Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Canada accredits Ambassador Fournier to FSM

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Service): May 30, 2002 - Ambassador Jean T. Fournier presented his credentials to President Leo A. Falcam on May 24 2002, as Canada's Ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia.

Ambassador Fournier succeeded former Ambassador Brian Schumacher who had recently completed his tour of duty as Canada's representative to FSM. Diplomatic relations between the two nations was established on March 3, 1998. The two countries have since fostered a strong bi-lateral relation that transcended the large body of water between the two.

President Falcam expressed confidence in the relationship between the two countries and assured FSM's commitment to further strengthening the existing relationship. The President referred to the bilateral relationship as having already "yielded concrete results" in the various community based projects and through the Canadian Fund to promote the sustainable and economic development of in FSM and the region.

For the past 13 years, Canada has been an active dialogue partner in the Pacific Islands Forum, advocating and supporting the sustainable development of the region's Ocean Resources especially through the Canada-South Pacific Ocean Development Program (C-SPOD).

President Falcam expressed gratitude for the assistance and commended Canada's efforts in becoming a party to the establishment of a Permanent International Criminal Court.

A Statute which Ambassador Fournier encouraged the FSM to become a party to so that "the most serious crimes of concern to the international community do not go unpunished."

The Ambassador said Canada's shares with the FSM the belief that "bringing countries together towards a common goal can make a difference in international affairs." He referred to the two countries support of each other on the regional and international platforms and reaffirmed Canada's hopes of renewal and strengthening of existing relationship.

Ambassador Fournier (58), has a Masters Degree in Economics from Université laval in Québec. He has an extensive background in the Government of Canada, beginning in 1964 working for the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism. He went on to work in the Ministry of Indian Affairs and Northern Development where he later became the Executive Director for Native Claims. He continued on the Department of Communications as the Assistant Deputy Minister for the Policy Division and later served in the same capacity for the Department of Finance's Federal-Provincial Relations and Social Policy.

In 1986, Ambassador Fournier held the position of Under-Secretary of State for the Department of Secretary of State and four years later he headed the Royal Commission on Aboriginal People as the Executive Director. After his post, in 1993 he became Deputy Solicitor General overseeing several Divisions of Canada's Police or national safety.

In 2000, he was appointed High Commissioner for Canada to the Commonwealth of Australia with concurrent accreditations to several Pacific Islands that included FSM.

Present at the Credential ceremony were the President and Vice President Redley Killion, Pohnpei State Governor, Johnny P. David, members of the Diplomatic Corps and members of the President's Cabinet.

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