Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia

Congress Witnessed Initialing of Compact

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Congress): November 4, 2002 - Congress witnessed, November 4, 2002, the initialing of the compact documents between the governments of the United States of America and the Federated States of Micronesia. It also listened silently to FSM President Leo A. Falcam delivered the state of the Nation Message. Both events took place in the Congress chamber in Palikir, Pohnpei. The two events were broadcast live throughout the 4 radio stations in the FSM and on the internet.

Signing on behalf of the U.S. Government was its Special Negotiator, the Honorable Al Short and on behalf of the FSM Government was FSM's Chief Negotiator, Honorable Senator Peter M. Christian. The initialing of the compact documents reflected some agreement between the two teams, but the negotiations will continue for the next few weeks to complete the works on some issues that the two teams have not agreed on before the documents can be signed.

The FSM has not agreed to the levels of grants, the Trust Fund contributions, the FEMA and some language of the Fiscal Procedures Agreement, Title 4, and other items.

During the initialing ceremony the FSM chief negotiator expressed his appreciation to the U.S. team for accommodating the needs of the FSM people and at the same time represents their country, admirably.

FSM President Leo A. Falcam delivered the state of the Nation Message after the initialing ceremonies of the amended compact completed. The president spoke of his administration's accomplishment over the past more than 3 years and plans to improve those that need improvements.

In the gallery and introduced for recognition were the Nanmwarki of U and his wife, FSM Vice President Redley Killion, FSM Chief Justice Andon L. Amaraich, HE Larry Dinger, United States Ambassador to the FSM, Honorable David Cohen, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior for the Office of Insular Affairs and the U.S. Negotiator himself, the Honorable Al Short who was involved in the first negotiation of the Compact in 1986. HE Ambassador Zang of the People's Republic of China and key staff of the embassies of Australia and Japan, the staff of the FSM and U.S. negotiating teams, members of the president's cabinet and other citizens who were observing the session and the events were also introduced for recognition.

Congress had to cut short it session yesterday to accommodate invitations for a luncheon provided by the U.S. Ambassador, his staff and the U.S. Community in Pohnpei celebrating the occasion of the compact initiation. Following in the evening, the FSM hosted a reception for the same event and in honoring the U.S. officials who were part of the event.

Congress will reconvene today, November 5, at 10:00 in the morning.

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