Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

President shares nation's legacy with Ulithi graduates

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Service): - President Leo A. Falcam attended the commencement ceremonies for Yap States Outer Islands High School on May 30 2002, where he delivered the keynote address to the graduates.

Along with the President and his delegation, a number of dignitaries also attended the commencement ceremonies, among which included, Yap State Lieutenant Governor - Andrew Yatilman, Senator Tony Tereg from Yap Legislature, Henry Falan - Director of Education and Captain Dave Allen of Communications, Navy Marianas.

President Falcam's keynote address provided more than just sound advice to the 19-member graduating class, he shared with the graduates an intimate look into the formation of the Federated States of Micronesia.

In true island style form of education, the President shared a story about a group of leaders from all over Micronesia who came together almost forty years ago to share their vision of real island nations that would chart their own course into the future.

Having been subjected to years of foreign rule, the leaders envisioned nations built on principles of independence and democracy, free from foreign control. Based on those principles, the leaders formed the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Palau and a Constitutional Federation that today is known as the Federated States of Micronesia.

President Falcam said through the leaders' perseverance, the FSM became, "a fully sovereign, democratic Federation with a 23-year track record of stability and unity.

"This is the homeland to which your founding father added an enduring political structure, and within which you can build a confident future."

The President went on to detail the efforts and perseverance of the founding fathers to ensure that the newly formed Federation would be an independent, self-sustaining and sovereign nation. He continued on the establishment of the Compact of Free Association between the FSM and the United States as a relationship based on "mutual respect and mutual interest."

The graduates were advised to learn from the founding fathers' whose courage and inspiration persevered over all uncertainties. The President added that, "just as no one could have reassured them of the future [...] no one here today, can warn you about what may lie ahead."

The President said one of the challenges for the 2002 Graduating Class of OIHS is to "continue to move this nation toward economic self-sufficiency.

"Each new generation must face its own challenges, but you should take encouragement that your own forebears achieved so much."

In the new age of communications and technology, President Falcam said the graduates would "encourage incredible opportunities" that are beyond the forefathers' dreams.

"The way now lies open to you."

Following the Ulithi commencement, President and his delegation went on to Woleai Atoll where he participated in a similar exercise for Woleai High School on June 01, 2002.

The President returned to Pohnpei on June 10, after a brief stopover in Chuuk for a meeting with the State Leadership on the State's financial situation.

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