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  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • John R. Haglelgam (bio)

Federated States of Micronesia

This review covers a portion of the president's and vice president's travel; the Micronesia Presidents' Summit in Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands; proposed amendments to the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) Constitution; the issue of acting President Peter Christian's return to public life; and several ambassadors' presentation of credentials.

July 2009 saw both President Emanuel (Manny) Mori and Vice President Alik Alik traveling to foreign capitals. President Mori traveled to Noumea, New Caledonia, to attend the Third France-Oceania Summit on 31 July. Accompanying the president were his wife, Emma Nelson-Mori; Secretary of Foreign Affairs Lorin Robert; and Fabian Nimea, director of the Office of Statistics, Budget and Economic Management, Overseas Development Assistance, and Compact Managment (SBOC). Vice President Alik traveled to Beijing to meet with the Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping on 9 July. Mr Alik rounded out his visit to China with an inspection of the newly established FSM Embassy at the Jiangoumenwai Diplomatic Compound and a meeting with the embassy staff and FSM students attending various schools in the country (FSM Information Services 2009c, 2009b).

The 9th Micronesian Presidents' Summit met 16-17 July in Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI). This summit dovetailed with the 11th Micronesian Chief Executives' Summit, which was held 14-16 July and included state governors of the Micronesian entities. The members of the Micronesian Presidents' Summit are the presidents of the FSM, the RMI, and the Republic of Palau (RP). Then-RMI President Litokwa Tomeing expressed his view that the people of Micronesia are "helpless victims of global forces such as climate change, financial and economic downturns, and an energy crisis"; he also expressed the hope "that Micronesia will stand up to the challenges and fashion for itself a solid foundation for genuine individual cooperation and support."

FSM President Mori told the gathering, "Given the multitude of challenges we continue to face, either together or individually, it is in our collective interest to have an inclusive discussion on concrete issues affecting us all and to maximize and explore ways of pooling resources for collective benefits." He concluded his speech by saying, "After all, it is given that we would achieve much better results by working closely together as one. This naturally would only strengthen our Micronesia region, and would no doubt enhance our Micronesian spirit of partnership and solidarity. We need each other now more than ever."

RP President Johnson Toribiong [End Page 172] committed himself "with 100% effort to work in full cooperation to build upon the issues of the past summit meetings and find solutions to overcome the challenges [of climate change and energy problems] before them." He encouraged his colleagues to commit themselves to "work together at every forum. " President Toribiong underlined the importance of cooperation by quoting General Douglas MacArthur, who said, "Defeat is just another word for too late"; Toribiong encouraged his colleagues to heed Mac Arthur's advice "and act now, before it's too late" (FSM Information Services 2009a).

In this summit, the three presidents adopted the theme of the Chief Executives' Summit, which addressed climate change, energy challenge, and proactive leadership for a resilient Micronesia. It remains to be seen whether the overwhelming support the three presidents expressed for joint effort and collaboration among their respective countries will translate into a united effort to acquire affordable fuel and create a Micronesian group in the Pacific Islands Forum.

President Mori issued a presidential order that three constitutional amendments be put to the voters for ratification in the March 2011 national election for FSM Congress. Two of the proposed amendments originated from the 15th FSM Congress, including one that would repeal the citizenship provision (section 3, article III) of the national constitution, leaving nothing in its place, and another that would provide for four-year terms for all members of congress. The third proposed amendment would clarify who is eligible for the office of the president.

If the citizenship amendment is approved, the assumption is that the FSM Congress will enact a citizenship statute that would allow dual citizenship, but what shape that statute would take, no...


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