Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Protests expected at UN Millennium summit

POHNPEI, Palikir (FSM Information Service): September 2000 - The United Nations plaza was closed Saturday as part of the security effort against vicious protests similar to those in Seattle several months ago.

The Millennium Summit opening this week at the United Nations will have more than 150 world leaders, including FSM President Leo A. Falcam, to work out problems of poverty and peace, but some believe the meeting is more about the future of the United Nations as it facing the problems posed by globalization.

When economic leaders met in Seattle early this year, protests against globalization turned violent forcing police to beat back protesters.

While many countries are seizing the opportunities offered by globalization, others see the trend as destructive because it is being driven by the former colonial powers in Europe and the United States.

This has put UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, a Ghanaian with an American education, in a tough situation.

According to a New York Times interview with Annan, he feels globalization is defining the era in which we are living. He warns political leaders that they have to govern well and learn to take advantage of international opportunities or their fragile economies will be doomed.

Annan is reported to have said, "It's not that the secretary general is changing things too fast. The world around us is changing, and we change with it or we will be left behind. We have to adapt to the realities outside."

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