Thursday, October 29, 2015

Vice-President George attends the State Funeral of Former President Zedkaia

The Honorable Vice-President Yosiwo P. George attended the State Funeral of the late former President Jurelang Zedkaia and a current senator of the Republican of the Marshall Islands on behalf of the people and government of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM).  The late President Zedkaia holds the traditional Iroojlaplap from Majuro and served as President of the Marshall Islands from October 2009 to January 2012.  He also served as Speaker from 2008 to 2009.  The late President Zedkaia was called to his eternal rest on October 7, 2014 in the Marshall Islands.

The State Funeral was held on Thursday, October 15, 2015 at the Nitijela Chamber in Majuro, and attended by high level representatives from foreign governments, including the FSM and Palau, traditional leaders and people of the Marshall Islands.

President Christoper Loeak of the Marshall Islands acknowledged the presence of Vice-President George and thanked the FSM Government for sending a high level representative to the State Funeral.  The master of ceremony read some of the condolence messages from abroad, including the message from President Peter M. Christian.

In expressing the RMI’s appreciation, President Loeak hosted a luncheon for the delegations from the FSM and Palau along with some of his cabinet members at MIR Restaurant.  Vice-President George was accompanied by his wife, Madam Antilese Y. George.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

FSM Infrastructure Development Plan, FY2016 – FY2025

Palikir, Pohnpei (FSMOffice of the President, October 20, 2015) - President Christian today publically released the FSM’s updated Infrastructure Development Plan (IDP) for the period FY2016 – FY2025.
The Plan was updated in response to the need to provide overseas development partners with an update of the State and National governments infrastructure priorities.  The Plan includes a realistic level of funding, representing 70% of FSM’s infrastructure needs over 10 years. This sets the challenge for the FSM governments and our development partners to work together, beginning with the Development Partners Forum that is to be convened in February 2016.

The President noted the Plan ranks with the most important and significant plans for FSM as a nation in the last 10 years.The key,he stated, is that this Plan is a truly collaborative approach to infrastructure development for our country. It clearly sets out the case for developing infrastructure across the FSM and documents the priority needs for the first time in stand-alone State Plans. He was also pleased to welcome the inclusion for the first time of projects directly linked to climate change adaptation – these being important first steps to mainstream infrastructure adaptation programs in future Plans.

The Plan was transmitted to the Joint Economic Management Committee to unlock the $66.5 million requested from the Amended Compact infrastructure grant to fund the FSM priority projects as outlined in the Annual Infrastructure Implementation Plan FY2016.

The President also recognizes the State leadership and State Infrastructure Planning and Implementation Committees (IPICs) of the four States for their support and active participation in the development and finalization of this Plan. The assistance of the Asian Development Bank is also acknowledged in providing the technical assistance team that supported the Plan development.

For more detailed information about the Infrastructure Development Plan FY2016 – FY2025, please contact the FSM Department Transport, Communications & Infrastructure at (691) 320-2865. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

President Christian invited to attend Lotowafeng Leadership Conference

Palikir, Pohnpei (FSMOffice of the President, October 15, 2015) -  President Christian has accepted an invitation to attend the 2015 Lotowafeng (North West Islands) Leadership Conference, to be held on Polowat Island, Chuuk State from 21-24 October 2015.  The conference will bring together on the island of Polowat traditional, church, and elected leaders from all over the Northwestern region for a three day event. Among the many issues of concern will be the identification of development priorities and objectives to push for progressive change, seeking practical strategies solutions on how to help solve the socio-economic challenges besetting Lotowafeng. 

President Christian will also be attending a formal dedication of a testimonial monument on the nearby island of Pollup in honor and recognition of the traditional seafaring knowledge and master navigators and seafarers of Micronesia, and especially from this region, who have kept alive celestial navigation tradition for the Pacific community. The FSM's new vessel recently donated by the Government of Japan for the people of Micronesia has been renamed the Micronesian Navigators and will be christened at the Pollap dedication ceremony.

The President and his delegation will also visit Onoun and Pulusuk on this trip for outer islands airport inspection while in the region.

The National Government’s participation in these events in the Northwest Region is part of President Christian's effort to develop closer community relationship between governments and peoples of Micronesia.  President Christian reflected on the fundamental principle of “Unity” in his Inaugural address as well as in his opening remarks during his State visit to Chuuk at the State Leadership Conference, in efforts of partnership and cooperation between  Local, State and National governments.

President Christian and his delegation will depart for Chuuk on Tuesday, October 20th and will return to Pohnpei on Sunday, October 25th.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Help and Support Project "Island Warrior"

Since 9/11, a wave of citizens from the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) have been enlisting in the United States military exceeding military recruiters enlistment quotas and expectations. Nathan Fitch, who served as a Peace Corp volunteer in Kosrae, is currently working on a feature documentary film, “Island Soldier that tells the stories of young Kosraeans serving in the U.S. armed forces.  

Formerly apart of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, through the Compact of Free Association (COFA), FSM gained independence and established a relationship with the U.S. in 1986. Through the COFA, FSM receives US aid, access to many services, also allowing migrants free access to the US and its territories. Being the newest wave of migrants to the U.S., they remain misunderstood and have become an identifiable group often leaving their contributions, success stories and sacrifices unwarranted and unrecognized.

In Kosrae where the population is relatively small, a significant proportion of young Micronesians with military interests are signing up to work for Uncle Sam in search for a better employment and educational opportunities. The documentary centers on the reality of various members of the Nena family, that shares their personal stories of how their experiences with the military have marked and shaped their lives.

While young Micronesians are immersed in all aspects of military life -- undertaking certain military tasks may carry grave risks in which fatality rates are one of the highest for Micronesians than anywhere else in the U.S. per capita.

To help raise funds for Fitch and his film crew to continue with production as funding is one of the undeniably biggest obstacles getting any film over ground, your support through Kickstarter will enable them to bring to screen a story that reflects the potentially heavy price and impact of citizens from a small and yet young Nation who have served and are currently serving in the U.S. military.

For the trailer for this project and to help raise funds, CLICK HERE

Monday, October 5, 2015

President Christian Addresses Climate Change, Peace and Security in the UN General Assembly

New York, October 1, 2015. President Peter Christian addressed the 70th United Nations (U.N.) General Assembly, emphasizing the impacts of climate change and the need for cohesive action to save the low lying Pacific Islands, including the Federated States of Micronesia. “We must become more cohesive in our actions to bring a useful conclusion to help mitigate the threat of sinking islands and prevent the potential genocide of Oceanic peoples and cultures,” he declared.  He noted FSM’s dedicated contribution to international efforts in saving the world through the Micronesia Challenge initiative and continued commitment to phasing down HFCs under the Montreal Protocol.

President Christian voiced hope that the upcoming international climate change conference in Paris in December would resolve the disagreements over allowable emissions of greenhouse gases by industrial nations.
On the issue of peace and security, President Christian demanded that the U.N. and the International community to make this world a peaceful place for all. He noted that in the 20th century, FSM experienced four decades of armed conflicts; conflicts in which FSM had no interest to take part in but which were brought to the Micronesian shorelines by powerful countries seeking expanded political power and influence.
President Christian urged nations who once stood against each other in conflicts to stand together with FSM today and to forgive for the sake of a peaceful tomorrow. “Together, let us promote friendship, partnership, and cooperation as our collective strength for the future.”

The President said U.N. members should focus their attention on the collective challenges facing the international community. “We have enough common enemies today, enemies that have no respect for culture, boundaries, religion, or social status; climate change, sea level rise, poverty, hunger and famine, illiteracy and incurable diseases, genocide and human trafficking, economic imbalance, and apathy. These are our challenges of today.” 

The President called on the international community in the United Nations to divert its energy and anger for things past toward the common challenges facing the world today. 
President Christian concluded his statement by urging the international community to unite strongly and take actions to overcome the common issues facing the world today in order to create a safe and peaceful world for all mankind. 

Full statement and recording available: Click here for full statement
UN Press Release available here: Click here

President Christian and FSM Delegation Participate in Formal Launch of SIDS Dock

(United Nation Headquarters, New York, September 30, 2015). President Peter Christian participated in the formal ceremony to launch SIDS Dock, the first global intergovernmental organization of island nations with the full powers and privileges of the United Nations (U.N.). In his remarks, the President expressed FSM’s support for the goals of SIDS Dock, which are to transform energy sectors in small island developing states (SIDS), to catalyze sustainable development and to help generate financial resources for climate change adaptation. 

The President was joined at the event by FSM Ambassador to the U.N. Jane Chigiyal, newly-confirmed FSM Ambassador to China Carl Apis, FSM Ambassador to the U.S. Asterio Takesy, Director of Environment and Emergency Management Andrew Yatilman, Deputy Permanent Representative Jeem Lippwe, and Assistant Secretary of Budget and Economic Management Eugene Amor.  

The ceremony was presided over by Ralph Everard Gonsalves, Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Acting Chair of SIDS Dock, who explained that it is called “SIDS Dock” because it is meant to be a “docking station,” to connect the energy sectors in SIDS with the global market for finance, sustainable energy technologies and carbon markets. 

Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi also participated in the event and delivered remarks in support of SIDS Dock, especially its dedicated financial mechanism that will cut out the middleman, meaning that partners will be able assist SIDS directly and SIDS will not have to tailor project proposals to the different requirements of various agencies.

Other leaders, ministers and high-level representatives of both island countries and partner countries, including Austria, Denmark and Japan, participated in the ceremony as well. Also present were representatives of the U.N. Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and other U.N. bodies and partner organizations like the Clinton Climate Initiative.

President Christian began his remarks by thanking the leaders of the SIDS Dock initiative and imparting a comical story. The President admitted that when he first heard about the initiative he did not know if it was “SIDS Dock” or “SIDS Duck.” Extending this play on words, he said, “Perhaps as sitting ducks, we become the target of a changing climate that is adverse to our lives. But as SIDS Dock, we build a platform upon which we can raise an umbrella to protect us from adverse climate.”  
President Christian then paused to offer condolences to the Caribbean nation of Dominica in the wake of Tropical Storm Erika and to express his hope that Dominica’s God-given resilience would assist efforts to overcome this disaster. 

After noting that FSM had signed the SIDS Dock Statute in September 2014 at the Third International SIDS Conference in Samoa, the President confirmed that FSM was committed to supporting the goals of the initiative. The President highlighted the importance of renewable energy to island economies and lives. He noted with disapprobation that island countries must spend so much of their cash on fossil fuels simply to keep alive the generators to power their industries, their homes and the facilities that need electricity.  

For these reasons, President Christian said that FSM was glad to see the dream of SIDS Dock become a reality, a formal institution and “in effect, our platform to seek survival.”

Typhoon Maysak Donation Drive

Following the Emergency Declaration of Chuuk State and Yap State soon after Super Typhoon Maysak ravaged the western islands of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), the FSM Embassy in Tokyo convened traditional supporters and friends at the Embassy to give a briefing on the damages and call for assistance. The Embassy also coordinated with the FSM’s Honorary Consulate Offices in Hokkaido, Kansai, and Kyushu for donation drives in their respective regions.

As of September 25, 2015, the donations gathered from all over Japan stands at Yen 5,452,055 ($44,912.71). These donations are from the non-government & non-profit organizations, friendship associations, local governments, private companies, fisheries associations, schools, private individuals, friends and traditional supporters, who have close affiliations with the Federated States of Micronesia. Though donations from the Government of Japan were made in the early recovery stage, these donations are purely from the private individuals and friends of the FSM.

In his thank you letters to the donors, after closing the donation drive project, Ambassador Fritz expressed his Government’s appreciation to all the donors for their kind assistance to the people of FSM, especially to the two States affected by Typhoon Maysak, and assured that their donations will put to good use for the people and recovery of the affected areas. Fritz further noted that the donations are true evidence of the goodwill and historic ties that our two people have.  

The donations were wire-transferred to the account for Typhoon Maysak at the National Government on September 25, 2015.

Prepared by FSM Embassy Tokyo

Saturday, October 3, 2015

MiCare Public Announcement (10/2/15)

The 2013 MiCare and Genesis agreement has been re-instated temporarily until 31 December 2015. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

New Direction and Leadership for the Micronesia Conservation Trust

The Micronesia Conservation Trust Board and management staff met in Guam at the Ernst & Young Office from September 23-25, 2015 to adopt a new 3 year (2016-2018) Strategic Action Plan for the organization and to organize its Board of Trustees. The organization, which was established in 2002 to support local, national and regional programs for biodiversity conservation, climate change adaptation and sustainable development for the people of Micronesia, adopted a new vision "Enduring partnerships that conserve our land and sea to improve quality of life for communities across Micronesia" and will focus on three main impact areas including Conservation, Climate Resilience and Sustainable Livelihoods.  Outgoing Board Chairman, Mr. Kembo Mida, Esq., stated "MCT strives to be a world class organization, that is truly Micronesia". This basically represents that the MCT Board and management work hard to meet the requirements of international donors in order to bring more financial and technical resources to the region, while maintaining its ability to prioritize and focus on the needs and aspirations of  local communities by making its programs highly accessible to them.

 At the meeting, the Board and the senior management team, William Kostka, Executive Director, Lisa Andon, Deputy Executive Director, and Meileen Albert, Finance Officer, were able to finalize  MCT's 2014 annual audit with Ernst & Young, as well as receiving an update on MCT's investment portfolio from Jason Miyashita and Maree Pelkey of the Asia Pacific Group of Raymond James.

During its three day meeting, the Board also welcomed three new Trustees, including former Lt. Governor Diego Benavente of the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, Mr. Haser Hainrick, current Public Auditor for the Federated States of Micronesia, and Mr. Julian Aguon Esq., a private lawyer in Guam whose practice focuses on international and regional human rights laws.

The Board and staff also bid farewell to two of its greatest leaders who had each served two full terms over the past six years. Mr. Kembo Mida, who had served as Chairman for the past two years, and Mrs. Denise Adams Boylan, representing the private sector, who served as the organization's Board Treasurer. They leave the organization in the capable hands of the new leadership of Chairwoman Doreen deBrum, Assistant Secretary for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Vice Chairman Elbuchel Sadang, Minister for the Ministry of Finance for the Republic of Palau, Mr. Jared Morris, CEO of the FSM Petroleum Corporation/Vital as Secretary and Mr. Haser Hainrick as Treasurer.

The MCT Board of Trustees has four standing committees which include the Governance Committee, Chaired by Trina Leberer, the new Director of The Nature Conservancy's Pacific Program. Members of the Governance Committee include Julian Aguon and Doreen Debrum. The Finance, Audit and Investment Committee is Chaired by the new Board Treasurer Haser Hainrick, with Finance Minister Elbuchel Sadang, and International Trustee Megumi Araki, currently with Japan's Association for the Promotion of International Cooperation and formerly with the Asian Development Bank. The Partnership and Development Committee is Chaired by Carlotta Leon Guerrero, formerly the President of the Association of Pacific Island Legislatures while serving in the Guam Legislature and currently with the Ayuda Foundation, a humanitarian organization in Guam who has been very active in the Maysak and Saudeleur typhoon recovery efforts in Chuuk, Yap and the CNMI. Diego Benavente and International Trustee Dan Martin,  formerly with the MacArthur Foundation and based in Washington DC, are the members of this committee. And finally, the Technical Committee, which is currently chaired by Jared Morris with Trina Leberer as member. MCT's Technical Committee is the only committee which includes non-Board member scientists, community experts, and academics etc.  to assist MCT with its grant-making and capacity building programs. 

"Along with its numerous community development programs, MCT was selected in 2006 by the Presidents and Governors of the Micronesia Governments and the Global Environment Facility-United Nations Environment Programme, The Nature Conservancy and Conservation International to serve as the financial mechanism for the Micronesia Challenge Endowment Fund( We now manage an ~$18,000,000 endowment for the Micronesia Challenge. The Board and management take this responsibility very seriously and have made sure over the years to have appropriate leadership, systems and processes in place in order to assist the Micronesia Governments succeed in delivering on this initiative, which they made as part of their commitments to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity and their gift to the world", says Chairwoman Doreen deBrum.

President Christian Addresses High-Level Event on Women’s Empowerment

United Nations Headquarters, New York, September 27, 2015

FSM President Peter Christian delivered remarks at the ‘Global Leaders’ Meeting on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment,’ a high-level event at the beginning of the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. The meeting, which was co-hosted by the People’s Republic of China and UN Women (the United Nations’ gender equality body), was part of the three-day High-Level Sustainable Development Summit at which the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted.

President Christian began his remarks by thanking the organizers of the event, President Xi Jinping of China and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. Both President Xi and the Secretary-General announced their commitments to enhance gender parity, including China’s pledge to scale up financial and technical assistance to developing countries. 
In the first half of his statement, President Christian reflected on the successes achieved under the Beijing Platform for Action and the Millennium Development Goals, but said countries must move forward without delay on the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. He called for leaders to commit to intensify efforts to reach the targeted development goals before their time.  
He highlighted FSM’s Strategic Development Plan, which encompasses the participation of women in all spheres of FSM’s nation building efforts, and the Gender Strategic Planning Matrix. He pointed out that these could benefit from more extended effort by the United Nations to review the process.

President Christian confirmed FSM’s commitment to pursue the unfinished work of the Millennium Development Goals with more vigor. At the same time, FSM will also focus on a cross-cutting effort to fulfill Sustainable Development Goal 5 (“Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.”) 

In conclusion, FSM will strive to reach its goals for women’s empowerment as soon as possible, but will require adequate resources and human capacity to progress as fast as larger nations. President Christian urged all nations to work collectively and travel the path of this noble challenge together.