Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

3rd State and National Leadership Conference officially kicks off at the College of Micronesia-FSM Gym in Pohnpei

Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): March 18, 2010 - The Third State and National Leadership Conference (SNLC) officially opened this morning at the College of Micronesia (COM)-FSM Gym in Pohnpei. During the next two days the conference will foster discussion on critical issues for the economic and social development of the FSM including tax system reform, social security, fisheries rehabilitation project, transportation, compact grants, telecommunication and the fiber-optic cable.

Attending the conference are the FSM President, H.E. Emanuel Mori, Vice President Honorable Alik Alik, Speaker of the FSM Congress, the Honorable Isaac Figir, Governors Robert Weilbacher of the State of Kosrae, Wesley Simina of the State of Chuuk, John Ehsa, of the State of Pohnpei, and Sebastian Anefal of the State of Yap.

Also present are Members of the National and State Cabinets, National and State Senators including all four state Speakers, members of the Diplomatic Missions, supporting staff and representatives from the private sector.

The conference unanimously chose Governor Weilbacher of Kosrae to Chair the meeting over the next few days.

The official opening of the SNLC featured opening remarks from the Governors of the four States and President Mori. The Governors of the four States commended the President for convening the third SNLC to address the items on the agenda and identified other pressing matters that the Nation is currently faced with including investment of Compact trust funds, transportation and telecommunication.

In his remarks, President Mori joined the Governors in welcoming participants for their responsiveness to the call for the third SNLC. He acknowledged the importance of the issues on the agenda and stressed that the outcomes of the Conference will depend on how the Meeting is facilitated. He also recommended that for future SNLC meetings, Working Committees should be established to hold prior technical discussions on issues on the agenda before the Leadership meets. The Working Committees would also be in charge of the implementation of the resolution and recommendations of the SNLC so as to ensure follow-up of resolutions and recommendations.

The morning session was dedicated to discussions on food security, infrastructure grants and a proposal to create a new compact sector grant called 'Enhanced Reporting and Accountability', which would provide flexibility to the States to use up to 2% of sector grant monies to fund their finance and budget departments to handle compact reporting requirements. Proposed Decisions and resolutions will be finalized for consideration by the Leadership before the end of the Conference.

The conference is being hosted by the FSM Department of R&D, as Secretariat for the SNLC, and Acting Secretary for the FSM Department of R&D, Mr. Marion Henry is co-chairing the meeting with Governor Weilbacher.

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