Monday, June 3, 2013

President Mori’s fifth report on the state of the Federated States of Micronesia

FSMIS (June 3, 2013): When addressing Congress on the state of the Federated States of Micronesia on May 29, President Manny Mori began his 30-minute address by arching back to thirty years ago when the first FSM President, Tosiwo Nakayama, called for the formulation of a national foreign investment policy as part of building a private sector-led economy.
“Thirty years has been a long time to dream of economic prosperity -- a dream that has not yet been realized”, President Mori assessed before branding the desire of economic prosperity an “elusive goal” since 1987.
In front of Congress for his fifth State of the Nation report with only two years remaining for his administration, President Mori identified what the Nation needed to do to deepen progress, remove barriers, address challenges and cultivate opportunities.  
Stressing the need to move ahead together, President Mori said Micronesian unity among all sectors of society and government was a prerequisite to achieving the dream of self-sufficiency, needing to be carried out with the right mindset, dedicated to “making a nation of many islands”, as enshrined in the FSM Constitution.
“The nature of our loose federation has lent itself to significant challenges in implementing the nation’s development goals because we have too long been developing individual governments and not one nation of many islands.”
Besides a refreshed look at the concept of unity, the President also urged leaders to reconstruct their mind-frame and approach toward foreign development assistance and Compact assistance.
“…we need to prepare for and embrace a new era – one in which we build a nation that grows itself…we must adjust our current mindset to move beyond Compact assistance mode…we must ensure that we align all of our ODA (Overseas Development Assistance) with the Strategic Development Plan, which now needs  major overhaul to ensure its relevancy.”
In commenting on shared achievements, The President directed attention to on-going quality improvements and refining of Student Learning Outcomes by the College and the development of Facilities Master Plan at the States to impact student learning. In addition, the $30 million worth of Compact infrastructure implemented the last two years as part of more than $160 million worth of such projects approved since 2004 was also mentioned. Furthermore, the President noted that the captive insurance program, streaming in corporate income revenues, has been a growing engagement, garnering steady legislation and promotion support by Congress. The multi-sided development area in tuna commercial fisheries was another avenue of cooperation with expected additional gains to result from the Pacific Island Countries Multilateral Treaty on Fisheries beyond 2013 with the United States. However, the President noted the need to engage with the State governments for shore-side investments and other onshore value-added activities to maximize gains under this viable development sector.
President Mori also raised the FSM’s recognized leading role in maritime law enforcement. The protection of the vast maritime zones has had some positive dimensions, due in large part to its Patrol Boat Program with Australia and the Ship Rider Agreement with the U.S., with assistance from other Development Partners.
Also as another shared achievement, the concluded work of the Airline Task Force, exploring “complimentary air services for the benefit of (the) citizens and travelling public and to contribute to the development of (the) tourism industry” was pointed out as a collaborative exercise.
In visioning the future of the country, President Mori called for bold decisions in addressing challenges and capturing opportunities. He underscored “major constitutional challenges” in forms of conflicting mandates that often forestalled decisive actions; called upon governments and sectors of society to collaborate in addressing health and education issues as they greatly impacted standard of living; urged the remaining States to pass the enabling tax reform legislations to modernize tax system and facilitate a private sector-led growth; called on all nations to protect “Mother Earth” at the same time emphasizing FSM’s active role in climate change actions and the overall stewardship of its fragile environment; and rallied the support of the National Government in providing “more direct assistance” to the State Governments as a way of sharing the burdens that continue to hamper the delivery of basic services.
“I call on Congress to take favorable actions on the proposed legislative measures that I will be submitting, which include the Set Aside of funds; Reform of Legal Framework on Foreign Investment; adoption of the National Policy on ODA; Federal Programs Revolving Fund; and the convening of a Constitutional Convention.”
The President was joined by Vice President Alik L. Alik and members of the Cabinet. Lt. Governor Marcelo Peterson, members of the Diplomatic Corp, other National and Pohnpei State officials, and a number of interested citizens took advantage of the opportunity to witness the event at the Congress chamber.
The full text speech is at, fsmpio website.

No comments:

Post a Comment