Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

FSM hopes to Ratify the International Convention against Doping in Sports

Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): March 19, 2009 - In a letter to the Hon. Speaker of Congress, the FSM Secretary for the Department of Health and Social Affairs (H&SA), Dr. Vita Skilling, has requested the 15th Congress of the FSM to ratify the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sports. The original request was sent up during the 6th Regular Session of Congress in January of 2009, but due to a short and busy session, Congress was not able to act on the request. The Secretary wrote in her letter that, "this document is urgently needed as it will effect further development of our FSM athletes and participation in international sports."

Secretary Skilling is referring to consequences that have been made clear by the President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Mr. John Fahey, in a letter that was sent to the Department of H&SA on March 5th, 2009. In the letter, Mr. Fahey states that "we can only make strong progress in the fight against doping in sport, when both our sporting and government partners fulfill their obligations under the World Code." The obligation of the FSM is to ratify and implement the Convention against Doping in Sports.

If the Congress should ratify this Convention during this session, the FSM then becomes eligible for direct funding support for anti-doping education, policy and capacity building projects under a Voluntary Fund that has been established by governments and through UNESCO. Only countries that ratify the Convention may apply to the fund and there is currently $1.3 million available.

The consequences that can be imposed on countries that do not ratify the Convention by the end of 2009 may result in sports and events organizations in FSM to be ineligible to bid for or host World Championship or International Events of International Federations or to host regional events amongst other possible consequences.

To date, only 6 countries from Oceania are parties to the Convention: Australia, Cook Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Palau and Samoa. If the 15th Congress should ratify the convention, it would lead the rest of the Pacific nations of Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Niue, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu in doing so.

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