Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia

Cohen Visited Phillip

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Congress): July 1, 2003 - Deputy Assistant Secretary for Insular Affairs at the U.S. Department of Interior, Mr. David Cohen paid courtesy call to Acting Speaker, Claude H. Phillip in his office late yesterday afternoon. After Speaker Phillip formally welcomed Mr. Cohen to the Legislature Branch of the National Government and thanked him for the opportunity to meet, Deputy Assistant Secretary Cohen emphatically informed Speaker Phillip that he himself along with other high ranking U.S. officials have been working very hard to secure passage of the amended Compact with US Congress on Capitol Hill. According to Mr. Cohen, House Sub-committee on Foreign Relations already held hearings on the amended Compact in which he himself and Al Short (US Chief Negotiator) were called to testify respectively. Two major issues of concern raised during the hearing were (1) accountability and (2) the impact of the FSM citizens migrating to other US jurisdictions. Additional congressional hearings are being scheduled to be held in the near future, and according to Mr. Cohen he is very hopeful for a successful result.

The subject of accountability was explicitly discussed by Mr. Cohen pertaining to the amended Compact. Accountability is a jointly shared responsibility and the Compact itself is an investment that can only be implemented in partnership, according to Mr. Cohen. He further said that it is beneficial to both the American public and to the people of the Federated States of Micronesia.

Both Mr. Cohen and Speaker Phillip agreed that time is of essence and that both parties need to work diligently to meet certain datelines in order to move the amended Compact forward and ultimately to get its final approved.

The Assistant Deputy Secretary was accompanied by the US Ambassador to the FSM, His Excellency, Larry Dinger and the US Federal Program Coordinator, Victor Hobson, Jr.

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