Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Nena Informed Congress Organization of JCN

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Service): November 6, 1997 - FSM President Jacob Nena, on October 23, 1997, informed Congress Speaker Jack Fritz that the preparation for negotiation of certain provisions of the treaty between FSM and the United States of America know as the Compact of Free Association, has formally begun with the creation of the Joint Committee on Compact Economic Negotiations (JCN) by Public Law No. 10-11.

Certain provisions of the Compact, mostly those dealing with economic and financial matters, will expire after the first 15 years of the Compact while the rest will continue indefinitely, Nena stated.

The negotiations on the expiring sections, Nena stated, will commence on the 13th anniversary which is November 3, 1999, according to the terms of the Compact, specifically stated in Title Four, article five, section 441, 442 and 443.

Section 441 states: "This Compact may be terminated as to any of the Governments of the Marshall Islands or the Federated States of Micronesia and as to the United States of America by mutual agreement and subject to Section 451 which further details its application."

The JCN established pursuant to Public Law No. 10-11, is composed of nine members: four from Congress, one from each delegation; one from each of the FSM States appointed by the President in consultation with each state leadership and Congressional Delegation; and the Secretary of the FSM Department of External Affairs.

Thus as appointed and organized according to the intent of Public Law No. 10-11, the members are as follows: Petrus Tun, Yap State, is the Chairman; Epel Ilon, Secretary of the Department of External Affairs, Vice Chairman; members are Senator Peter Christian, Pohnpei Congressional Delegation; Senator Yosiwo George, Kosrae Congressional Delegation; Senator Joseph Urusemal, Yap State Congressional Delegation; Kosrae State's representative Lt. Governor Gerson Jackson; Pohnpei State representative Dr. Olter Paul; Chuuk State representative Lt. Governor Manuel D. Sound. Chuuk Congressional Delegation has not named its representative as of to the date of President Nena's letter.

Nena also stated that JCN has established and appointed members to a permanent working subcommittee consisting of the following: External Affairs Department Secretary Epel Ilon as Chairman and members include Kosrae's Lt. Governor Gerson Jackson; Pohnpei's Dr. Olter Paul; Chuuk's Lt. Governor Manuel D. Sound and Yap Congressional Delegation representative Senator Joseph Urusemal.

JCN appointed Asterio Takesy to head its Secretariat. Takesy will in turn appoint the rest of the staff in a couple of months.

Due to the importance of JCN's understanding, President Nena requested the cooperation and assistance in providing statistics, data, and other information that the JCN would need in order to carry out its lawful mandates and welcomes the valuable counsel to the Committee.

"It is of utmost importance that we are all of one mind on this very important matter, I therefore seek your kind cooperation," Nena concluded.

Identical letters were sent to all, four state governors.

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