Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

5thFSM Women Conference Held in Pohnpei

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Service) - President Leo A. Falcam opened the 5th FSM Women Conference at the Pwohmaria Beach Resort in Pohnpei this morning.

The theme of the conference "Sustainable Human Development: People taking charge of own and their country's Development."

At the opening ceremony, presentation of colors began while Gibson Santos from the Nan Mand Choir sang the FSM National Anthem. At the same time Pohnpei State Police Officers along with official representative from each state delegation were escorted to their seats.while the police officers brought the flags on stage.

The welcoming address was by Anna Mendiola representing the Pohnpei State Governor followed by Iso Nahnken of Nett representing the traditional leaders of Pohnpei, with closing remarks by the Chairperson of the National Women Advisory Council Mercedes Santos.

The President in his keynote address told those gathered that some of the issues that will be the subject of this conference, environment, convention on the elimination of discrimination against women (CEDAW), women's health and culture are issues that his administration will embrace among its priorities. "The outcome of this meeting will be helpful to me in shaping policies of government to 'level the playing field.' The involvement of women in all aspects of life in the FSM is a constitutional concept, equality for all in the FSM. Thus, the efforts by many here over the recent years in pursuit of a balanced in our society, should be applauded as they are in the spirit of our FSM Constitution."

The President added that he has nominated and Congress has confirmed Mrs. Beauleen Carl Worswick as the first women ever to serve on the FSM President's Cabinet. It is a milestone in the effort to include more women in responsible areas of development and in government he said. Adding that gender alone will not be the guiding factor to government jobs during his administration, but rather ability. "Brining balance to an uneven playing field will be a priority,' he said.

The President concluded assuring the 5th Women Conference that as his new administration takes up the challenge of goal setting for the nation, he will place the gender issue and concerns express by the FSM women high on his agenda.

The primary objectives were to review and appraise the implementation of the 1997-1999 State Plan of Actions; to find ways to accelerate the implementation of our commitments at national, regional and international levels; to offer the opportunity to more women especially from the host state for further discussion and deliberation on core issues; and to review and if approved, formulate plans for the new initiatives.

The conference was hosted jointly by the Pohnpei State Government and National Government, with financial assistance from Pohnpei State Legislature, FSM Congress, businesses, and the Non Governmental Organizations and women's groups here in Pohnpei. The local community contributed in so many ways from monetary support to food and especially time and effort. The five days conference consists of many discussions and deliberations on the first three day, among the participants mainly regarding issues such as CEDAW, Environment and Women's Health.

The last two days, the participants were invited to join the traditional leaders in Kitti and Madolenhimw for cultural programs designed to share some of Pohnpei's traditions. Those two last days were dedicated to culture and tradition.

The actual conference was held at the Skylite Hotel in Pohnpei.

The Chairperson from Yap State elected for the Fourth FSM Women's Conference called the meeting to order and opened the official business section of the Fifth FSM Women's Conference. The Chair then called on the Secretary, from Chuuk State to state the objectives of this Fifth FSM Women's Conference, and then opened the nomination for the new officers of the Fifth FSM Women's Conference.

The election of the new officers for the Fifth FSM Women's Conference began Pohnpei was elected to chair the Fifth FSM Women's Conference and Kosrae to be secretary.

The first FSM Women Conference was held here in Pohnpei, second in Chuuk, third in Kosrae and the fourth in Yap.

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