The New Zealand Ambassador-designate to the FSM, Mr. John Mills, is slated to visit Pohnpei from January 14-18, 1997, to present his letters of credence officially making him New Zealand's Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the FSM based in Kiribati. Ambassador-designate Mills succeeds Mr. Brian Marshall whose letter of recall will also be presented during the accreditation ceremony on January 15, 1997 at the President's Cabinet Room.
Her Brittanic Majesty's Ambassador-designate to the FSM, Mr. Vernon Scarborough, is scheduled to visit Pohnpei from January 16-22, 1997, to present his letters of credence as Her Brittanic Majesty's Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the FSM, based in Suva. The accreditation ceremony is arranged for January 21, 1997 at the President's Cabinet Room.
A workshop on waste management is to be held in Nuku'alofa, Tonga, from March 17-21, 1997, under the sponsorship of the World Health Organization. The FSM has been invited to send a nomination by January 15, 1997.
A Japanese research vessel, Ryofa Maru, is requesting a permit to conduct research in the FSM Exclusive Economic Zone from June 25 to July 4, 1997. The Japan Embassy in Kolonia is working closely with the Department to obtain the permit.
A Pacific Aviation Directors Workshop is slated to be held in Saipan from February 11-14, 1997 to which the FSM is invited.
The FSM Government is expecting a visit by a five-member Formulation Study Mission from the Government of Japan to conduct a formulation study on infrastructure and fisheries, and to consult with concerned officials from the National and State Governments of Chuuk, Kosrae and Pohnpei.
The Department has recommended granting of Agreement to the appointment of Mr. Delfin Comome Pujol as Spain's Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the FSM with residence in Manila.
The FSM Government is invited to participate in the Junior Statesmen Summer Scholarship Program coordinated through the U.S. Department of the Interior. This is the first time that the scholarship program has been offered to the FSM, with two scholarships each for Pohnpei and Chuuk, and one scholarship each for Yap and Kosrae. Extension of this opportunity to FSM students from the U.S. Government is a response to the large number of FSM students who participated in past Close-Up Programs and the PREL Conference.
The Department has informed the South Pacific Regional Environmental Programme of its nomination to the Climate Change Vulnerability for Atoll Nations Workshop to be held in Kiribati from February 10-13, 1997. Mssrs. Asher Edward and Larry Raigetal will represent the FSM, the former is a Sea Grant Extension Agent at the College of Micronesia-FSM and lead author of Pohnpei State's Coastal Zone Management Plan, and the latter is a foreign service officer at the Department of External Affairs who will speak on "Historical Climatic Disasters in Yap State Outer Islands and Traditional Indigenous Methods of Coping."
The FSM Government has been informed by the Government of Japan through its Embassy in Kolonia of its intention to implement the Women in Development (WD)-related supply of special equipment technical cooperation to enhance JOCV cooperation this year. Proposals are sought in this regard no later than February 14, 1997.
The Acting President, the Honorable Jacob Nena, delivered a short statement during the Japan National Day Celebration held on December 20, 1996 at the Sei Restaurant. The Acting President expressed pleasure for taking part in the celebration and remarked on the strong bonds of friendship and association between the FSM and Japan which are based on historical roots and shared ideals. In affirming his desire to further strengthen these bonds, Acting President Nena noted the significant role the Japanese Community in Kolonia and elsewhere played in strengthening the special relationship between the FSM and Japan. In closing, the President asked for a special prayer for those held against their will during a similar celebration in the Japanese compound in Peru.
Six FSM students have been awarded New Zealand scholarships for this year to attend colleges/universities in New Zealand namely: Ms. Vivian Abraham (Wellington Polytechnic), Mr. Amanzio Elieisar (Lincoln University), Ms. Layleen Popoly Oliver (Auckland Institute of Technology), Mr. Shrew Robert (Wellington Polytechnic), Ms. Arlene Takesy (Auckland Institute) and Mr. William William (Auckland Institute of Technology).
The FSM Government sent a delegation headed by His Excellency President Jacob Nena to attend the funeral for the late President Amata Kabua. Accompanying the President were his wife Lady Lerina, Messrs. Bethwel Henry, John Mangefel, Lorin Robert and Bernard Thoulag, and a delegation from the FSM Congress comprised of Vice Speaker Claude Phillip and his wife, Senator Peter Christian and Mr. Suda Rayel. A condolence message from Acting President Nena had been forwarded earlier to the Honorable Kunio Lemari, Acting President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
The Department informed the Government of the Republic of Kiribati through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the rescue of two I-Kiribati nationals and inquired about funding assistance to repatriate them together with their salvaged property to their homeland. The two I-Kiribati nationals were found in FSM waters by a Chinese fishing vessel after drifting for about two months, taken to land for medical treatment at the Pohnpei State Hospital and were found to be in good health.
A number of Operations and Maintenance Improvement (OMIP) grants were approved by the U.S. Department of the Interior Office of Insular Affairs: $1,168,190.00 for Pohnpei PUC, $315,000.00 for Kosrae Utility Authority and $163,540.00 for Yap Public Service Corporation. The FSM Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Jesse Marehalau concurred to the grants and accepted them on behalf of the FSM Government.
The FSM Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Jesse Marehalau, signed a Memorandum of Understanding for A Single Audit in the aggregate amount of $655,000.00 for the FY96 Single Audit.
The FSM Embassy in Washington D.C. provided assistance to realize an internship program developed by the Sixth Kosrae State Legislature with the aim to place two Legal Aides from the Kosrae State Legislature in the U.S. Legislative Offices for exposure to the U.S. legislative system and to provide on-the-job training. Senator Daniel Akaka of the State of Hawaii will be the first sponsor of the program participants for a period of three to four weeks commencing at the end of April or in early May 1997 with the internship costs borne by Kosrae State.
The FSM Embassy in Washington D.C. assisted in securing Canadian visas for four FSM senators who are invited by the Canadian Parliament to attend the Fifth Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum in Vancouver, Canada, from January 7-10, 1997. The Senators are Leo A. Falcam, Redley Killion, Yosiwo George and Isaac Figir.