Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Mexican Ambassador Camarena-Villasenor presents credentials to President Mori

On August 25, 2014, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) President Manny Mori received Mr. Julio Camarena-Villasenor who presented his Letters of Credence from President Enrique Pena Nieto accrediting him as Ambassador of the United Mexican States to the FSM.

President Mori welcomed Ambassador Camarena-Villasenor to the FSM and expressed his appreciation for the shared interest in keeping a strong relationship between the FSM and the Mexican States.

Ambassador Camarena-Villasenor thanked President Mori for accepting him and expressed his country’s readiness to connect FSM and Mexico together in diverse ways that will further solidify diplomatic ties between the two nations.  

Among an array of interests discussed, the Ambassador highlighted Mexico’s willingness to waive visa requirements for FSM citizens traveling to Mexico as a way of deepening interactions. President Mori welcomed this prospect and said the FSM should reciprocate this offer.

The two officials also touched upon Mexico’s experience of economic success with the Ambassador sharing insights on his country’s interest in boosting air transportation services to the Asian region through Micronesia to maintain strengths in its tourism sector.

President Mori pointed out that air transportation has been an outstanding challenge for his country, which can catalyze economic growth once resolved. In this connection, he encouraged collaboration to make this interest an eventual reality with benefits for both partners.

Ambassador Camarena-Villasenor also spoke of education opportunities for FSM college students, which will require the knowledge of Spanish language. He also offered as an option training of FSM young professionals in foreign services as well as training opportunities in agriculture and tourism trades.

In concluding the ceremony, President Mori asked the Ambassador to convey his regards to President Enrique Pena Nieto and said the FSM will continue to collaborate with Mexico in the international arena. He also stressed his desire for Mexico to partner strongly with the FSM in climate change matters as the most critical and urgent challenge of modern times.

The Ambassador had served as the Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs for Management, Budget and Legal Affairs. He had been a professor in Political Science and International Law at the International University of Mexico. Aside from speaking Spanish and English, the Ambassador also speaks French and Italian. The new appointed Ambassador replaced Tomas Javier Calvillo Unna who served the FSM since January 2012. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sophia University and other Japanese officials call on President Mori

On August 21, 2014, a five-member delegation from Japan, consisting of officials from Sophia University as well as distinguished members of the Japanese Association for the Promotion of International Cooperation (APIC) visited the Federated States of Micronesia President Manny Mori in Palikir. 

President Mori welcomed the delegation and expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to meet with them and discuss matters of mutual interest and benefit in the education sector. 

President Mori acknowledged Japan’s increasing investment in the FSM with potential impacts in stimulating the economy and welcomed the new collaboration in the  education sector. The President also spoke of his interest to visit Sophia University in response to its invitation for the President to speak at the University and to receive an honorary doctorate degree during his trip to Japan later  in November. 

Mr. Takashi Hayashita, President of Sophia University, thanked President Mori for receiving the delegation and his support for the university’s initiative to establish a new collaborative relationship with the College of Micronesia-FSM (COM-FSM). He then  confirmed the university’s plan  to confer an honorary doctorate degree on President Mori in recognition of his  strong leadership in deepening further the bilateral relations between Japan and the FSM.

Mr. Hiroshi Yamamoto, President of Sophia University Junior College (SUJC) followed suit  in speaking about the college’s goal in establishing a new friendship with  COM-FSM.  He said that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between SUJC and COM-FSM is being drafted for signature by the institutions, which will allow students from SUJC to take an  English language course at COM-FSM and learn  from the rich cultures and history of Micronesia.

Sophia University has already started a new scholarship program for Xavier High School  graduates  through which a graduate each year will  be selected on merit to study at Sophia University. A student has been selected for  school year 2014-2015.

Wrapping up the meeting, President Mori recognized the important contribution that the Association for Promotion of International Cooperation (APIC) has made regarding the establishment of the new scholarship for Xavier High School and the new initiative between Sophia and the COM-FSM. He thanked former Japanese Ambassador to FSM Shoji Sato who is a new member of APIC for his strong support for these new initiatives. 

Besides Ambassador Sato, the visiting group included Mr. Takashi Hayashita, President of Sophia University and also professor of Science and Technology, Mr. Hiroshi Yamamoto, President of Sophia University Junior College, Mr. Megumi Araki, Director of APIC, and Mr. Yoshihiko Miwa, Director of the Office of General Affairs. 

The Micronesian Registration Advisors, Inc. (MRA) played a key role in arranging the visit and meetings with government and College officials for the group. In this connection, former FSM Ambassador to Japan Kasio Mida, senior MRA  executive in Pohnpei, was also present at the meeting with President Mori.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Global Campaign #showyourselfie

United Nations Population Fund and Global Citizen Launch Worldwide “#showyourselfie” petition – Mobilizing People to Say “Youth Matter!” 

#showyourselfie, creating a global movement calling for young people and their needs to be central in the new development agenda  

UNITED NATIONS, New York, 12 August 2014 - On International Youth Day, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, and Global Citizen are launching #showyourselfie, a global campaign to urge world leaders to prioritize the needs and rights of young people in the post-2015 development agenda - the roadmap for the world’s development over the next 15 years. 
“Young people were not in focus in the Millennium Development Goals, the last global  development plan that was adopted in 2000. They cannot be forgotten again,” said Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, UNFPA’s Executive Director.  “Young people are a powerful force, individually and collectively. They are shaping social and economic realities, challenging norms and values and building the foundation of the world’s future. How we meet their needs and aspirations will define the world’s future,” he continued.

There are 1.8 billion young people in the world today - more than ever before. Yet, millions of them, especially girls, lack access to basic needs, such as education, health services, comprehensive sexuality education, decent work and protection from violence.  More than 500 million young people live on less than $2 a day, and nearly 175 million of them in poor countries cannot read a full sentence. Some 74 million youth aged 15-24 are unemployed.     
#showyourselfie is a petition with a difference. Every selfie is a visual signature. The campaign seeks to mobilize millions of young people and their supporters to tell decision makers across the world that young people must be at the centre of plans that will shape our future. “#showyourselfie is a way of bringing young people, civil society, the private sector and governments together to amplify the call for the rights of young people to be at the centre of national priorities around the world. If we fail to confront this now, there is a huge risk that some of the world’s most pressing challenges will not be addressed,” said Hugh Evans, Chief Executive Officer of Global Poverty Project.

Starting today, people around the world are encouraged to take and submit a ‘selfie’ via twitter, Instagram or the website www.showyourselfie.org. The campaign will collate the personal portraits and stories and present them to decision makers as a massive display of public support for increased attention to and investment in the capabilities of young people, specifically in the areas of reproductive health, education and training for work and life.
Over the next 13 months, UNFPA and Global Citizen will work closely with partners, networks and organizations to gather the “selfies” which will be handed over to Member States at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2014 and 2015 to remind them that the time to invest in young people is now.

For more information about #showyourselfie, please visit www.showyourselfie.org.
UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is the lead United Nations agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, and every young person's potential is fulfilled.UNFPA expands the possibilities for women and young people to lead healthy and productive lives. It works in more than 150 countries and territories, home to 80 per cent of world population. In these nations, the Fund is a catalyst for progress. Working with governments and through partnerships with other United Nations agencies, civil society and the private sector, it makes a real difference in the lives of millions of people, especially those who are most vulnerable. For more on what it does, visit www.unfpa.org, “like” UNFPA on Facebook and follow it on twitter and Instagram @UNFPA.
Global Citizen: Launched successfully with the Global Citizen Festival on 29 September 2012, in New York City’s Central Park, Global Citizen is an innovative online platform and mobile application that educates, tracks and rewards activist action through a point-scoring system. Accumulated points are used as a currency to enter the draw for live entertainment experiences like tickets to great concerts and a host of other entertainment events. Ryan Gall and The Riot House are co-founders of Global Citizen. Join the conversation: visit its website at globalcitizen.org, "like" Global Citizen on Facebook, and follow it on Twitter and Instagram at @GLBLCTZN.

For more information, please contact:
The Global Poverty Project

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

President Mori meets with Commanding Officer, Captain Pruett

19 August 2014 – Palikir, Pohnpei

(L-R) LCDR Blocker, President Mori, Ambassador Rosen and Captain Pruett

President Manny Mori meets with Captain James B. Pruett who assumed the role as Commanding Officer of the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Sector based out of Guam in July 2014.  In his meeting with Captain Pruett, President Mori expressed his and the nation’s appreciation for their role, the continuous cooperation and military protection provided to the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM).

As the Sector Commander, Captain Pruett thanked the President for the warm welcome and acknowledged the assistance and positive cooperation received by staff from both fronts. Aware of how the mechanism works, information sharing with the USCG is significant to operating under the formal channels that illustrates the formal practices that have already been taking place. The USCG Captain announced to the President and his staff that a 378’ High Endurance Cutter will be doing a port visit to the FSM shortly. Further, the nature of Captain Pruett’s visit is to meet with staff members to ensure and optimize a continuous collaboration between the FSM and the USCG. During the formal exchange, both President Mori and Captain Pruett recognized that orange paint on boats is significantly effective for rescue measures.

By re-affirming the nation's continuous appreciation, President Mori concluded the meeting by expressing the strong relationship the FSM has with the United States and the significant role the military carries out by safeguarding the FSM in aspects of defense and security. Also present at the meeting were Lieutenant Commander Joshua N. Blocker, U.S. Ambassador to the FSM, Doria Rosen, Chief of Staff Leo Falcam Jr., and Foreign Affairs Secretary, Lorin S. Robert. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Suicide Rate in Pacific Islands Among Highest In The World

Suicide Rate In Pacific Islands Among Highest In The World

Samoa, Guam, Micronesia rates double the global average
NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, August 14, 2014) – Suicide rates in Pacific Islands are some of the highest in the world reaching up to 30 per 100,000 in countries such as Samoa, Guam and Micronesia, doubling the global average, with youth rates even higher.
The Independent European Daily Express reported on International Youth Day August 12, which this year focused on ‘Youth and Mental Health’, that young Pacific Islanders have highlighted the profound social and economic challenges in a rapidly changing world.
"Youths committing suicide seem to get younger and younger by the year," said Lionel Rogers of the Fiji based Youth Champs for Mental Health.
He said stressors contributing to the growing trends of suicide are unemployment, social and cultural expectations, family and relationship problems, bullying, violence and abuse.
The Pacific Islands has an escalating youth population, with 54 percent of people in the region now aged below 24, and those between between 15-29 years are at the greatest risk of taking their lives.
Tarusila Bradburgh a coordinator of the Pacific Youth Council believed the burden of multiple issues that affect young people in the Pacific Islands are enormous and many are not well equipped to cope.
"A decade ago there were an estimated 331,000 annual suicides in the region, accounting for 38 percent of the world total."
Anne Rauch a development advisor of the Fiji Alliance for Mental Health said there was significant under reporting of suicide deaths.
In 2012, there were 160 reported suicides in Fiji with the majority under 25 but accurate statistics were not available. Under funded and under resourced mental health services are struggling to address the issue, with suicide representing 2.5 percent of the disease burden Western Pacific region, nearly double the rate of 1.4 percent worldwide, she said.


Meanwhile, an equal challenge facing the vast majority of Pacific youth is poor prospects of employment and fulfilment of aspirations generated by exposure to global lifestyles through the digital and mass media.
In small economies of most Pacific developing states high population growth of up to 2.4 percent is far outpacing job creation thus greater access to education for many is not translating into better changes of gaining paid employment.
In Tokelau, a national Health Department report claims a significant factor in youth suicide is relationship breakdowns, including between parents and children.
There were 40 attempted suicides in the territory with a population of 1,500 during a 25-year period ending in 2004, with 83 percent of fatalities people under 25, and physical punishment of youth by their elders contributing to 67 percent.
In Papua New Guinea there are an estimated 80,000 school leavers each year but only 10,000 secure formal jobs while youth unemployment is an estimated 45 percent in Solomon Islands.
UNICEF warned that denial of economic and social opportunities leads to frustrated young people and the result can be a high incidence of self-harm with the loss of the productive potential of a large section of the adult population.

Matangi Tonga Magazine
Copyright © 2014 Matangi Tonga. All Rights Reserved

Monday, August 4, 2014

Pacific Leaders commit to a renewed framework for Pacific Regionalism, highlight Ocean stewardship and appoint a new Forum Secretariat Secretary-General

Pacific Islands Forum Leaders at their meeting in Palau, standing row, from left: Forum Secretary-General Slade, New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully; Tuvalu Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga; Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'neill; FSM President Manny Mori; Premier of Niue Toke Talagi; Cook Islands Minister of Finance Mark Brown; Deputy Prime Minister of Australia Warren Truss; and Prime Minister of Vanuatu Joe Natuman; sitting row, from left: President of the Republic of Kribati Anote Tong; Prime Minister of Tonga Siale'ataongo Tu'ivakano; Republic of Palau President Tommy Remengesau Jr.; EU Official; Republic of the Marshall Islands President Christopher Loeak; Samoa Prime Minister Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi; President of Nauru Baron Waqa , Solomon Islands Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo
FSMIS (August 4, 2014): The Forty-Fifth Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting concluded in Koror, Republic of Palau on July 31st, 2014. The meeting was attended by the Federated States of Micronesia President Manny Mori and other Heads of State and Government from the Republic of Kiribati, the Republic of Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Tuvalu.

Australia was represented by its Deputy Prime Minister while New Zealand and the Republic of Vanuatu were represented by their respective Ministers of Foreign Affairs. The Cook Islands Minister of Finance represented his country.

As Associate Members of the Pacific Islands Forum, the French Polynesia and New Caledonia attended the formal session and were given opportunities to address the Pacific Leaders.

Other governments and organizations also attended the session as Observers including Tokelau, Timor-Leste, Wallis and Futuna, the Asian Development Bank, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the United Nations (UN), the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), and the World Bank.

Also, some Heads of Organizations and senior officials from the following groups were at the formal session: The Council of Regional Organizations of the Pacific (CROP); The Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (PIFFA); the Pacific Islands Development Program (PIDP); the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC); the South Pacific Tourism Organization (SPTO); the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP); and the University of the South Pacific (USP).

Based on presentations and discussions undertaken at the formal plenary on July 30th and decisions agreed upon at their retreat in Peleliu, Palau a day later, the Pacific Leaders issued an outcome Communiqué that details the collective actions for short and long term regional focus.

Following decisions made at a special retreat on May 5, 2014 in the Cook Islands, the Leaders endorsed the renewed Pacific Plan calling for strong partnerships and well-defined principles fostering inclusivity and regionalism. They also affirmed the important roles the CROP agencies play in relation to the Framework for Pacific Regionalism and directed the Forum Secretariat to ensure higher transparency and efficiency of meetings.

In view of the Post 2015 Development Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's) being discussed at the global level, the Pacific Leaders expressed concern regarding the number of goals and targets and called on the global community to focus on limited  number of SDG's and make the agenda more achievable. Given the concern and other needs, the Leaders looked forward to the upcoming Small Islands Development States (SIDS) international conference in Apia, Samoa in September 2014 as a platform for unified interventions by the Forum Island Countries (FIC's) to affect global development agendas and ensure the inclusion of Ocean Sustainable Development as a stand-alone goal to be emphasized under the post-2015 global SDG's.  

The Leaders also endorsed the Palau Declaration on 'The Ocean: Life and Future' as a document by the PIF Leaders. This declaration stresses the importance of the ocean to Pacific people, enumerates the existing threats and dangers facing and faced by ocean populations, and emphasizes the need for integrated management approaches for  sustainable utilization and conservation of marine habitats  and resources.

The Leaders also undertook actions and provided direction on the treatment of issues relating to the threat of invasive species on Pacific economies and communities, Fiji's readmission to the Forum, Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI), Transnational and Boarder Security Issues, Radioactive Contamination in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and Private Sector Dialogue in the region.

Additionally, the Leaders agreed to accept Tokelau's application for Associate Membership in the Forum and admitted the International Organization for Migration (IOM) under Observer status. Spain and Turkey were also granted membership in the Post-Forum Dialogue (PFD), which took immediate effect at the August 1st meeting between Partner countries and the PIF Member-States.

After six years of leading the Forum Secretariat, Leaders expressed their appreciation to Mr. Tuiloma Neroni Slade for his significant role in the strengthening of the region the past six years. To replace Mr. Slade, the Leaders appointed Mrs. Dame Meg Taylor of Papua New Guinea as the new Forum Secretariat Secretary-General for a three year term, beginning in November 2014.

As confirmed, future PIF Leaders Meeting will be held as follows: Papua New Guinea in 2015; the Federated States of Micronesia in 2016; Samoa in 2017; Nauru in 2018 and Tuvalu in 2019.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

PIF Plenaray session opening, Palau 2014

The opening of the first day of the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting in Koror, Palau, July 30, 2014.

Friday, August 1, 2014

FSM and the United States sign maritime boundary treaty in Palau

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Dennise Mathieu, left, and FSM Secretary of Foreign Affairs Lorin Robert during signing ceremony at the Palau Community College, Palau
FSMIS (August 1, 2014): This morning, the Federated States of Micronesia and the United States signed a treaty that clarifies maritime boundary between the two countries.

Signing the treaty on behalf of the FSM was the Secretary of Foreign Affairs Lorin Robert. The United States was represented by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Dennise Mathieu.

During the ceremony, Secretary Robert expressed gratitude to the Forum Secretariat and President of Palau for allowing the ceremony to take place during the meeting. He also said, " I take the honor as my high duty to represent President Mori and the FSM Government at this ceremony. Today's signing ceremony is indeed very important and timely given the theme of this year's forum -- Ocean: life and future.. With a well-defined boundary between the United States Territory of Guam and the FSM now in place, today's occasion only confirms and strengthens the obvious. The obvious being the Micronesian tradition that we are peoples of the seas; we take pride in the stewardship and benefit from the bounties of the ocean."

Secretary Robert also reiterated the importance the FSM Government attaches to its "special and unique relationship" with the United States as embodied in the Compact of Free Association. He added, "that relationship has been a source of inspiration as it has enriched us and made us a strong Pacific Island nation".

Deputy Assistant Secretary Mathieu said, "There is something special about boundary. Maritime boundaries promote good order at sea and peaceful relations between countries. But a boundary is also symbolic, and this boundary treaty reflects the important bonds of friendship between our two countries and the close relations between the people of the United States of America and the people of the Federated States of Micronesia."

The boundary between the US Territory of Guam and the Caroline Islands of the FSM had overlapped . Appropriate technical adjustments have been undertaken between the two countries following the principle of equidistance, such that the boundary line is equal in distance from each country.   

The treaty will become effective after it is ratified by the FSM Congress based on the FSM Constitution.

The FSM had worked out similar boundary treaties with Papua New Guinea, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau.

8th Microgames Closing Ceremony

Held once every four years, the 8th Micro Games came to an end on Wednesday July 30, 2014 at the Pohnpei Island Central School (PICS) track & field, as it closed off with good cheer and spirits among athletes and a crowd of sporting fans as they gathered to witness the closing of the multi-sports games.

Coming in at 1st place is Guam, raking in a total of forty-two gold medals, Pohnpei thirty-six gold medals following Palau with thirty-six gold medals. Pohnpei State Governor Ehsa shared a few remarks, congratulating all participating athletes for competing on a regional stage and for their great sportsmanship.

With Pohnpei having the honor of hosting yet another remarkable event, the host nation is in the midst of seeing most of its athletes return to their respective nations. In the meantime, Yap prepares for a crowd of sporting fans that will flock to the state for the upcoming 9th Micro Games in 2018.

For Medal Tally, click on the following link:

      (Closing ceremony: Ending off with good spirits)