FOREIGN AFFAIRS WEEKLY
November 25-29, 1996
The SPREP meeting of South Pacific Ministers to which the FSM sent a delegation headed by the Deputy Secretary of External Affairs, the Honorable Epel K. Ilon, endorsed the SPREP Action Plan for 1997-2000 and appointed Mr. Tamarii Pierre Tutangara of the Cook Islands as the new Director of SPREP. The new SPREP Action Plan is the South Pacific region's framework for a regional approach to address environmental issues, and has five elements: conservation of biological diversity; climate change and integrated coastal management; waste management; environmental management, planning and institutional strengthening; and environmental education, information, and training. The overall goal is to build national capacity in environmental and resource management in order to improve and protect the environment.
The FSM Permanent Mission to the United Nations launched on November 8, 1996, an official Internet Webpage for the Government of the Federated States of Micronesia in commemoration of FSM Independence Day on November 3, after being previewed by Secretary Asterio R. Takesy. The FSM government site can be found at http://www.fsmgov.org/ and the FSM UN Mission site is located at http://www.fsmgov.org/fsmun/.
The FSM voted with 117 other nations in the UN General Assembly to adopt a resolution entitled "Zone of Peace and Cooperation of the South Atlantic" calling on states to refrain from any actions inconsistent with the objectives of the resolution, with the UN Charter, and relevant resolutions of the organization. On another resolution to end the U.S. economic embargo on Cuba, the FSM choose to abstain, but voted against the Libyan resolution on unilateral sanctions. the FSM co-sponsored a number of resolutions on religious intolerance, strengthening the Centre for Human Rights, Rights of Children, improvement of the status of women in the Secretariat, Vienna Declaration of Human Rights, Culture of Peace, and a series of country-specific resolutions on human rights.
The FSM Embassy in Washington D.C. took an active role in coordinating this year's Pacific Night held at the New Zealand Embassy in Washington D.C. with the FSM Deputy Chief of Mission, Mr. Ringlen Ringlen, chairing the Washington Pacific Committee. The Committee is comprised of representatives from Australia, New Zealand, PNG, Fiji, Western Samoa, Guam, CNMI, Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau, and its purpose is to foster cooperation and understanding on a range of important issues between the countries of the Pacific region and the United States. It ensures that the region's voice is heard in both the U.S. Administration and in Congress, inter alia, by organizing briefings by regional Ambassadors for presentation to members of the U.S. Congress. It also cooperates with other Washington-based organizations and offices with an active interest in Pacific regional affairs, and liaises with Pacific representatives not resident in Washington. The Pacific night was deemed a success.
The staff of the FSM Embassy in Washington D.C. met in an emergency meeting with their counterparts from the Embassy of the Marshall Islands and the Embassy of Palau to address the issue of "Habitual Residence of FAS citizens in the U.S. Possessions." The Compacts of Free Association allow FAS citizens to freely enter into the United States and its possessions. Section 643 of a new immigration bill requires INS to issue regulations on habitual residence which may have far-reaching effects on FAS citizens residing in the U.S. and its possessions.
The FSM Government has been invited by the World Meteorological Organization to participate in the 12th Session of Regional Association IV (North and Central America) to be held in Nassau, Bahamas, from May 12-21, 1997. The Government has sought a nomination from the FSM Weather Service.
A Second Meeting of National Councils for Sustainable Development is scheduled to be held in Manila from December 12-14, 1996, to which FSM is invited to present its accomplishment report on the progress of implementation of the Rio Accords and sustainable development initiatives and best practices.
The Department has informed the Embassy of Japan in Kolonia of FSM's nomination, Mr. Mathew C. Yamada, to the Seminar on Fishery Resource Management to be held in Kanagawa International Fisheries Training Center in Japan.
The Department has submitted a nomination, Mr. Amato Elymore, to the Pacific Islands Meeting on Public Health Surveillance scheduled to be held in Noumea in December 1996.
The Department coordinated a visit to Pohnpei by Mr. Clay Wescott, who is the Program Manager of the Pacific Development Management Program at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) from November 28-December 3, 1996. The purpose of the visit was to explore possibilities for UNDP to build national capacity to effectively monitor the social impact of structural reform adjustments.