Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia

FSM Congress News, May 12, 2004

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Congress): May 12, 2004 - Congress adopted a resolution this morning ratifying a new amended Agreement relating to the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization in which the FSM is a member.

The FSM is a member of INTELSAT along with hundreds of countries worldwide. The existing INTELSAT agreement is now out of date. The agreement had to be updated to reflect changes in the internal INTELSAT Organizational structure including the fact that INTELSAT was recently privatized. Because the current agreement is out dated, all members countries that had signed the original INTELSAT agreement must now ratify the new updated agreement.

The Organization provides essential worldwide communication services to its more than 200 nations and territories members since its establishment in 1971.

Other measures on today's calendar for actions were deferred.

Yesterday at 3:00 p.m. the Committee on Judiciary and Governmental Operations held public hearings at the Central Facilities Building regarding the proposed creation of a new National Environmental Production Office. The hearing brought in representatives from the Pohnpei State Government as well as representatives of the various departments of the National Government and an NGO.

Congressional Bill No. 13-83 seeks to create a new office of Environmental Production within the existing executive branch of the national government of the Federated States of Micronesia.

The representatives from the Pohnpei State Government stated their opposition to the bill saying the new office could take away funding for the state's existing office. The other representatives from the President's office and the Department of Health, Education and Social Affairs stated their need to look at the bill further to know the intention of the new office and how it might affect the national budget.

Mr. Willy Costiga of the NGO was the lone supporter of the office stating that an office is needed in order to coordinate and distribute information and assistance to the appropriate offices and individuals who needs them.

Senator Dion G. Neth, author of the bill, told the representatives from Pohnpei State that if they disagree with the bill, they might as well get rid of their tourism program as environment is a vital part of the tourism industry. He further stated that money is not always the problem of a program, because we can always find money, but a good environment is not a thing we cannot see or purchase anywhere in the stores at any given time.

The committee gave the representatives, who said they need to look at the bill further, until May 25, to come up with a position on the bill before it makes its final report on the issue.

For further information on this release, please contact:

Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia
Public Information Office
P.O Box PS-3
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2324/2325
Fax.: (691) 320-5122