Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Nauru steps up to host 32nd Forum

YAREN, Nauru (FSM Information Service): August 24, 2001 - On August 14, President Leo A. Falcam and his delegation from the Federated States of Micronesia arrived in Nauru for the 32nd Pacific Islands Forum.

The Pacific Islands Forum is an annual assembly of Leaderships from 16-Pacific nations (Australia, Cook Islands, FSM, Fiji, Kiribati, Republic of Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu) who meet for a week and a half of intensive dialogues and strategy buildings to tackle regional issues and concerns.

Earlier in February, the Republic of Nauru was chosen by the Forum to host this year's meeting because of the continuing problems of civil issues in Fiji and Niue.

Despite the limited amount of time, the small island of Nauru (8.2 sq. miles) has successfully readied itself to host the annual assembly. More than US $5million has been invested in the preparations and building of infrastructure for the Forum.

The week starts with the Forum Officials Committee (FOC) meetings during which senior officials from the 16-member states discuss, dissect and condense regional issues for the Leaders to review during their Retreat.

In light of the US's recent decision to snub the Kyoto Protocol, the issue of climate change and sea level rise is of great concern to the Forum members. The Kyoto Protocol is an environmental treaty initiated by Japan and supported by most of the Forum members. The treaty called for the industrial countries to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gas, a leading cause of environmental imbalance.

The Forum has been very concerned about the vulnerability of the pacific islands to greenhouse effects. The FSM has continuously made statements in support of the Forum's stand on climate change and its devastating effects.

President Falcam, prior to his arrival in Nauru, participated in the East-West Center's Policy Seminar 2001 in Honolulu where he called upon the US to consider the crippling effects of climate change. "Sea-level rise and other related consequences of climate change are grave security threats to our very existence as homelands and nation-states," he said.

Other issues considered by the FOC include:

1. Political and International Issues

  • Environment and Conservation
  • Disarmament,
  • Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and Transport of Radioactive materials
  • Pacific Islands Development Cooperation Fund
  • Regional Security and Good Governance

2. Economic and Trade Issues

  • Fisheries
  • European Union
  • ACP issues

The Official opening of the Forum is a day after the FOC meeting ends, the opening is scheduled for 5pm, Thursday at the Conference Hall of the Nauru Civic Center in Aiwo.

The Leaders Retreat takes place the following day at the Cliff Lodge where the leaders will meet without officials to establish policies on a wide range of issues. These guidelines or policies are published in a formal communique which is issued at the end of the Forum.

This year's Retreat will be without four Leaders as Australia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands had more pressing domestic matters.

President Falcam his delegation are due back in Pohnpei at the end this month. Accompanying the President are Secretary of Foreign Affairs - Mr. Ieske Iehsi, Secretary of Economic Affairs - Mr. Sebastian L. Anefal, FSM Ambassador to the Pacific, - Mr. Kodaro Gallen, Assistant Secretary - Kandhi Elieiser, and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Foreign Affairs - Carl Apis.

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