Friday, February 28, 2014

Australia and FSM talk on the Pacific Patrol Boat program and Maritime Security Cooperation

FSM DFA (February 28, 2014): The Maritime Security Cooperation (MSC) Talks were held on Monday, 24 February 2014, between the Federated States of Micronesia and Australia at the Foreign Affairs conference room in Palikir.  The FSM delegation was headed by the Secretary of Foreign Affairs Lorin S. Robert, who welcomed the Australian delegation led by the Ambassador, His Excellency Terence Beven.  The Australian delegation included Mr. Stephen Broadbent, Director of New Zealand and Pacific International Policy Division, Defense Advisor of South West Pacific LTCOL Richard Watson, Policy Officer for Micronesia Ms. Emily Rossetti, Third Secretary and Vice Counsel Mr. Nikola Pejik of the Australian Embassy, Maritime Surveillance Adviser LCDR Timochi Koroi, and the Maritime Technical Adviser CPO Andrew Hamilton.  From the FSM side, Secretary Robert was joined by the Acting Secretary of Justice Mr. Leonito Bacalando Jr., and members of the National Police and Maritime Wing and representatives from the Department of Transportation, Communications, and Infrastructure.

 In welcoming the MSC participants, Secretary Robert thanked Australia for its ongoing commitment to the FSM and, in particular, for the Pacific Patrol Boat program.  He further highlighted that the patrol boats remain an extremely valuable assets to the nation.  Secretary Robert stated that “we cannot overemphasize its importance and its utility not only in ensuring maritime surveillance and law enforcement but also in addressing emergency relief operations, apprehending and preventing sea-borne security threats and delivering needed government services to outlying remote islands in the federation”.  In this connection, Secretary thanked the continued technical and financial assistance that Australia provides on an annual basis and those who are behind the scenes working hard to ensure that the whole program runs effectively and efficiently. 

Ambassador Beven, in his remarks, noted “how much pride both countries have in our Maritime Security Cooperation” amongst others, followed by additional comments from Director Broadbent, who welcomed FSM’s commitment to cooperative patrols with neighboring countries.  Director Broadbet expressed appreciation for the recent participation of the FSS Independence in the International Fleet Review in Sydney and emphasized Australia’s long-term commitment to regional maritime security through the Pacific Patrol Boat program and its replacement, the Pacific Maritime Security Program.

The dialogue ended with success and a clear direction on what to achieve for 2014 and the long-term plan for the Patrol Boats.  Before the meeting was adjourned, Secretary Robert extended an invitation to all the participants to a cocktail reception hosted in honor of another successful MSC.
For further information, call the Department at 320-2641 or email

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Top 10 travelers' choice islands in the world

For this year, the Tripadvisor has come out with its top ten best islands in the world according to travelers. Bora Bora in French Polynesia is in the top three, followed by Aitutaki (in the Cook Islands) in number 7, are the only Pacific Islands on the top-ten list.  

Among Pacific Islands, the following is the top-ten ranking:

1. Bora Bora, French Polynesia 
2. Aitutaki, Cook Islands
3. Moorea, French Polynesia 
4. Efate, Vanuatu
5. Rarotonga, Cook Islands
6. Waiheke Island, New Zealand
7. Norfolk Island, Australia
8. Taveuni Island, Fiji
9. Kangaroo Island, Australia
10. Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu

Having shown the above, it must be pointed out that FSMPIO has not ascertained if travellers to the Micronesian islands participated in the travelers' survey this year. However, one can not help noticing the obvious fact that none of the "travelers' destinations" in this part of the Pacific found its way onto the top-ten Pacific list, let alone the World listing.

I am once again reminded by this that Micronesia is the most expensive destination in the world. This fact alone might be a monstrous impediment for any of these islands to have a "fighting chance" in listing such as this. So many, including the airline folks, assert that there simply is no "market value" to drive travel cost down.  In other words, the essence and attraction in flying is non-existent here. Talk to the tourism operators and you get a different take.

Is it impossible to see the  reverse of the situation anytime soon? But then, again, "impossible is nothing" according to Adidas. How do we find the answer?

Mr. Wataru Aso commissioned as FSM Honorary Consul in Fukuoka, Japan

FSMIS (February 26, 2014): Federated States of Micronesia President Manny Mori authorized and issued the commission for Mr. Wataru Aso on February 21 to be the Honorary Consul of the FSM in Fukuoka, Japan in accordance with Article X of the FSM Constitution and Title 10 of the FSM Code.
The commissioning document specifies that the process has also been done in accordance with relevant provisions of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963.
Along with the issuance of the commission, relevant Japanese authorities are requested to "acknowledge and give credence" to the appointment so that Mr. Aso "may have the occasion to carry out his duties and functions" as Honorary Consul.
For further information, call the FSM Department of Foreign Affairs at 320-2641 or email

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

FSM National Olympic Committee preps for electoin of officers at annual meeting on March 10

FSMIS (February 25, 2014): The Federated States of Micronesia National Olympic Committee (FSMNOC) is scheduled to hold its annual meeting on March 10 at its new location, next to the Pohnpei Swimming Pool in Kolonia, Pohnpei.
According to Mr. Jim Tobin, FSMNOC Secretary General, the agenda for the meeting also covers the election of the President, Secretary General and Treasurer for the organization, among other items. 
The current president, Mr. Berney Martin, is opposed by Mr. Sterling Skilling of Kosrae and Mr. Cassidy Shoniber of Pohnpei.
Mr. Tobin, secretary general, and Ms. Pelma Palik, treasurer, are not opposed.
The eligible voters at the meeting include the four State Reps chosen by the respective State Governors, 2 officers of the 11 national sport federations in the FSM, and the FSM athletes who had competed at the World Olympic Games since Sydney 2000.
The FSMNOC is the official not-for-profit protector of the Olympic Movement within the FSM jurisdiction, acting directly under the International Olympic Committee in accordance with the Olympic Charter.  
At the heel of the FSMNOC meeting, the Micronesian Games Council will hold its meeting on March 11-12 also in Pohnpei. This council includes member representations from all the Micronesian entities that normally participate at the Micronesian Games, including the four FSM States, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam.
Is it not certain if all members will send representatives to this pre-Games meeting.

FSM's Lt. Commander David attends tuna "detectives" training by FFA and USP, Suva

FSMIS (February 25, 2014): The Federated States of Micronesia National Police Maritime Surveillance Unit Lieutenant Commander Kodak David is returning home today after attending the fifth Pacific Islands Fisheries Evidence and Investigation Training Course (FETIC) in Suva, Fiji.

The 2014 FETIC course was attended by twenty-two participants from member countries in the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), including the Cook Islands, FSM, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

According to an FFA news release, the FETIC 2014 trainers were FFA Legal Advisor Pio Manoa and FFA Surveillance Operation Officer Peter Graham, joined by staff of the School of Marine Studies at the University of the South Pacific (USP) in Suva. A Senior Crime Scene Investigator and staff from the Police Studies unit of the USP also provided training assistance.

FFA also reported:

The regional fisheries training course is competency based, building the required technical knowledge and expertise for Fisheries Inspectors, Investigators and Enforcement officers enabling them to work more effectively. The three-week study and training schedule helps them boost management of their national marine resources; identify offences in fisheries legislation; grow their understanding of evidence required for criminal prosecutions, and plan more effective investigations.

The FETIC training ended on February 21 and was made possible through funding contributions from Australia and the European Union funded DevFish II project.

In December 2013, the FSM Department of Justice selected Lt. Commander David as the 2013"employee of the year" for the department, earning the recognition award presented by President Manny Mori at the President's Conference Room on December 30.  

Information request on the FETIC training course can be directed to the FFA through its Media Officer, Ms. Lisa Williams-Lahari. Her email is  

Monday, February 24, 2014

Courtesy Call on President Mori by Konan City Mayor and his Delegation

Palikir, Pohnpei (Dept. of Foreign Affairs).  The Mayor of Konan City, the Honorable Motoshi Hori, headed a 19 member goodwill mission comprising of officials and private citizens to the FSM from 3-6 February 2014. The delegation visited Pohnpei to further strengthen the people to people relations (Kizuna) between FSM and Konan City. The visit was part of the 25th Anniversary of relations between the FSM and Japan which was celebrated in November of last year by the FSM Embassy in Tokyo. For background information, the establishment of the friendly relations between FSM and Konan City began during the Aichi International Hometown Interchange Hospitality Project through the World EXPO 2005 in Aichi Prefecture which former President Joseph J. Urusemal had attended. Mayor Motoshi Hori reciprocated the visit in 2006 where he met former President Urusemal and former Vice President Redley Killion. During that visit, both sides affirmed their desire to further strengthen their friendship in promoting kizuna for mutual benefits.A series of activities and exchanges at all levels followed inclusive of government officials and private citizens, youth and students. Konan City donated passenger buses to Pohnpei and Chuuk State, garbage trucks to Kosrae State. Sport equipments were also donated to the FSM.
During Mayor Hori’s call on President Mori, he greeted the President and thanked him for receiving him and his delegation. The Mayor touched on the special relationship between the FSM and Konan city and many activities between the two since the Aichi Expo in 2005 including the exchange students from COM-FSM to Konan, high level official visits to Japan and the 25th Anniversary celebration in November of last year which he attended. He continued by wishing Konan City and FSM to grow its relations for mutual benefits.
President Mori reciprocated by welcoming back Mayor Hori and his delegation on behalf of the FSM Government and its people. He commented Mayor Hori for always having strength and good spirit and credited his good nature to the excellent relationship and support that he maintained with the people of Konan City.  President Mori thanked the Mayor for maintaining and promoting goodwill between the FSM and Konan City making this mutually beneficial relationship a good showcase for the 25th Anniversary of the Diplomatic Relations between FSM and Japan. He again thanked Mayor Hori for all the assistance from Konan City to the FSM. It is a clear demonstration of the strengthening of our relations.
Also present at the courtesy were officials from the FSM Department of Foreign Affairs and FSM Public Information Office.

President Mori attends 70th Anniversary of Operation Hailstone in Chuuk State

FSMIS (February 24, 2014): On February 17, Federated States of Micronesia President Manny Mori joined the Leadership of Chuuk State, other dignitaries, residents and visitors at the Blue Lagoon Resort on Weno Island in commemorating the 70th anniversary year of Operation Hailstone.
Codenamed "operation hailstone", the aerial attack took place on February 17 -18, 1944 on the Japanese naval fleet and military establishment within the Chuuk Lagoon, mostly clustered to the Island of Tonoas, the urban center for the Japanese Administration. However, civilian casualties were also experienced on nearby islands such as Fefen, Uman, Weno, Etten, Parem and Tol.
The commemoration ceremony took place under the coordination from a working group formed by Governor Johnson Elimo, with much of the promotion and logistical arrangement facilitated by the Chuuk Visitor's Bureau.
Speaking on behalf of Governor Elimo, Mr. Tesime Kofot, Director of the Department of Marine Resources, welcomed the high-level dignitaries to the occasion and thanked them for joining at the event, including FSM President Mori, Ambassador of the United States Doria Rosen, Ambassador of Japan Eiichi Suzuki, Chuuk State House of Representative Speaker Inosenti Oneisom, FSM Secretary of Foreign Affairs Lorin Robert, and a few others.
During his remarks, President Mori asked that those victimized by the bombing be remembered in prayers, saying:
On this solemn occasion, and in their loving memory, let us remember and keep in our prayers all those who perished on this day 70 years ago; that their souls are at rest, and that there will never be another conflict in our part of the world; and that our islands and our people will never again be made innocent victims of foreign wars and conflicts.
He also commented on the importance of the remembrance ceremony.
As we reflect on the importance of this day, we all can agree that this gathering marks a ceremony that is truly for PEACE. For in coming together today, we are not commemorating a victory of war but the true victory achieved in retaining peace.
Speaking after the President, the United States Ambassador to the FSM, Madam Doria Rosen, also spoke on the sentiments underscored by the gathering.
70 years is a long time in the life of an individual, and there are few who personally remember the battle fought here in February 17, 1944. But that's all the more reasons for a remembrance ceremony like the one today. We must not forget history; and we must learn from that history. Those who died here were fighting for a cause they believed in. And they deserve to be remembered and honored.
Ambassador Rosen said the conflict was not Chuuk's battle, and that no one can change that historical course today. However, she said the FSM, United States and Japan can focus on mutual benefits moving into the future.
Japan Ambassador Eiichi Suzuki echoed the statements previously made by President Mori and Ambassador Rosen on how the United States and Japan have forged a very strong relations in spite of the countries' adversarial stance in the so called "Pacific Conflict". He said,
Today, Japan and the United States are close and allied countries.. Furthermore, both countries also have very friendly and strong relations- kizuna- with the FSM which also brings us together at the ceremony to commemorate and pay respect for those who have passed on.
Ambassador Suzuki also said that since the war, Japan created a democratic country that consistently walks the path of peace, and that it will commit to doing so moving into the future.
In concluding his statement, President Mori called for attention to the Chuuk Lagoon water itself, asking that its pristine quality be maintained and that it be treated as a "sacred place" in honor of those who died there as a result of the war. He also said that he would maintain his appeal regarding Chuuk Lagoon, saying, "I will continue to ask for the support and cooperation of our development partners and friends to help protect our Chuuk Lagoon from any catastrophic disaster".
Some of the Word War II sunken ships at various parts of the Lagoon still contain huge quantities of oil as revealed through various media and studies conducted by third party institutions.
The United States Navy Ship SODERMAN was in Chuuk during the time of the commemoration under the command of Lt. Commander Pinksdon.

For further information, call the Public Information Office at 320-2548 or email

Friday, February 21, 2014

Airport Terminal Facilities in all FSM States to receive $400,000 from FSM National Government


FSMIS (February 21, 2014): The Federated States of Micronesia 18th Congress passed an appropriation of $400,000 on January 30 "for the purpose of improving airport terminal facilities in the States of Kosrae, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Yap, and for other purposes".

The Congressional appropriation became FSM Public Law No. 18-42 on February 18 when Vice President Alik L. Alik signed the legislation on behalf of President Manny Mori.

The appropriation is apportioned four-ways with Chuuk State getting $125,000; Kosrae State $100,000; Yap State $100,000; and Pohnpei State $75,000.

Except for Pohnpei State, the Governors from the others States are the allottees for their State's share. The Pohnpei Port Authority is the allottee for Pohnpei State's.

The signing message says, "This act as the title suggests will improve the airport facilities in each State, which is a good capital project. It will also improve the services offered at those facilities for the convenience of the public".

The introducers of the legislation are Senator Wesley W. Simina and Senator Yosiwo P. George.

For further information, call FSM Information Office at 320-2548 or email

Spreading Awareness about Human Trafficking – A Global Concern

FSMDOJ (February 21, 2013): Almost a month after the FSM National Anti-Human Trafficking Day, the promotion of awareness within the community continues.
On Wednesday 5 February 2014, the Department of Justice delivered an information session on human trafficking at the College of Micronesia. As part of the Government's continuing efforts in the national campaign against human trafficking, the presenters included Secretary of Justice April Dawn M. Skilling, Acting Chief of National Police Johnny Santos, Acting Chief of Division of Immigration and Labor Ricky Falcam, Transnational Crime Unit Captain George Skilling and Contract Attorney Caroline Rugero. As over 60 college students and staff listened to and participated in the information session, it was highlighted that human trafficking is a serious crime that can happen not only in the FSM, but is also prevalent throughout the world. 
Reminders to FSM citizens to be cautious and alert continue following the preparation of a National Anti-Human Trafficking Action Plan last week. Human trafficking is a clandestine crime that goes largely undetected and is shockingly the second most profitable crime after drugs smuggling and illegal arms trading. Micronesians are reminded to be extra cautious of job offers that seem too good to be true and to find out as much information as possible before making a decision to move overseas or accepting a job offer. Upfront payments, lack of contract and requesting to keep a person's passport are some of the signs that the employer is not being honest about their representations. Deceit is the key weapon used by human traffickers to lure their victims, many of whom are young children and women,  who end up exploited as sex workers, cheap laborers or even have their organs removed and sold in the black market. Through education and by raising awareness within the community, citizens can help prevent human trafficking as well as help the authorities in prosecuting perpetrators.

Anyone who suspects someone is being trafficked is strongly encouraged to contact the national police on 691-320-2628/2058.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Moscow-Russia, the new market place for the National Aquaculture Center (NAC), Kosrae, FSM.

FSMR&D (February 20, 2014): After years of operating as a private business, the National Aquaculture Center in Kosrae has now reached a new market place, Moscow-Russia. On February 14, 2014, Martin Selch, the Manager of NAC has confirmed that a shipment of NAC's cultured giant clams (Tridacna maxima) commenced its first export to a "New Market Place Russia-Moscow". The shipment was carried by United Airlines via Honolulu to LAX then Zurich (Switzerland) to final destination Moscow, Russia. It was anticipated that the shipment would reach Moscow on the 17th of February after 50 hours of travel. Commenting on this achievement, NAC General Manager indicated that despite transportation constraints, which have  partly been addressed with concerted dialogue and efforts involving Kosrae State Government, the FSM National Government and United Airlines,  Mr. Selch believes that more is still to come. This is because Kosrae is one of the few places with most diversified ornamental fish species in the World; and NAC now has the technical expertise and know how to meet the challenge of shipping live animal, which will arrive in high quality, in any place in the World.
The New Market place broadens and diversifies the number of countries that NAC is now able to export to. In effect, despite the transportation issue, NAC has been very successful in exporting on a consistent basis to several countries, namely, the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, and most recently,  Russia.
NAC’s exports to major markets have contributed a lot in promoting and marketing not just ornamental fish from Kosrae in those places but more importantly, in exposing and making the FSM known to the rest of the World. Secretary Marion Henry,  FSM Department of Resources and Development, commended Martin and his staff for their persistent effort, adding that the “Sleeping Lady will now be known in Russia”; while Senator Peter Christian, former Secretary of the FSM Department of R&D, added, “through its exports, Martin is one of the 'Ambassadors of this Great Nation'".
NAC’s success story shows that the private sector, in particular the productive sector in the FSM, can achieve a lot through professionalism and dedication. It is also an indication that as the FSM prepares for 2023, the termination year for economic assistance from the United States under the amended Compact, enhanced Public-Private Dialogue  stands as a key strategy to spur economic development throughout the Nation.


For more information, please contact FSM Department of Resources and Development at telephone number 320-5133 or emial

Monday, February 17, 2014

Second FSM ship from Japan ODA completes bidding

In mid-January, two FSM officials, Mr. Carl Apis from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Mr. Leo Lokopwe from the Department of Transportation, Communication and Infrastructure, were in Japan to complete the contract for the construction of the ship to be donated to FSM under Japanese Official Development Assistance in support of the sea-transportation sector.

The link below is the full story as covered by the FSM Embassy in Tokyo.

For further inquiry, please email

Friday, February 14, 2014

President Mori shares with Congress Note Verbales from the Government of the Republic of Korea

FSMIS (February 14, 2014): On February 11, Federated States of Micronesia President Manny Mori shared with the FSM Congress information on the offer from the Government of the Republic of Korea under its International Cooperation Plan. 

"I present my compliments and wish to transmit the attached Note Verbales from the Government of the Republic of Korea regarding its International Cooperation Plan offered to the FSM. The planned assistance is in the amount of USD 300,000 to support and assist the FSM for a small passenger vessel or a small project within that limit." 

The President further explained that a specific project for the offer has not been fully identified. 

"Once a project is identified we will share a resolution requesting approval from Congress", he expressed in his letter to Speaker Dohsis Halbert. 

Tuna and Coconut: the "tuconomics" of Micronesian economy

photo from Lisa William-Lahari in Pacific-Journos
FSMIS (February 14, 2014): This week, two important gatherings take place in the Pacific region. One of them is wrapping up today in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia, comprising of delegates from member countries in the Asia and Pacific Coconut Community (APCC) for their 50th session. The other one is held in Noumea, New Caledonia, for the Pacific Islands News Agency (PINA) during which an attractive panel involving the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) discussed "Tunanomics".

During the APCC opening presentations, countries shared their varied experiences through which the "tree of life" -- the coconut palm -- has pillared economic boost and expanded into a viable revenue-generating industry.

For the PINA panel, speakers delved into the "fish story" for the islands. In this meeting, pacific journalists and media folks were told that the fishing industry in the Western and Central Pacific (this region includes Micronesia) is worth $6 billion a year according to the FFA Director. And that the island countries benefit out of this is around 8 to 15 percent.

photo from Sr. Erencia Saipwerik's facebook

The FSM has strong interest in both of these stories. As it was mentioned in the FSM Department of Resource and Development press release on the APCC meeting, the FSM is working on boosting its own coco industry. As a matter of fact, the FSM Petroleum Corporation has been involved in this project.

On the fisheries side, the FSM National Oceanic Resources Management Agency (NORMA), has been active in the Pacific-wide negotiations and interventions with countries and regions looking to the "Pacific waters" for fishing. There has been noticeable increase in FSM's fisheries revenues in very recent years, bending upward from an annual yield of around $16 million to around $24 million.

During the APCC meeting, the FSM Coconut Development Authority (CDA) shared some of its challenges that have seriously hampered development in the coconut sector -- challenges worsened by the breakdown of effective inter-island ship transport within all the States in FSM. For this reason, production has been low and the volume of coco-based products are only enough for the local market in Pohnpei.

CDA is to coco industry as NORMA is to ocean industry. Both have the potential to take the FSM on respectable development plateau.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Ping Da 7: Oil pumping and storage on February 13, 2014

On February 13, through transportation assistance from the FSM Maritime Police, the FSM Information Office was able to get out to the reef where the stranded Chinese fishing-related vessel sits for over two months. The video clip shows workers with the Adams Brothers Company pumping and transferring oil from the ship to a barge. This is part of addressing the problem of oil leak from the ship reported a few weeks past. According to recent reports from Pohnpei State, the leak has stopped after the company emptied one of the tanks on the ship believed to have been the leaking source. The pumping activity has gone on for about 5 days. According to one of the operators on the barge, around 19 thousand gallons of IFO oil have been put in drums and stored on the barge, about half a mile away from the ship. Meanwhile, the Taskforce for the Ping Da 7 ordeal met yesterday and will meet again tomorrow to continue considerations on the salvaging part of the operation. It has been ascertained that no local company has the capacity to get the massive structure off the reef. And, it has also been reported that officials of the Titan Salvage Company, a marine salvage wreck removal company with offices in the US, Unted Kingdom, Australia, and Singapore, has taken a look at the ship... More report soon on other aspects of the situation.

Ambassador Takesy Presents Credentials to Israeli President Shimon Peres

A new page in the diplomatic history of the relations between the Federated States of Micronesia and the State of Israel was turned on 03 February 2014 at noon (Jerusalem Time) when Mr. Asterio R Takesy, resident in Washington DC as FSM Ambassador to the US, presented his letter of credence to Israeli President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem to formalize his cross-accreditation as FSM Ambassador to Israel.  Concurrently Ambassador Takesy presented the letter of recall of his immediate predecessor, Ambassador Yosiwo P George, who has been elected to FSM Congress to represent the State of Kosrae.

 Paying respect to President Peres as Israel’s head of state, Takesy prefaced the standard diplomatic statement of presenting credentials with a Micronesian traditional phrase of paying tribute normally accorded to high-level leaders: “Tirow wom Fau-pung Hamwol.”  (In the Chuukese language, the phrase symbolizes a leader as a Rock situated on a barrier reef that remains standing calm and steadfast in upholding the best interest of the people in the midst of pounding waves).

The State of Israel is the first country in the Middle East region that extended diplomatic recognition to the then newly emerging Federated States of Micronesia. Israel is one of the first foreign countries to establish full diplomatic relations with the FSM at a time when the newly born nation was embarking on the difficult task of establishing itself in the international community.

During the Presentation of Credentials ceremony at the Israel official Presidential Residence, President Peres welcomed Ambassador Takesy to Israel and bid him to “feel like a friend amongst friends,” adding that Israel is grateful for FSM’s consistent support at the UN, “a small land, but a great friend.” He went on to say, “You stood day after day and year after year on our side and we are grateful for your position.”   Noting that the two countries are “oceans apart” in terms of geographical distances, President Peres remarked that the people of Israel are nonetheless grateful for the friendship extended by the people of Micronesia.  He stated that Israel would like to reciprocate in anyway it can, drawing on national capability as well as scientific and technological discoveries to improve the lives of the people of the FSM, notably through the areas of agriculture, and aquaculture.  In fact, these along with others have been identified as possible areas of cooperation between the two countries, with the desirability being expressed on both sides for the formulation of a Blueprint for Cooperation.

For his part, after expressing his gratitude to President Peres for accepting his credentials, Ambassador Takesy conveyed President Mori’s warm greetings and best wishes to President Peres for his continued good health and prosperity of the people of Israel.  He also expressed President Mori’s commitment to the support of Israel and his desire for visiting Israel again, to further strengthen the relations between the peoples and governments of the two countries.  Ambassador Takesy added,  “our friendship with Israel is no accident of history – its source is to be found, in part, in our shared belief in the Judeo-Christian values and in part in the preamble of our FSM Constitution, which states in relevant part – ‘The seas bring us together, they do not separate us… We extend to all nations what we seek from each: peace, friendship, cooperation, and love in our common humanity.’”

Recalling the pleasure of being honored by the visit of President Mori in 2010, President Peres extended a welcome to President Mori to visit Israel again to augment the shared vision of friendly relations between the FSM and Israel.  Officials of the two governments have commenced exploring possible dates for the visit.

Apart from the Presentation of Credentials ceremony, Ambassador Takesy, who was accompanied by Deputy Chief of Mission James A Naich as his staff-advisor, undertook visits to agricultural sites as well as meetings with officials of the Foreign Ministry, such as the Deputy Foreign Minister, non-resident ambassador to FSM Ambassador Michael Ronnen, Director of the Pacific Affairs Department, and Director of the Policy Planning Division of the Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV).  He took time to meet with members of the Israel Knesset (Parliament), including Vice Speaker M.K. Ruther Calderone, K.M. Isaac Herzog, Leader of the Opposition (whose father was the only Israeli Prime Minister who visited the Pacific region), and M.K. Shimon Ohayon, Chairman of the Israel-FSM Parliamentary Friendship League, including FSM supporters in the Israel community at large.  Before leaving Israel, Ambassador Takesy also underwent a program of cultural orientation organized by the Office of Protocol to acquaint him to the rich history and culture of Israel and its people.

For inquiry, call the Department at 320-2641 or email

The 7th National Trade Facilitation Committee Meeting adopts priority actions to increase production, export, and enhance investment climate in the FSM and with partners.

FSMRD (February 13, 2014): The 7th National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC) meeting, which was held on January 20-21, 2014, at the Tuna Commission Annex Building in Kolonia, Pohnpei, concluded on January 21 with several recommendations on enhancing production, export, and the investment climate in the FSM. Other decisions targeted trade and economic cooperation and integration between the FSM, the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) and the Republic of Palau, and ongoing negotiations for the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

On the implementation of the recommendations arising from the May 2013 FSM Investment Facilitation Symposium, the 7th NTFC Meeting noted the work undertaken by the FSM Department of R&D, including the meeting with the Chief Justices in the FSM on December 19, 2013,  to sensitize them to  areas where the judicial system has bearing on the enhancement of investor-protection in the FSM. The meeting also facilitated discussions on how the Judiciary and the Executive Branches could work together to implement specific recommendations resulting from the Symposium.

The NTFC recommended that the FSM Department of R&D pursue ongoing dialogue, and follow-up with various Technical Assistance Requests submitted to the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank to review and harmonize investment laws and undertake a survey of highly skilled FSM entrepreneurs residing overseas. In addition, the NTFC urged the National Government and Pohnpei State Government to examine all the options available to resolve the issue that led to the suspension of Pohnpei Small Business Development Centre’s activities, considering the role the Centre is expected to play in enhancing financial literacy within the private sector.

Progress with respect to the Draft FSM Investment Guide was highlighted, including consultations undertaken with the States and various national agencies. The NTFC recommended that the result of the SWOT analysis conducted by participants be used to update the Draft Investment Guide; and that the revised document is shared with States for comments by February 14, 2014. In order to ensure that all stakeholders are given the opportunity to comment on the investment guide, the NTFC urged States to convene a meeting of their respective State Trade Facilitation Committee to discuss the revised Draft FSM Investment Guide before submitting their comments to the FSM Department of R&D.

NTFC Meeting participants generally expressed positive feedbacks on the trade fairs initiated in all the States and recommended that training of producers be emphasized in 2014. The Meeting urged the FSM Department of R&D to work with States’ Export Hero Teams to collect and share success stories in business through various media. The NTFC also urged States’ Export Hero Teams to work with the State Trade Facilitation Committees to produce a comprehensive list of producers that can be used in identifying needs and providing support.

Participants to the 7th NTFC were also briefed on the legal framework to enhance trade and economic cooperation and integration among the FSM, RMI and Palau. It was recommended that further State-National consultation be undertaken immediately after a revised  Draft Treaty with RMI and Palau is available.

Regarding the EPA negotiations, participants learned that the negotiations are contingent upon the need for the Pacific Region parties to be clear on the European Commission's position on key outstanding issues. The NTFC mandated the FSM Department of R&D to work with the relevant NTFC Subcommittee to finalize FSM’s negotiating positions, stressing the need for extreme cautions on fisheries issues.

The 7th NTFC Meeting was opened by FSM Vice President Alik L. Alik, Chairman of the NTFC. The deliberations were attended by Senator Jerry Fogolimul, Yap State Legislature, Dr. Rufino Mauricio, Secretary, FSM Department of Education, Mr. Lorin Robert, Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Marion Henry, Secretary, Department of Resources and Development, Mr. Francis Itimai, Secretary, Department of Transportation, Communication and Infrastructure, Mr. Patrick Mackenzie, Executive Director, National Oceanic Resources Management Authority (NORMA), Mr. Wilson Waguk, Commissioner, FSM Banking Board, Mr. Moses Nelson, Executive Director, Micronesian Shipping Commission, Ms. Anna Mendiola, President/CEO of the FSM Development Bank, representatives from the State and National Governments, Private Sector and relevant Non Government Organizations (NGO).

For more information on the 7th NTFC Meeting, please contact the Department of Resources and Development at telephone number (691) 320-5133.

Association of MCH Programs holds annual conference: Affordable Care Act impacts MCH Program in Micronesia

Note: FSMIS expresses appreciation to Dr. Yomai, Child Health Physician for the FSM Dept. of Health and social Affairs, for providing the trip report that forms the news release below.

FSMIS (February 13, 2014): The Association of Maternal and Child Health Program (AMCHP) works to improve the health of women, children, youths and families at both the state and national levels. Every year, AMCHP assembles partners and service providers for Maternal and Child Health Program from across the Continental United States and its affiliated countries in the Pacific Rim. This is a once-a-year opportunity to come together and learn new skills, hear about new development in our field of work, and gather tools and information that will benefit our daily work in each of our respective country settings. With circumstances and issues during this era of economic challenge and health system change, 2014 is a year that can overwhelm and energize or incapacitate and motivate us in terms of “budget cut and reform”.
This year, the AMCHP annual conference co-located with the annual meetings for the National Birth Defects Prevention Network (NBDPN), the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), the Leadership Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH), and the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities Programs (LEND). Included in the activities of this conference, AMCHP offered both professional coaching and job fair. These additional activities were made to give members the opportunities to explore other career development opportunities and a reflection on one’s career path and consider change one may desire.
FSM participants at this conference attended sessions that are relevant to their line of works, seizing the opportunity to meet with pacific island participants, consultants from National Safety Network and the Center for Disease Prevention and Control.  Almost all of the participants from the Freely Associated States commonly shared that there is no clearly defined, independent program specifically mandated for “child protection” in their jurisdictions. They showed, however, that child protection activities are being addressed and carried out under other related program such as MCH, Immunization, CSHCN, and others. FSM participants also spoke on the same challenging issues regarding child injury and safety.
A lunch meeting was set up for the attending members of Region IX to meet with Dr. Micheal Lu, Associate Director of Maternal and Child Health Bureau, to discuss details regarding the “Affordable Care Act” and its consequences on the Freely Associated States. In general, the Affordable Care Act  resulted in budget-cut to the overall MCH Block Grant. Given the deep cuts, some grants have been created outside the MCH Block Grant to supplement MCH programs and activities. However,  the Freely Associated States are not eligible for the use of these “new grants”. Dr. Lu spoke about the limitations and constraints imposed upon the program. In this regard, he expressed his commitment to work on ensuring that other funding grants can have some flexibility to accommodate the needs of the MCH programs throughout the FAS to maintain continuity of care.
The conference took place on January 23 to 30, 2014 in Washington D.C.
Participants from the FSM included Dr. Anamaria Akapito Yomai, Child Health Physician for the FSM Department of Health and Social Affairs. Dr. Yomai is stationed at the Chuuk Public Health,  Chuuk State Department of Health Services; Mr. Dionis Saimon, Chief of Family Health Programs, based at the FSM Dept. of Health Office in Palikir; and Mr. Stanley Mickey, assistant to Mr. Dionis and also the Family Planning Coordinator, based at the FSM Dept. of Health Palikir Office.

For inquiry, call the Department at 320-2619 or email or


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

50th APCC opens in Pohnpei, FSM: silver anniversary of the association timely as the FSM looks to jump start its coco industry

Delegates to the APCC 50th Session pose for a group photo at the COM-FSM Gym, along with Pohnpei Govern John Ehsa, FSM Vice President Alik L. Alik, Secretary Marion Henry, members of the late Namio Nanpei's family, Fr. Ken Urumolog S.J., and other key staff for the meeting on February 11.

The press release for the meeting is linked below for details.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Asia and Pacific Coconut Community members come together in Pohnpei

FSMIS (January 11, 2014): The Federated States of Micronesia National Government Department of Resources and Development (FSMRD) and the FSM Coconut Development Authority (CDA) have been busy the past weeks preparing for the hosting of the 50th Ministerial meeting of the Asia and Pacific Coconut Community (APCC) in Pohnpei. The meeting has started today and it will go on until February 14.

A press release from the FSMRD is expected to go public tomorrow, showing some highlights of the gathering.

The meeting is being held at the FSM-China Friendship Auditorium, the gymnasium at the College of Micronesia-FSM National Campus.

FSMRD Staff (Bert Azapmo, W3 Willinader (hidden), Adelman Joseph and Assistant Secretary Alissa Takesy, minutes before the opening of the meeting at the COM-FSM Gym.

(L-R) Mr. Uron N. Salum, APCC Executive Director; FSM Vice President Alik L. Alik; FSM Secretary of Resources and Development, Mr. Marion Henry.

The APCC Secretariat is based in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Diverse investment potential in the FSM: A mixed Japanese contingent makes courtesy call on President Mori

FSMIS (February 11, 2014): Visiting the Federated States of Micronesia President Manny Mori on February 3 was a group from Japan escorted by Ambassador Eiichi Suzuki, former FSM Ambassador to Japan Kasio Mida, along with the former Ambassador of Japan to the FSM, Shoji Sato.
President Mori welcomed his high-powered visitors to the FSM and expressed his gratitude to them for making the long trip, and in particular for calling on him at his office.

This group of mixed constituents arrived at the FSM Capitol to greet the President and apprise him of their various investment interests in the  FSM, which include areas in business, education and entertainment.

In terms of education, there was a demonstration of interest in providing opportunities for College of Micronesia-FSM students to be able to expand their academic horizon in Japan.

One member of the group, who is the President of the Association for the Promotion of International Cooperation(APIC), added a business perspective to the discussions, highlighting the potentials for business investments in the FSM States.

A graphic artist from the Japan entertainment industry expressed interest in producing a documentary film to be based on the life of the copra trader Mori Koben who settled in Chuuk in the early 1900s. Mori Koben's decendants mostly live in Chuuk but have spread throughout the FSM and abroad. FSM President Mori is one of Koben’s great grandchildren.

Given his tenure in the FSM, Ambassador Shoji Sato, who is Ambassador Eiichi's immediate predecessor in the FSM, spoke of his awareness of certain difficult challenges in the State of Chuuk and discussed potential investment opportunities for Chuuk State.

President Mori noted with pleasure the various interests as expressed by the group and welcomed their desire to invest in the FSM in various areas, including education.

Through coordination from the Micronesia Registration Advisors, Inc., President Mori joined the visitors the next day on a boat tour to provide time for friendly discussions in exploring areas of mutual interests between the groups and the FSM.  

For further information, contact the FSM Public Information Office at 320-2548 or email

Friday, February 7, 2014

President Mori waives requirement for bidding process for road construction in Nett, Pohnpei

FSMIS (February 7, 2014): The Federated States of Micronesia Financial Management Act requires that construction projects exceeding $20,000 be open for competitive bidding.

FSM President Manny Mori waived this requirement on February 5 to allow for the Pohnpei Transportation Authority to undertake the $33,000 Kahmar Road construction project in Nett, Pohnpei without any competitive bidding.

The Kahmar road "poses road hazards to both motorists and pedestrians", according to the waiver document, requiring urgent repair work.

The road has been assessed and is ready for construction.

The appropriated funds have also been allotted to allow for the procurement of materials.

The Pohnpei Transportation Authority has the necessary road construction materials and equipments for road paving to be able to mobilize the project right away.

Congressional Resolution 18-127 restricts amount and source of funds for the State of Emergency of January 22, 2014

FSMIS (February 7, 2014): The Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia, through Congressional Resolution No. 18-127, which was adopted on January 31, 2014, decided that funds not requiring congressional appropriation for the State of Emergency declared by President Manny Mori on January 22, and amended on January 31, must not exceed $250,000. Additionally, this amount could only come from already appropriated operation budget for the Executive Branch. In specific, the resolution states:

"BE IT RESOLVED that the Declaration of Emergency of January 22, 2014 is hereby amended by adding a new sentence at the end of the declaration to read as follows: "During the period of emergency, the President is authorized to decree for emergency relief purposes a maximum of $250,000 without congressional appropriation. The source of such decreed funds shall be funds previously appropriated for the operation of the Executive branch."

Part of the resolution also states that "under article X section 8(c) of the Constitution of the Federated States of Micronesia, Congress has the authority to convene to consider revocation, amendment and extension of the declaration of emergency".

However, around the same time that the resolution was adopted, Congress also inserted among other items an amount of $2 million into the supplemental budget for the National Government that is currently under review by the President. This funding has not become law and therefore can not be accessed.

Hence, until the supplemental budget becomes law, and assuming the $2 million will be part of that law, the only feasible funding source the President can tap into for emergency relief purposes at this point is the operation budget for the Executive branch. When and if this should happen, it must not exceed $250,000.

For further information, call 320-2548 or email   

Resolutions adopted by the 18th FSM Congress during its 3rd Regular Session

FSMIS (February 7, 2014): The 18th Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia, during its Third Regular Session from January 10 - 29, 2014, adopted the following resolutions. Most of the copies of the resolutions were received at the FSM Information Office on February 6 for record keeping and other public use. A table of the resolutions is presented below.


Resolution 18-76

Approving and accepting a grant in the amount of 1,110,000,000 ($11,240511) from the Japanese Government, to fund the improvement of domestic shipping services.

Resolution 18-86

Approving and accepting a grant in the amount of $80,022 from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community to fund the FSM’s household income and expenditure survey.

Resolution 18-105

Approving and accepting a grant in the amount of $4,400 from the International Information and Networking Center for intangible cultural heritage in the Asia-Pacific region, to fund the intangible cultural heritage safeguarding efforts project, including all the terms and conditions of the assistance.

Resolution 18-106

Approving and accepting a grant in the amount of $5,000 from the International Information and Networking Center for intangible cultural heritage in the Asia-Pacific region, to fund the joint publication project, including all the terms and conditions of the assistance.

Resolution 18-107

Approving and accepting a grant in the amount of $7,000 from the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, to fund the Pohnpei and Kosrae State Historic Preservation Offices, including all the terms and conditions of the assistance.

Resolution 18-109

Expressing the sadness and condolences of the Eighteenth Congress of the FSM at the passing of the Honorable Ritis K. Heldart, Lieutenant Governor of Chuuk State.

Resolution 18-113

Expressing the sincere sadness and condolences to the family of Pastor Edmund Kalau at his passing.

Resolution 18-111

Expressing the sincere condolences and sadness to the government and citizens of the state of Israel at the passing of its former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Resolution 18-115

Approving a grant proposal in the amount of $100,000 to fund the FSM Environmental Health Program, and its submission to the global network for neglected tropical diseases.

Resolution 18-117

Approving a grant in the amount of $95,516 from the U.S. Department of Interior National Park Service, to fund the historic preservation program in the state of Kosrae.

Resolution 18-118

Approving a grant in the amount of $96,516 from the U.S. Department of Interior National Park Service, to fund the historic preservation program in the state of Yap.

Resolution 18-122

Approving and accepting a grant in the amount of $357,642 from the department of Health and Human Services Centers for disease control and prevention nation center for HIV/AIDS, Viral hepatitis, STDS and TB prevention, to fund the FSM communicable disease program, including all the terms and conditions of the assistance.

Resolution 18-123

Approving and accepting a grant in the amount of $1,157,873 from the United States Department of Health and Human services centers for disease control and prevention national center for immunization and respiratory disease, to fund the FSM immunization and vaccines for children program and grant year 2014, including all the terms and conditions of the assistance.

Resolution 18-124

Expressing the profound appreciation of the 18th Congress of the FSM to the Hon. Bethwel Henry, the first elected speaker of the 1st Congress of the FSM for his dedication and public services to his country.

Resolution 18-125

Approving and accepting a grant in the amount of $16,070 from the United States Dept. of Health and Human Services Centers for disease control and prevention, to fund the FSM Epidemiology and laboratory capacity for infectious diseases project, including all the terms and conditions of the assistance.

Resolution 18-126

Extending the Third Regular Session of the Eighteenth Congress of the FSM to February 1, 2014.

Resolution 18-127

Amending the presidential declaration of the state of emergency dated January 22, 2014.

Resolution 18-128

Requesting the speaker of the 18th Congress of the FSM to call for a special session of the 18th Congress starting in March 2014.

Resolution 18-129

Expressing the profound gratitude and appreciation of the 18th Congress of the FSM to his Excellency Leo A. Falcam, former President of the FSM.

The main text of the resolutions can be found on Hard copies can be provided by requesting to the FSM Public Information Office.

For further information, call 320-2548 or email