Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia

FSM Congress News, October 28, 2003

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Congress): October 28, 2003 - The resolution to ratify the UN Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) was finally ratified this morning, October 18, 2003 after its first introduction to Congress during the 9th Congress.

The main obstacle to ratifying the convention was whether the convention is in conflict of the customs and traditions of the Micronesian people. During the many years of discussion on the resolution, some Members expressed concerns that by ratifying the resolution, the FSM would attempt to impose certain views and judgments on other cultures, and also that ratification would constitute an admission of guilt to certain from of discrimination in the FSM. Members who recommended congressional ratification said the resolution is consistent with Articles IV and V of the FSM Constitution and ratification would simply mean that the FSM is joining the majority of countries in the world in lending a supporting voice to women in those countries where women's rights are violated.

Senator Isaac Figir, Chairman of the Committee on External Affairs, whose committee's jurisdiction covers the resolution, expressed appreciation to all Members for the unanimous votes received on the convention and call the action of Congress, "a victory for all women in the FSM."

Congress also ratified the resolution on the UN Convention Against the Taking of Hostages and approved the nomination of Mr. Kasio E. Mida to serve as ambassador of the FSM to the Government of Japan. It also approved, on 1st Reading, a bill to allow any available funds originally designated for capital project under the Compact and to be transferred to the current accounts of the national and state governments for unrestricted use, and two other bills that would change the allottees of certain funds previously appropriated by Congress.

Congress recessed at 11:11 a.m. and will reconvene on Thursday, October 30, to allow Members to join the meeting of the EPIC, which is taking place today and tomorrow in Palikir.

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