Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

President Urusemal meets with the council of the FSM-Hawaii community

Palikir, POHNPEI(Department of Foreign Affairs/FSM Information Service): September 23, 2005 - President Joseph J. Urusemal was in Hawaii after the High-level Plenary of the United Nations 60th General Assembly to meet with members of the Federated States of Micronesia-Hawaii Community Council.

The FSM-Hawaii Community Council is comprised of resident leaders from the four FSM states representing different FSM citizens' organization in Hawaii.

The meeting was organized to give the President an opportunity to discuss the state of affairs of the FSM, and for members of the Council to share their concerns and raise issues that are relevant or affecting the livelihood of FSM citizens residing in Hawaii.

President Urusemal discussed important issues including implementation of the Amended Compact, outcomes of the 3rd Economic Summit, sustained growth strategy, the Totalization Agreement for social security, the proposed use of machine-readable passports, status of college-work study under the Amended Compact, and the proposed tax regime known as the value-added tax.

Members of the Council raised with the President several issues including graduate students' eligibility for grants under the Amended Compact, the need to support dual citizenship, concerns regarding airlines and shipping lines services, arrangements to access social security benefits and retirement after work in the US, claims for impacts of nuclear fallout in the Marshall Islands, the increase of homeless FSM citizens in Hawaii, and problems encountered by recruited fishermen from the FSM.

As an informal outcome of the meeting, President Urusemal instructed the FSM Consulate General to work closely with the FSM-Hawaii Community Council in resolving pending issues and encourage constant follow up with the Department of Foreign Affairs in Palikir or relevant departments at the FSM National Government.

President Urusemal expressed optimism and confidence that the FSM will overcome the challenges now faced during the initial stage of the Amended Compact. He further urged the citizens in Hawaii, through their leaders, to adopt a 'change in attitude' in their approach, and to be creative in finding ways to contribute to enhancing the livelihood of relatives and friends residing back in the FSM.

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