Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Joint Committee on Compact Negotiation Members Sworn-in

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Service): September 3, 1997 - The members of the Joint Committee on Compact Negotiations (JCN) were sworn-in by President Jacob Nena in a brief ceremony held in the Cabinet Room in Palikir this morning, Wednesday, September 3, 1997.

The ceremony was opened with a brief prayer by the FSM Postmaster General and pastor of the Kapinle Church, the Rev. Bethwel Henry. President Jacob Nena then gave a short statement in which he congratulated the members of the committee. President Nena after welcoming and congratulating the JCN members, and calling the occasion very important in the history of the FSM remarked, "The country looks to you to pave the way for the eventual re-negotiation of the compact economic provisions. Your tasks and responsibilities are awsome and will take your full energy and dedication." He added that it is with that in mind that he want to thank each and every one of the members for undertaking the tremendous responsibility. "I know, too," the President said, "that our people and governments are looking to you with very high expectations." President Nena wished them well and told them he looks forward to working with the committee.

Also present at the ceremony were Pohnpei Acting Governor Dion Neth, Pohnpei Legislature Acting Speaker Dachuo Johnson, Deputy Secretary of the Department of External Affairs Ieske Iehsi who was the Master of Ceremony, Cabinet members and other officials.

The JCN members include the Secretary of External Affairs Epel Ilon, and from Congress: Speaker Jack Fritz, Floor Leader Joseph Urusemal, Vice Chairman, Resources and Development Committee Yosiwo George and Chairman of Congress Delegation in Pohnpei, Peter Christian. From the States: Kosrae Lt. Governor Gerson Jackson, former FSM Vice President and former Governor of Yap Petrus Tun, Chuuk Governor Ansito Walter, and Chief of Dental at the Pohnpei State Hospital, Olter Paul. The alternates are for Fritz, Chairman of Resources and Development Committee Redley Killion; for Walter, Chuuk Lt. Governor Manuel D. Sound; and for George, Vice Speaker Claude Phillip.

After the ceremony the committee met briefly for election of the oficers. Tun was elected Chairman of the Committee, with Epel K. Ilon as Vice Chairman. The committee adjourned unitl 2:00 p.m., today when the committee will continue its meeting.

The Committee, which membership consists of the Secretary of the Department of External Affairs, an appointee from each state by the President and Governor of respective state, and a member of the FSM Congress from each State's Delegation, are to carry out the following responsibilities and obligations: set goals and objectives for the Compact of Freee Association negotiations, conduct a thorough analysis of allf actors relating to the Compact, develop necessary strategies and approaches to commence negotiations, direct its Secretariat in preparing the documentations necessary to accomplish its responsibilities, analyze all economic information available on the FSM, with the aim of identifying the FSM's continuing needs, report to the Congress and to the President on all developments and information regarding the Compact negotiations, and to collaborate with State Governments, Congress, Department of External Affairs, and the President in identifying the nominees for the team of negotiators, by whose respective approval will represent the FSM at the actual Compact negotiations.

The Joint Committee on COmpact Economic Negotiations and its Secretariat was established by Public Law No. 10-11, which was passed in May 1997 sesion of the FSM Congress. The purpose is to prepare for the Compact of Free Assocaition negotiations scheduled to commence in November of 1999.

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