing center.

For those FSM citizens residing outside the FSM, and have been convoked to take the examination he/she can take the examination at the closest examination site in any one of the countries that have been invited to participate in the examination.  Other than these sites, the examination will also be administered at the United Nations Headquarters in New York; San Francisco, California and at the UN Regional Commissions located in Bangkok, Thailand; Addis Abba, Ethiopia; Geneva, Switzerland; Santiago, Chile and Beirut, Lebanon.

Examinees are fully responsible for any expenses related to their travel to the examination site.

The written examination overall time is 4.5 hours and consists of a Specialized Paper:  multiple choice questions, essays and short questions in the substantive area, and a General Paper:  Summary, to be written in either English or French.

For additional information on this year’s YPP examination, please visit the United Nations website at http://careers.un.org or the Permanent Mission of the Federated States of Micronesia website which is also linked to the aforementioned UN website.  You can also contact Mr. Carson Mongkeya at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Palikir at the following email at cmongkeya@mail.fm, or by calling phone number (691) 320-2613/641/544, or contact Mr. Jeem Lippwe at the Permanent Mission of the Federated States of Micronesia to the United Nations in New York at e-mail jeemer9er6@gmail.com or by calling (212) 697-8270/8271/8272.