Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

FSM appeal for stronger EU presence in Northern Pacific

Palikir, POHNPEI (Department of Foreign Affairs): July 7, 2006 - President Joseph J. Urusemal was in Paris at the invitation of President Jacques Chirac of France, to attend the 2nd France-Oceania Summit held on 26 June 2006. President Urusemal joined other Pacific Island leaders who were also invited. The 2nd France-Oceania Summit is a follow-up to the first France-Oceania Summit held in Tahiti in 2003.

The Summit featured three themes of discussion, namely the political, economic and environmental stability of the Pacific region. It produced as its outcome a Declaration which highlighted many areas of cooperation between the Pacific Island countries and the Republic of France. Among others, the areas of cooperation include fisheries, climate change, maritime surveillance, regional integration, sustainable management of resources, security, training-related development, conservation of species, and renewable energy.

On the subject of economic stability, European Union Commissioner on Development, Mr. Louis Michel was on hand to highlight the cooperation existing between the European Union (EU) and Pacific region.

During his intervention, President Urusemal noted FSM's appreciation for the bilateral assistance from France to the FSM in the area of maritime surveillance, renewable energy, and educational trainings. He alluded to climate change as a threat to the FSM and sought support from development partners such as France and EU in the area of adaptation.

President Urusemal also referred to FSM's rich Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the challenges the FSM faces in managing a large EEZ, and sought support in the area of maritime surveillance and assistance toward conservation and management of resources. In solidarity with the Northern Pacific sub-region, he reiterated his support for the Micronesia Challenge initiated by President of Palau, Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr.

To take advantage of Commissioner Michel's presence, President Urusemal advocated for EU's presence in the Northern Pacific region in order for new members of the Africa, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) such as the FSM to be able to better access EU funds and cope with requirements in implementation of EU programs. President Chirac and EU Commissioner Michel both responded favorably and expressed support for EU presence in the northern Pacific.

The President's delegation to the France-Pacific meeting include: Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs - Sebastian L. Anefal, Deputy Assistant Secretary for European Affairs - Jackson Soram, and First Secretary of the FSM Embassy to the US - Tanya Harris-Joshua.

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