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    President Panuelo Warmly Welcomes Ambassador Riley in First Courtesy Visit of His Administration


    FSM Information Services

    Press Release

    President Panuelo Warmly Welcomes Ambassador Riley in First Courtesy Visit of His Administration

    PALIKIR, Pohnpei—On May 13th, 2019, His Excellency David W. Panuelo, President of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), and the Honorable Yosiwo P. George, Vice President of the FSM, received His Excellency Robert A. Riley III, Ambassador of the United States of America, in the first official courtesy visit of this administration. The purpose of the meeting was for Ambassador Riley to congratulate President Panuelo on his election, and to discuss next steps on Typhoon Wutip-related disaster assistance, how best to improve services for FSM citizens who are veterans of the U.S. military, and concerns with regards to how the REAL ID Act Modification for the Freely Associated States has been implemented in the U.S. State of Hawaii.

    “I welcome you on behalf of myself, the Vice President, and the cabinet…due to the significance of our relationship with the United States, we thank you, [Ambassador Riley] and appreciate this first courtesy call this morning,” said President Panuelo. “I also want to thank you for the declaration President Trump made on [Typhoon Wutip].”

    In response to a April 17th, 2019 request from the FSM National Government, on May 7th, 2019, U.S. President Donald J. Trump declared a disaster under the Compact of Free Association, as amended, between the Government of the Federated States of Micronesia and the Government of the United States of America due to damage resulting from Typhoon Wutip during February 19th to February 23rd, 2019. This action makes U.S. Government funding available for emergency relief and reconstruction. Though official figures are not yet available, Ambassador Riley advised that he was given the estimate of “somewhere around ten million” dollars to support Typhoon Wutip-related reconstruction and relief efforts.

    Regarding the REAL ID Act, President Panuelo expressed his appreciation to Ambassador Riley and the United States Government for the December 2018 modification—which allows FSM citizens to receive full-term REAL ID driver’s licenses and identification cards—and expressed his concerns about recent developments in Hawaii where FSM citizens have reportedly been having trouble getting their licenses. “I’m hoping this is just localized in Hawaii,” said President Panuelo.

    “Sounds like it is,” said Ambassador Riley. “Our Office ANP [Office of Australia, New Zealand, and Pacific Island Affairs within the Bureau of East Asian & Pacific Affairs within the U.S. Department of State] is also engaged in that issue. We hope this gets resolved soon.” Likewise, the Embassy of the FSM, in partnership with the Embassy of the Republic of Palau and the Embassy of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, has been working closely with relevant U.S. Government agencies to resolve the issue.

    The highly efficient meeting closed with President Panuelo and Ambassador Riley reaffirming the close relationship between the FSM and the United States. “Our door is always open to you [and the Embassy of the United States], and you’re welcome at any time; our lines are open to you; we are two countries that have always shared a very close relationship, and I hope to keep it that way,” said President Panuelo.

    His Excellency David W. Panuelo, President of the Federated States of Micronesia


    FSM Information Services

    Press Release

    His Excellency David W. Panuelo, President of the Federated States of Micronesia

    PALIKIR, Pohnpei—On May 11th, 2019, the 21st Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) began its First Regular Session. Amongst the outcomes of the first day were the elections of the new President of the FSM, and the new Vice President of the FSM.

    The new and 9th President of the FSM is His Excellency David W. Panuelo. Prior to his election, President Panuelo was elected as the Senator At-Large for Pohnpei State.

    The new Vice President of the FSM is the Honorable Yosiwo P. George. Prior to his election, Vice President George was elected as the Senator At-Large for Kosrae State.

    Other elections of the day included the election of the Speaker and the Vice Speaker of the Congress of the FSM, as well as the election of the Floor Leader. The Honorable Wesley W. Simina won the election for the Speaker of the Congress of the FSM, the Honorable Esmond B. Moses won the election for the Vice Speaker of the Congress of the FSM, and the Honorable Florencio S. Harper won the election for the Floor Leader of the Congress of the FSM.

    Additionally, the various committees of the Congress of the FSM’s were appointed chairmen. The new chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means is the Honorable Isaac V. Figir. The new chairman of the Committee on Judiciary & Government Operations (J&GO) is the Honorable Robson U. Romolow. The new chairman of the Committee on Resources & Development is the Honorable Dion G. Neth.  The new chairman of the Committee on Health & Social Affairs is the Honorable Ferny S. Perman. The new chairman of the Committee on Education is the Honorable Joseph J. Urusemal. The new chairman of the Committee on External Affairs is the Honorable Paliknoa K. Welly. The new chairman of the Committee on Transportation & Communication is the Honorable Victor V. Gouland. The new chairman of the Special Committee on Climate Change & Environment is the Honorable Derensio S. Konman.

    Later in the day was the first Committee to Wait on the President in the 21st Congress of the FSM and the Presidency of His Excellency David W. Panuelo. In the meeting, President Panuelo and Vice President George discussed some of their objectives for the First Regular Session of the 21st Congress of the FSM and the near future, which include the proposed FSM PetroCorps Transformation Act, which would allow Vital/FSM PetroCorps to include renewable energy in its mission, a bill to redefine the role of the Secretary of the Department of Education (DOE), with respect to the DOE’s regulation of private schools, and a Debt Management Bill.

    The FSM National Government formally congratulates President Panuelo and Vice President George on their elections, and unites behind them to ensure that their administration is a success for all who call these islands home.

    JOINT MEDIA RELEASE: Ending Slavery at Sea headlines key Regional Fisheries Meeting




     

    JOINT MEDIA RELEASE: Ending Slavery at Sea headlines key Regional Fisheries Meeting

     

    POHNPEI, 10 May 2019 – The annual Forum Fisheries Committee (FFC) Officials meeting concluded today with a headline decision to strengthen the regional harmonised minimum requirements for fishing licences with the addition of Crew Employment Conditions.

     

    The outcome has already been hailed as “ground-breaking” by the 17 members as well as by international NGOs present at the meeting.

     

    Speaking from the meeting the Director-General of the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) Dr Manu-Tupou-Roosen noted that the decision of members would now require embedding in national procedures.

     

    “The fishing vessel operator will now become formally responsible for the health, welfare and safety of the Crew while he or she is on board the vessel, and will be required to meet decent standards in respect of salary and conditions for all crew,” observed Dr Tupou-Roosen.

     

    “This is a giant step forward in helping to ensure that the ‘slavery at sea’ identified in other global fisheries does not blight the Pacific region. It will help ensure that basic human rights are protected for those working in our offshore tuna fishery.”

     

    The Chairman of the meeting, Executive Director of Federated States of Micronesia’s National Oceanic Resource Management Authority (NORMA), Eugene Pangelinan observed that “while the region’s regional offshore tuna fisheries are already the most sustainably managed in the world, we now expect all operators in the fishery to treat crew members in a way that reflects the values and expectations of our combined membership.” 

     

    Executive Director Pangelinan also noted that by setting these standards more Pacific Island nationals will be motivated to become crew on fishing vessels thus meeting an objective to enhance local employment in the Industry. “This is a goal our Leaders have set us and we are proud to be taking this work forward.”

     

    Participants at the meeting have noted heightened concerns over conditions in high seas fisheries, especially on foreign longlining vessels which often require crew to stay at sea for up to a year with poor pay and conditions and harsh penalties for dissent.

     

    Meeting in Pohnpei, the 17 member countries of the FFA also agreed:

     

    ·        A final draft FFA Strategic Plan 2020-2025 for forwarding to Ministers for their endorsement when they meet next month.

    ·        Strengthened work on assessing the impacts of climate change on offshore fisheries;

    ·        A new Regional Longline Strategy to underpin stronger returns to island countries;

    ·        Enhanced measures to eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing; and

    ·        Priorities for FFA members to take forward in the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.

     

    This week was also a time of reflection for NORMA and FFA who both celebrate 40 years of operation.

     

    “I cannot stress enough that although much has been achieved in 40 years, there is still much to do particularly with emerging issues and challenges such as climate change. We work to ensure our people enjoy social and economic benefits from a sustainably managed offshore tuna resource and this wouldn’t be possible without key partnerships,” said Dr Tupou-Roosen.

     

    “I want to particularly thank NORMA for hosting us this year. But also I want to thank our members for their continued trust in us. Cooperation, is without a doubt what has brought us this far and it will be how we advance for the next 40 or more years.”

     

    Coincidently, the fisheries meeting concludes on the 40thanniversary of the FSM becoming a self-governing nation.

     

    ##ENDS##

    For more information and photos contact:

    Donna Hoerder, FFA Media, +691 920 5332 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Richard Clark, FSM Public Information Office,+691-920-1612This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

     

    About Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA)

    FFA assists its 17-member countries to sustainably manage fishery resources that fall within their 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs). FFA provides expertise, technical assistance and other support to its members who make sovereign decisions about their tuna resources and participate in regional decision making on tuna management. www.ffa.int

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    About National Oceanic Resource Management Authority (NORMA)

    The Government of Federated States of Micronesia, National Oceanic Resource Management Authority (NORMA) manages oceanic resources and in particular tuna resources, within the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Federated States of Micronesia.www.norma.fm

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