Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

UNFPA mission in FSM discuss issues, including UN office

Palikir, POHNPEI (Department of Foreign Affairs/FSM Information Service): August 18, 2006 - The Pacific Region Resident Representative for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) - Najib Assifi, left today following a week-long visit in the Federated States of Micronesia.

During the week of August 14 - 18, Assifi was in Pohnpei where he called on President Joseph J. Urusemal and other officials from both the National Government and Pohnpei State Government.

With the President, Assifi took the opportunity to reiterate the close working relations between UNFPA and FSM. He discussed many issues relevant to population development including reproductive health, teenage pregnancy, and maternal mortality. He referred to UNFPA's assistance in the region on capacity building through training collaboration with the Secretariat of the Pacific community (SPC) and Fiji School of Medicine. The FSM had in the past participated in many of the UNFPA-sponsored trainings.

President Urusemal thanked Assifi for the visit, and expressed appreciation for the UNFPA funded programs in the FSM. He referred to population development as a cross-cutting issue that has implications on poverty, health, migration, and education among other areas. Assifi referred to UNFPA's capability to assist in the use of data to support a population policy for the FSM.

One of the issues raised with the President and Department of Foreign Affairs is the establishment of a United Nations Office in the FSM, with UNFPA to take the lead on facilitating the matter. This is a part of a "Joint-Program for the Pacific" with UNDP and UNICEF under the current UN Reform. President Urusemal expressed his continued support for the presence of the UN in the FSM, and thanked UNFPA for taking the lead in view of UNFPA's contribution in addressing critical issues for the Nation.

It was noted that an official communication from UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan is forthcoming, after which coordination for establishment of the Office will be in place.

While in Pohnpei, Assifi also toured some clinics around the island and paid visits to some UNFPA funded projects including the Reproductive Health (RH) program at the Pohnpei Island Central School (PICS).

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