Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia

FSM Congress News, October 22, 2003

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Congress): October 22, 2003 - Congress once again discussed at length a report from the Committee on External Affairs recommending the ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), during its 10th day of the current session, October 22, 2003.

The resolution has been discussed with the Congress for several years, and today's discussion was no different from previous ones, but the report ultimately was adopted by a majority of the Members.

A few Members, including Speaker Christian and former Speaker Fritz, wondered if the convention is in conflict with the customs and tradition of the Micronesian people and other peoples of the world, and expressed concerns about weather or not, by ratifying the convention, the FSM would be attempting to impose certain views and judgments on other cultures. Speaker Christian also wondered if ratification would constitute an admission of guilt with respect to certain form of discrimination. Members who recommended adoption of the committee report say that the resolution is consistent with Article IV and V of the FSM Constitution. These Members further say that if Congress ratifies this convention, it would simply mean that the FSM is joining the majority of countries in the world in lending a supporting vice to women in those countries whose women's rights are violated.

Congress recommitted to the Committee on External Affairs, for further investigation, another resolution that pertains to acceding to the International Convention against the Taking of Hostages. It adopted three other committee reports, one pertaining to a bill to change the allottee of funds appropriated for use in Pohnpei State, and two pertaining to resolutions that would ratify the Conventions on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons (including diplomatic agents) and the Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.

On the bill calendar, Congress passed, on 1st Reading, three bills that would change the allottees and use of certain funds appropriated for the States of Kosrae and Pohnpei and deferred action on the two bills pertaining to immigration moratorium and to limiting ambassadorial terms of office. Congress deferred action on the nomination of Mr. Midion G. Neth for the position of Deputy Secretary of the Department of Health, Education and Social Affairs and on the resolutions to ratify the conventions.

Senator Jack Fritz expressed appreciation, during miscellaneous business, to President Joseph J. Urusemal for allowing the FSS Voyager to take the needed relief foods to the people of the Northwest region in Chuuk and to Vice President Redley Killion for personally making sure the foods are delivered to the people of the area. The senator extended the same appreciation to the U.S. government and to FEMA for providing the feeding program and other related programs in the state of Chuuk.

Several committees made announcements about various meetings and public hearings to be held today and during the remainder of the week.

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