Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Declaration outlines traditional role of modernized Micronesia

KOLONIA, Pohnpei (FSM Information Service): July 22, 2002 - The 2nd Micronesia Traditional Leadership Conference will wrap up its summit today with an official Declaration detailing the challenges for traditional leaders' in the next three years.

In line with the theme, "the role of traditional leaders in the new millennium," the Traditional Leaders consented to the following measures in their joint Declaration:

  1. The Role of Traditional Leaders in the New Millennium, the constitutions or laws of entities shall be amended to provide for the role of traditional leaders in the Legislative and Judicial branches where appropriate;

  2. Education, the laws shall be enacted for the teaching, learning, and use of indigenous languages, customs and cultures in all public and private schools at all grade levels;

  3. Environment, the national and state constitutions or laws shall be enacted to provide for the inclusion of traditional or community leaders of the affected village or community as the first clearinghouse for major projects or programs;

  4. Historical & Cultural Preservation, the chief executives of the entities are requested to collectively ask for repatriation of artifacts and other materials of historical and cultural values taken from Micronesia by foreign governments in the past 500 years;

  5. Language, national or state constitutions and laws shall be amended to clearly require the use of indigenous languages in public institutions and functions and to declare its superiority over foreign languages in case of conflict. Students shall be proficient in writing and reading and shall further be fluent in speaking of the indigenous language in accordance with set standards upon graduation from sixth grade;

  6. Customary Dispute Resolution, specific provisions shall be incorporated in national, state or municipal constitutions or laws to provide for traditional or customary courts composed of traditional chiefs and community leaders to decide matters relating to customs and traditions.

In addition, the Declaration endorsed Yap State as the host for the 3rd Micronesian Traditional Leadership Conference, scheduled for 2005. The exact dates for the conference will be decided by the hosting entity.

The 2nd Micronesian Traditional Leadership Conference will formally concluded its meeting last night at a dinner reception hosted by the spouses of the Paramount Chiefs of Pohnpei or Likendko.

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