Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

FSM Prepares to Hold National Food Summit to address Food Security Issues

Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): March 9, 2010 - President Mori has recently approved a joint request by the FSM Secretary of the Department of Health & Social Affairs, Hon. Dr. Vita A. Skilling, and the Acting Secretary of the Department of Resources and Development, Mr. Marion Henry, to organize a National Food Summit in Pohnpei in preparation for the upcoming Regional Pacific Food Summit in Vanuatu in April of 2010. The dates for the FSM Food Summit are set for March 29-31, 2010.

This National Food Summit is being held to help stimulate an integrated approach to the development and implementation of food security, safety, quality, nutrition and trade policies, and plans of action that are already in place in the national and state governments. It will also affirm existing efforts to increase agricultural productivity, to enhance access to healthy and affordable local food, and to bring about behavior change on diet and physical activity, as well as bring innovative approaches to production, processing and regulating, and the trading of food in the FSM.

Specifically, the National Food Summit objectives are to highlight the current FSM Government commitments to addressing food security, to identify gaps and develop recommendations and action plans, and to pull together the contributions that the FSM delegation will take to Vanuatu for the Regional Pacific Food Summit in April. A FSM Food Security Policy will be developed and submitted to the President for approval at the end of the summit.

According to Mr. Moses Pretrick, Manager for the Environmental Health & Preparedness Unit in the FSM Department of Health & Social Affairs, who is the Chairman of the FSM Food Summit Steering Committee, a National Food Summit will recognize the benefit of our four States working together to address our own food security issues, challenges and needs facing our people, especially those facing our outer island populations throughout the FSM. Food Security is a complex system which also requires a complex response, and a National Food Summit will signal FSM's commitment to addressing food security in an integrated manner with all key stakeholders.

This President has informed all the departments to assign their most relevant staff to serve on the National Food Summit Steering Committee. The Committee will be formed from staff from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Justice, Education, Health & Social Affairs, Resources & Development, Finance & Administration, and staff from the Offices of Environment and Emergency Management, Statistics, Budget, ODA and Compact Management (SBOC), National Archives and Historic Preservation (NACH), and the National Oceanic and Resource Management Authority (NORMA). The Committee will also have representatives of NGO's, specifically SPC and the Island Food Community of Pohnpei will help organize and plan the summit.

Letters to the four state governors have gone out informing the states on the National Food Summit and inviting the Governors to select 5 people from the state governments working in the sectors of health, education, fisheries, agriculture, and environment to come to Pohnpei for the summit. These participants will be paid for by the budget for the summit. In addition to national and state government workers, the summit committee will invite participants from our development partners such as SPC, WHO, FAO and the UN-Joint Presence Offices, as well as NGO's, private business owners and the Chamber of Commerce.

More information on the upcoming National Food Summit can be requested by emailing Moses Pretrick at mpretrick@fsmhealth.fm or calling (691) 320-8300.


For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356
e-mail: fsmpio@mail.fm
http://www.fsmpio.fm/