Thursday, May 28, 2015

Candidates for the July 1, 2015 Special Election, Pohnpei State and Kosrae State

FSMIS (May 27, 2015): This list of candidates for the special Congressional Election slated for July 1st is shown hereunder. The States will elect their At-large representatives in the Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia as vacancies were created after the election of the new FSM President and Vice President on May 11, 2015. 

Pohnpei State

1.     Churchill B. Edward
2.     David W. Panuelo
3.     Dion G. Neth
4.     Dionision (Dionis) E. Saimon
5.     Ginger P. Mida
6.     Jack E. Yakana
7.     John Ehsa
8.     Magdalena A. Walter
9.     Selestino L. Marquez

Kosrae State
1.     Alik L. Alik
2.     Bob H. Skilling
3.     Gibson T. Siba
4.     Kenye H. Livae

5.     Steven L. George           

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

President Christian nominates Dennis K. Yamase, FSM Supreme Court Chief Justice

 FSMIS (May 27, 2015): Federated States of Micronesia President Peter M. Christian has submitted to Congress the nomination of Mr. Dennis K. Yamase to be the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Federated States of Micronesia.

Mr. Yamase has held profound legal and professional careers in the region of Micronesia since 1987 starting when he became the legislative counsel for the Congress of the FSM, a post he held for six years before serving as the legal counsel for the Office of the Vice President in the Republic of Palau starting in 1993. Most notable among his streak of high profile legal careers is his nearly 12-year service as an Associate Justice at the Supreme Court of the Federated States of Micronesia. He resigned from the post in April 2014.

In his nomination correspondence with Congress, President Christian underscores that “Mr. Yamase has committed his career to the legal profession”.  He goes on saying that Mr. Yamase “is well versed in all areas of the law, and he understands the importance of the Judiciary to this Nation”.

“I am confident that he (Mr. Yamase) is qualified to become the next Chief Justice of the Federated States of Micronesia Supreme Court”.

President Christian is urging Congress to “favorably consider” his nomination during the ongoing regular session.

Mr. Yamase is currently residing in Pearl City, in the State of Hawaii.

For further information, email

Mr. Joses Gallen, Secretary of Justice and Mr. Lukner Weilbacher, Secretary of Transportation Communication and Infrastructure

FSMIS (May 27, 2015): Federated States of Micronesia President Peter M. Christian has transmitted two more Cabinet member nominations for consideration of Congress this on-going regular session.

Mr. Joses Gallen, currently an Assistant Attorney at the Department of Justice, has been nominated to take up the helm of the department.

“Mr. Gallen’s many years of public service starting in 1980 include challenging professional assignments as Prosecutor for then Pohnpei District, Staff Attorney for Pohnpei Legislature, Chief for the International Law Division of the FSM Attorney General’s Office, FSM Deputy Chief of Mission in New York, Acting Legislative Counsel for the FSM Congress, and Staff attorney for the FSM Public Defender’s Office in Kosrae”, the President indicates in his communication to Congress.

Mr. Lukner Weilbacher has had been the Secretary of the Department of Transportation, Communication and Infrastructure from 1995 to 1999.

President Christian indicates his confidence in the nominee given his “profound understanding in sea, air, and marine transportation systems, telecommunications, capital improvement projects… and his ability to ensure projects are executed from inception to completion, in accordance with all contractual, budget, and legal conditions”.

According to the nomination documents, Mr. Weilbacher is currently a self-employed engineering consultant in Pohnpei State, providing consulting services in areas relating to transportation, communications, power generation and distribution systems, standby power generation systems, and standby generator and HVAC maintenance.

For further information, email

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

FSM Close-Up students set foot at the FSM Capitol

A group consisting of fifty-three Close-Up students from all four states visited Federated States of Micronesia Vice President Yosiwo P. George in the afternoon of May 22nd at the President’s Conference Room.

The Vice President welcomed the students and spoke about the opportunity they were given to experience the National Government first-hand by interacting with Government leaders. The visit, the Vice President stressed, allows them to gain better understanding of the distinctive roles the executive, legislative and judiciary branches play and how they intricately interact.

Vice President George talked about his background leading up to his current undertaking as the 8th Vice President. Through engaging discussions, he emphasized the undeniable importance of education and urged the students to pursue higher education to build a promising future. He also added that their professional development will play a critical role on the Nation’s future.

On their part, the students posed some concerns  and asked questions relating to post-2023, an important date for the Compact of Free Association between the FSM and the United States. They also inquired about the current Administration’s view on Chuuk States’ secession interest; solvency of the social security program; and college education financial support beyond 2023.

Throughout the day, the students along with their chaperons visited all three branches of the government.

The visiting group included eighteen students from Chuuk, eighteen from Pohnpei, ten from Kosrae and seven from Yap

The Vice President was accompanied by his special assistant, Mr. Herman Semes Jr.  

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Mr. Kephas, Mr. Henry, Dr. Mauricio and Mr. Yatilman among first batch of cabinet nominations

FSMIS (May 21, 2015): This morning, Federated States of Micronesia Vice President Yosiwo P. George transmitted to Speaker Wesley W. Simina four Cabinet member nominations for Congress' action during the ongoing first regular session of the Nineteenth FSM Congress. The first batch of nominations include:

Mr. Kalwin Kephas, to be Secretary of the Department of Education;

Mr. Marion Henry, to remain as the Secretary of the Department of Resources and Development;

Dr. Rufino Mauricio, to be the Director of the National Archives, Culture and Historic Preservation Office (NACHO);

Mr. Andrew Yatilman to continue being the Director of the Office of Environment and Emergency Management (OEEM);

Mr. Kephas has been the Campus Dean for the College of Micronesia-FSM Kosrae Campus since 1996, according to the nomination document. 

Dr. Mauricio had been at the NACHO post, to which he is nominated, before President Mori utilized his expertise as the Secretary of Education the past four years. 

Mr. Henry and Mr. Yatilman have served in various capacities with the National Government for over ten years after having established managerial and leadership tenures with their respective States of Chuuk and Yap. 

For further information, email

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

UNICEF Partners with Department of Health, Provides Health and Nutrition supplies for Children in FSM

Kolonia, POHNPEI 19 May 2015 – The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) donated child vitamin supplements, oral rehydration solution and a water quality testing kit to the Chuuk Department of Health for assisting children affected by Typhoon Maysak. Dr. Karen Allen, UNICEF Pacific Representative was in Weno, Chuuk to meet with Government officials, World Health Organisation consultants, International Organisation for Migration and Red Cross staff who are working hard to assist people, including the distribution of UNICEF’s supplies.

The state of the art, portable water quality testing kit has everything needed (including a rechargeable battery) to conduct three kinds of tests to know whether water is safe to drink. It was handed over officially to the Department of Health, who directed that it be assigned to the laboratory technician at Environmental Protection Agency in Chuuk.

Dr. Allen said, “I was particularly impressed by the commitment, even after so many weeks, of the Government staff to continue reaching out with services and supplies to affected people. The assessment data are showing that there are still critical needs for support to schools and health care, in terms of clean water, sanitation, learning supplies, essential medicines, and vaccinations.  I am also concerned about micronutrient deficiencies such as Vitamin A and iron, in children and pregnant women. In the coming months, undernutrition in young children may become a problem as this is common after many emergencies, when children do not get the balanced diet they need.”

Dr. Allen also made a joint visit to Pohnpei, with Mr Sune Gudnitz of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), to meet with FSM Government officials and other organisations involved in emergency preparedness and response such as WHO, UNFPA, USAID, IOM, SPC and Red Cross. They also met with the US Ambassador and the Ambassador of Japan. Mr Gudnitz was in Pohnpei to discuss how to improve interagency coordination and increase UN involvement to better serve the people of Micronesia, who are often affected by natural disasters. 

Documents confirming the donation and arrival of fourteen (14) ice-lined refrigerators, which are due to arrive by ship on 15 June 2015, were handed to the FSM Department of Health & Social Affairs. These refrigerators are for the rural health clinics to keep vaccines at the required temperatures.

About UNICEF: UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit:

For more information, please contact Donna Hoerder, UNICEF on (679) 3236 100 or

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

FSM-US Maritime Boundary Delimitation Treaty and amended FSM-Nauru Civil Air Transport Agreement await Congressional action

FSMIS (May 19, 2015): On May 18, 2015, Federated States of Micronesia President Peter M. Christian submits a Maritime Boundary Delimitation Treaty between the FSM and the United States to Congress for ratification.

Representatives of the FSM and United States Governments signed the Treaty on August 1, 2014 at the margins of the Pacific Islands Forum in Koror, Palau.

In a letter to Speaker Wesley W. Simina, President Christian stresses that the Treaty “establishes the maritime boundary delimitation between the FSM and Guam based upon the prevailing principle of equidistance, which is accepted under international law”.

“The Treaty is the conclusion of our Nation’s continued efforts of finalizing the maritime zones where the national jurisdiction overlaps with the United States.”

On the same day, the President also made available with Congress the Amendment to the Civil Air Transport Agreement between the FSM and Nauru, which was signed on May 20th.

“This amendment allows for greater access of air transport services to the Federated States of Micronesia by designating all the four States as points of stop, whereas only one State in the FSM was designated in the past”, the President clarifies in another letter to the Speaker.

The President goes on to say that “An inaugural flight has been planned under this arrangement and is waiting for the ratification by Congress as requested in the submission”.

Under the FSM Constitution, the Congress has the authority to ratify treaties.  

For further information, email

Vice President George submits three grants in net amount of $93,000 for Congressional approval

FSMIS (May 19, 2015): On May 18, 2015, FSM Vice President Yosiwo P. George transmitted to Congress three approving resolutions for endorsement in order to approve and accept the following grant awards:

-- A grant award in the amount of $60,000 from the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) to the FSM Office of Environment and Emergency Management (OEEM).  The purpose of the grant is to enable continuous support for compliance with the Montreal Protocol on Substance that Deplete the Ozone;

   -- A grant assistance in the amount of $25,000 from the UNEP to the FSM Office of Environment and Emergency Management. This assistance will assist an inventory for establishing a national Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) chemical usage baseline in the country and identify opportunities for introduction of alternative low-global warming chemicals;

    -- A grant award from the United States National Park Service in the amount of $8,000 for the Pohnpei Historic Preservation Office. The amount will assist the Pohnpei HPO for the purposes of attending the annual Micronesian Endowment of Historic Preservation meeting in Guam.

The Nineteenth FSM Congress is currently holding its first regular session, starting on May 11thA regular session may take up twenty days, unless lengthened or shortened by resolution.

For further information, email

Monday, May 18, 2015

Joint Inauguration ceremony for new FSM Leadership on July 10, 2015

FSMIS (May 18, 2015)On May 15th, FSM President Peter M. Christian notified Congress of his wish to hold the inauguration events on July 10, 2015 and solicited input from Speaker Wesley W. Simina and other Members. 

Based on the President's communication with Congress, The Joint Inauguration Committee held its first meeting earlier today at the Central Facility Building, FSM National Capitol in Palikir, Pohnpei

The committee got organized under the leadership of Mr. Peter Sitan, whom President Peter M. Christian hand-picked to organize preparation matters for the upcoming national event. 

The committee assigned the Department of Foreign Affairs to head the subcommittee on Program and Protocol and tasked Mr. Ricky Cantero from the department to activate invitation related work as soon as possible. 

The Finance and Fundraising Subcommittee, which is chaired by Mr. P eter Sitan, will jump into action after their first meeting tomorrow. 

Other Subcommittees include Media and Communication; Food; Set-Up and Decoration; Security and Transportation; and Entertainment. 

The committee has decided to recommend to the President that the main formal ceremony be held at the FSM-China Friendship Gymnasium at the College of Microesia-FSM main campus in Palikir. 

The Joint Inauguration Committee is made up of members from departments, agencies and offices of the National Government, representatives from Congress, members of the Private Sector, and is due to include relevant partners from the Pohnpei State Government as well as experts from the Tradition and Culture sector in subsequent meetings. 

For further information, email 

Friday, May 15, 2015

FSM President Christian and Congress set the stage for collaboration

FSMIS (May 15, 2015) : Setting the stage for collaboration with Congress as he advances through his first week at the administrative helm, Federated States of Micronesia President Peter M. Christian held a consultation meeting through a modest luncheon with Congress at the President's Conference Room today. 

Eleven Members, along with Sp eaker Wesley W. Simina, accorded the P resident the courtesy of their time at the meeting. Senator Tiwiter Aritos had other prior commitments that prevented his attendance. 

In a congenial atmosphere, the Leaders underscored their commitment to working harmoniously to improve lives and progress the Nation forward together. 

President Christian invited discussion on some urgent matters relating to the situations of illegal immigrants and confiscated fishing crew from certain countries; the impacts of the recent storm that made its way through Pohnpei State; initial views on reorganizing the Executive Branch; and the need to progress more urgent nominations during this session. 

President Christian invited Congress view on the sensibility in submitting nomination this session, granted that there are only twelve Members, knowing full well the "risks" that may prevent making the minimum threshold of ten affirmative votes. 

Congress urged the President to proceed with the urgent nominations and underscored their interest that mitigations in the issues surrounding stranded illegal fishermen from other countries be addressed very prudently. 

Looking ahead to the medium term, President Christian spoke of his intention to consult with Congress on nomination matters prior to transmittal of requests for affirmative action. He also revealed that current Cabinet and key Officials have been informed that there will be rotations within the system in setting up a new organizational landscape. Others may be rotated out for good. 
Senator Isaac V. Figir, far left, providing inputs 

The Leaders agreed to stage such consultative get-together often enough to jointly improve working success on critical agenda. 

The Senators were accompanied by Mr. Lam Dang, their legal counsel, and Mr. Alik Jackson, legal staff. 

With the President were Vice President Yosiwo P. George, Mr. Lorin Robert, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Andrew Yatilman, Director of the Office of Environment and Emergency Management, Chief of Staff Leo Falcam Jr., and Mr. Pelsasar Petrus, Special Assistant to the President on Legislative Affairs. 

For further information, email 

Pohnpei Legislative delegation pays courtesy call on President Christian

FSMIS (May 14, 2015): A delegation of thirteen respective Senators from the Pohnpei State Legislature paid a courtesy call on the Federated States of Micronesia President Peter M. Christian and Vice President Yosiwo P. George in the morning of May 14th at the President’s Conference Room.

Welcoming the delegation, President Christian conveyed greetings to the State officials and spoke about the importance of commitment to solidifying mutual trust and harmony between State and National Governments.

The members of the delegation conveyed to the President and Vice President their congratulatory remarks and highlighted some endeavors and recent concerns.

Given his extensive tenure and former experience with the FSM Congress, President Christian emphasized the principal role Legislative bodies play in our system of government and expressed his appreciation for the delegation’s high interest in staging the meeting.

The delegation led by Vice Speaker Francisco L. Ioanis included, Senator Nelson N.  Pelep, Senator Magdalena A. Walter, Senator Salter Loyola, Senator Nixon B. Soram, Senator McGarry  Miguel, Senator Marvin Yamaguchi, Senator Aurelio P.  Joab, Senator Alpino Kerman, Senator Rensper M.  Liwy, Senator Stevick Edwin, Senator Nihlis I.  Ernest, and Senator Sendilina Lekka. The visiting group also included some staff members from the legislature.

President Christian and Vice President George were accompanied by Chief of Staff Leo Falcam Jr.