President Mori Delivers the State of the Nation Address Before Congress
Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): May 14, 2009 - Today, May 14, 2009, President Mori stood before Congress and a full chamber and gave his second State of the Nation Address. The address was attended by Vice President Alik, the members of the 16th FSM Congress, Chief Justice Amariach, former Presidents Leo A. Falcam and Joseph Urusemal, the resident Diplomatic Community, members of the President's Cabinet, state governors, employees of the National Government and the public. The speech was broadcast live over the radio in all four FSM States via FSM Telecom and will be released to public television with the day.
After welcoming all leaders, dignitaries, and the public who were in attendance and listening live on the radio, the President got into his speech by recognizing the 30th anniversary of the FSM Constitution that was signed on May 10th, 1979. He then got into the State of the Nation Address by talking about the economy and our own national recession, which has been on-going since 2005. He spoke of the "unprecedented financial challenges" before the nation and pointed out that because of the global economic recession and stock market fall, the FSM Trust Fund has lost $22.8 million in 2008.
In response to this economic crisis, President Mori pointed out the more than $144 million worth of infrastructure projects that are either on-going or are in the planning process, and the $100 million worth of U.S. Federal Aviation Administration funded FSM-Airport Improvement Projects that are already underway that will help stimulate the economy in terms of creating at least 1000 new jobs and infusing $65 millions of dollars of income to the states.
He spoke of further reform of the National Government, one of his major focuses on his first year in office, continued State Government reform in Kosrae and Chuuk States, and energy and tax reform. One major accomplishment in energy reform that the national government and the state governments began last year was the creation of the FSM Petroleum Corporation to purchase cheaper bulk fuel. This project has been able to significantly reduce the cost of fuel in the FSM.
The President also highlighted the upcoming connection of Pohnpei State to the submarine fiber optic cable in March 2010, and the need to connect all four states to this cable so that "the benefits will flow to all four states."
President Mori spoke of the FY 2010 budget that he has presented to Congress to work on this session and stated that it "is one of restraint and is in line with our initiatives to transition from past years of budgetary growth towards a precautionary approach during this period of recession." President Mori stressed that, "Our ultimate objective is to stabilize the economy and continue to develop our economic base to ensure sustainability and greater self-reliance over the long-haul." There were many points in the speech where the President stressed that cooperation and collaboration of the Executive Branch and Congress are needed to move things forward, including the creation of a National Museum to protect and preserve FSM cultures.
Other areas the President touched on were health and education, strengthening the business environment in the FSM, reduction in government workforce coupled with investment in private sector development, agriculture and aquaculture opportunities, the environment, the 5 Year Compact Review, and international and regional initiatives that he is focusing on.
The President ended his address by calling "on all of the People of this country (FSM) to rise to the occasion and to innovatively grasp your own opportunities. We must view the current crisis as a test to our resolve and our national solidarity and a chance for our family to unite together as we did thirty years ago."
For a complete version of the President's State of the Nation Address, please go to http://www.fsmpio.fm/Speeches/mori/state_of_the_federation_09.html.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.fsmpio.fm/