Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Visit to the FSM by SPC Director-General, T.H. Jimmie Rodgers, to undertake the FSM-SPC Joint Country Strategy

Palikir, POHNPEI (Dept. of Foreign Affairs): March 18, 2008 - On Monday March 3, 2008, President Emanuel Mori and Vice-President Alik L. Alik received the Director-General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Dr. Jimmie Rodgers, and members of his executive staff to discuss matter of mutual importance to FSM's progressing relationship with SPC.

Among the issues discussed, an issue of particular importance is the joint effort to develop the FSM Joint Country Strategy.

The main concept of the strategy as reflected in the Terms of Reference for the consultation is to "provided a broad outline of SPC's current and planned engagement with the Government of the FSM and its States, and its relationship with the national and state development plans and guide the provisions of SPC services to the FSM and its states within the next 5 years".

Members of the executive staff includes Mr. Falani Aukuso, the SPC Deputy Director-General based out of Suva, Fiji, Mr. Richard Mann, SPC Deputy Director-General based in New Caledonia, Noumea, and newly-recruited Manager of the SPC Regional Office based in Pohnpei, Mr. Amena Yauvoli, and SPC's divisional managers from areas ranging from public health, land resources, marine resources, human development programs, and statistics and demography. Aside from the consultation with the FSM Government, SPC took the opportunity to convene its annual Executive Planning Committee held for the first time at its Pohnpei Regional Office based in Kolonia.

During the courtesy call, both the President and the Vice-President reiterated their support and appreciation for SPC's assistance for the country strategy as it is an important undertaking with the aim to streamline SPC developmental programs to compliment and supplement FSM's development priorities reflected in its National Strategic Development Plan. They also express appreciation and support to the Director-General for his personal efforts rendered in the establishment of the SPC Regional Office in Pohnpei.

The President and the Vice-President further emphasized the need for the country strategy to also reflect the development needs and priorities of the States in the Federation given the unique geopolitical set-up of the country. To this end, it is expected that similar arrangements would be undertaken at the state level to ensure that the strategy reflects the development priorities of the whole nation and to ensure that the strategy is truly FSM-owned.

Vice-President Alik commended and supported the mutual interests of both the FSM and SPC with respect to the envisioned future expansion of the SPC-Pohnpei Office to enable the servicing of more development programs to northern-based members. In that regard, exchanges were made regarding mutual interests for the establishment of a "Micronesian Village" in the FSM to better accommodate the expansion of the office, as well as possible accommodating site for other regional and international organizations. Subsequent to the call, Vice-President delivered the opening remarks for the Joint Country Strategy workshop that was held at the Central Facility from March 10-14, 2008 between the SPC executive team and the FSM Government to advance collectively the development of the Joint Country Strategy.

In addition to the Director-General's call on the President and the Vice-President, the Director-General also paid calls on the leadership of the State of Pohnpei in which similar issues were discussed.

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