Wednesday, May 22, 2013

2013 Joint Committee Meeting Mid-Year Review

FSM Dept. of Foreign Affairs (May 22, 2013): The Mid-Year Review meeting between the Federated States of Micronesia and the United States was held in Palikir, Pohnpei on May 15, 2013, on updated issues of mutual interest relating to Title III of the Compact of Free Association.
On behalf of Governor Ehsa and Pohnpei State, Lt. Governor Marcelo Peterson delivered a welcoming remark, followed by remarks delivered by FSM Ambassador to US Asterio Takesy and US Ambassador Doria Rosen. The proceedings of the meeting were facilitated by Assistant Secretary Ricky Cantero.
The meeting centered on the issues or action items implemented in the 2012 Joint Committee Meeting (JCM) held in Honolulu, Hawaii. Both sides exchanged views, comments and updates for information and discussed possible ways to move forward on the assigned action items. Among the many issues discussed, there were new security issues introduced in the discussion – cyber security and climate change. Given the threats posed by these security issues, the FSM delegation proposed them to be part of the JCM process. Another issue tabled by the FSM was U.S.veteran’s benefits. The FSM delegation shared concerns relating to FSM citizens who are veterans and are not accessible to full benefits. The US side responded by indicating that there were avenues available through the Embassy to get access to Veterans Affairs but the need for an organized veterans association in the FSM and as a “strong voice” from all FSM veterans residing in the FSM were possible ways forward. Both sides provided updates and brief overviews on the action items assigned and both were scheduled to provide a more comprehensive deliberation on the action items in the annual JCM in the latter part of the year.  A cocktail reception was hosted by Secretary Lorin Robert in honor of the occasion.
Heading the FSM Delegation was His Excellency Asterio Takesy, Ambassador to the United States along with Mr. Francis Itimai, Secretary of Transportation, Communications and Infrastructure, Ms. April Dawn Skilling, Secretary of Justice, Mr. Marcelo Peterson, Lt. Governor of Pohnpei State and various officials from the Office of SBOC, Departments of Justice and Foreign Affairs.
The US Delegation was headed by Her Excellency Ambassador Doria Rosen accompanied by Deputy Chief of Mission Miguel Ordonez, Mr. Dave DeLeo of PACOM, Mr. Roy Tsutsui of Joint Region Marianas and Ms. Lynn Pangelinan from the US Embassy.

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