Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

25th Silver Anniversary of FSM Independence celebrated in front of FSM Congress Chamber

Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): November 3, 2011 - On the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of FSM Independence, President Manny Mori, Vice President Alik L. Alik, the Nahnmwarki of Sokehs, Governor John Ehsa of the State of Pohnpei, Vice Speaker Bernie Martin, Senator Roger S. Mori and Senator Dohsis Halbert of the FSM Congress, Associate Justice Dennis K. Yamase, Wasai Sokehs, members of the Diplomatic Corp, several National Government and Pohnpei State Government cabinet members and staff, students from the College of Micronesia, a student choir from the Seventh Day Adventist School, and several interested citizens and friends gathered at the front of the FSM Congress Chamber to commemorate the official termination of foreign rule and the birth of political independence for the Federated States of Micronesia.

In addressing the multitude that gathered for the special occasion, the President started his speech by expressing gratitude to the United Nations Security Council for terminating the Trusteeship Agreement that preceded the beginning of "self-government" in the FSM.

"Coinciding with the Trusteeship Agreement termination was the effective date of the Compact of Free Association Treaty with the United States, our former administering authority during the Trust Territory period", the President said.

After paying tribute to the founding fathers of the FSM, the President called on every citizen and the current leaders to renew the commitment "to uphold and strengthen the unity of our nation through sharing of aspirations and commitment, through sharing of resources and assistance and even through sharing of hardship and sacrifices".

The President also alluded to what he calls "expressed sentiments", calling for cessation from the federation at different times by some State leaders.

"In our democratic system of government, this is expected and it is a welcome constructive expression of the freedom of speech and freedom of choice. It is our collective responsibilities as leaders to find solutions to these expressed sentiments so as not to allow them to undermine our national unity", the President explained.

Representing Speaker Figir and the 17th FSM Congress, Vice Speaker Martin read the full text of the Speaker's message for the historical occasion which has already been printed in various media outlets. Part of the Speaker's statement states:

"Twenty-five years ago, in a historic exercise of our Government's Constitution authority, we entered into a unique partnership with United States of America expressed in the Compact of Free Association. This Compact, which took effect on November 3, 1986 after fourteen years of negotiations, was and remains today an international treaty between two sovereign nations. It effectively brought an end to the last remaining vestiges of the Trusteeship of the Pacific Islands and it is that sense that we have associated the term, "independence" with the event we celebrate here today", the Vice Speaker stressed.

Governor Ehsa expressed strong conviction in the wisdom of maintaining unity for the nation and cited the part of the Constitutional Preamble that states, "we affirm our common wish to live together is peace and harmony; To preserve the heritage of the past and to protect the promise of the future."

In commenting on this statement, the Governor said that at the start of the FSM, the founding fathers had a clear vision of what the federation seeks to protect and achieve for the people.

"25 years later, we can see the face of rain on the horizon. And perhaps our vision of the future is not as clear as it once was. Yet, this is all the more reason for us to redouble our efforts to protect the "promise of the future" of the FSM; of a nation of small remote islands with diverse cultures where "the seas bring us together" rather than separating us, where "our islands sustain us", and where our people wish for no other home than the islands of this beautiful federation", the governor stated.

The Governor emphasized that for the promise in Constitution to come true, current leaders must recommit to "do more" in providing jobs and economic opportunities ("especially for the youth"), protecting the unique biodiversity and natural resources of the country, and preserving FSM's unique historic and cultural resources.

Cultural performances were done by the Enipein dancing group from Kitti and the Chu Chok Chuuk student organization from the College of Micronesia-FSM.

Other activities for the celebration included the unveiling of a commemorative stamp, marking the 25th year of independence and the planting of native plants near the chamber, done by the President, the Nahnmwarki, the Wasai of Sokehs, Vice Speaker Martin, Associate Justice Yamase, and Governor Ehsa, encouraging sustainable home-gardening as part of nation-wide food security campaigns.

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