Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

FSM Independence Day with Speeches

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Service): November 6, 1997 - The FSM celebrates its 11th Independence anniversary on November 3rd with speeches.

President Jacob Nena addressed the participants of the FSM Annual Judiciary Conference at its opening in Pohnpei State Supreme Court while FSM Congress reconvened in its 22nd day of the current 30-day Regular Session in observance of the FSM Independence Day.

In his Independence message which was broadcast live via FSM Telecom with the assistance from V6AF Radio in Pohnpei and through the states radio stations V6AH, Pohnpei; V6AI, Yap; V6AJ, Kosrae; and V6AK, Chuuk, President Nena told his fellow Micronesians that he is pleased to greet them on the special day of the 11th anniversary of the FSM's independence.

"Eleven years ago today," Nena said, "President Nakayama and the then U.S. President Ronald Reagan simultaneously proclaimed the termination of the U.S. Trusteeship Agreement as it applied to the FSM, thus ushering-in a new phase in our political history - of complete statehood of the FSM."

"Through the democratically expressed wishes of the people of our nation and sustained efforts of our leaders, combined with the support and cooperation the Government of the United States, we were able to achieve our political independence without much difficulty," Nena said, adding, "We must always be thankful to them, especially the United States and other friends, without whose support and cooperation we would not have easily achieved self-government and political recognition. And, let us not forget that we were blessed for not having to send our young men and women to fight a war in order to achieve political independence."

Nena called on his fellow Micronesians to reflect on their political achievements as they celebrate their young nation's independence day, adding that they have a stable democratic government and a strong social system that reinforces peace, respect and cooperation among the people.

Turning to international arena, he said, that FSM has taken its place in the community of nations and has taken charge of its responsibilities to promotes its interests on the world stage.

"In spite of our smallness," Nena said, "our nation plays an important role at the regional and international levels in addressing deep concerns over serious threats such as climate change, sea level rise and unwise uses of natural resources and their catastrophic impact on sustainable development of small island states."

The President said FSM faces the challenge of economic security, without which efforts to improve quality of life to foster stability and prosperity will be fruitless.

Nena said that FSM's economy has long been characterized by low productivity, low growth and a dominant and inefficient public sector which he said must be reversed if a descent standard of living is to be maintained now and future generations.

To resolve this problem, the national and state governments have committed themselves to promoting the private sector as the engine of economic growth, Nena said, adding that both the state and national governments are implementing a series of mutual reinforcing laws, regulations and policies to create a more active, competitive and efficient environment for economic development.

"The governments need to work in close partnership with the private sector, Nena said, to create a "level playing field" on which businesses can compete on equal terms with one another. Nena added that it is important for both sectors, public and private, need to work together to build the skills and the capacity of FSM citizens to meaningfully engage in development of the private sector.

"As citizens, each of us has a role to play in achieving the goal of economic security for our nation," Nena stated, adding, "We can draw on the strengths of our cultural values of sharing and caring for each other, and on the basic family values that have kept us together as strong and self-sustaining economic and social units within our Micronesian society."

"Individually and collectively," Nena said, "we need to renew our sense of vigor to take upon ourselves the challenge of doing our fair share to contribute as productive members of our families, clans, islands, organizations and businesses that drive the economy of our nation.

"Its high time for all of us," Nena said, "to commit ourselves to the mission of making a better life in this country for us now and for the future generations of Micronesians."

The Government need to continue to improve conditions to foster stability and prosperity; improve quality of life for the whole nation; assist those who need help; protect the rights and freedoms of the individual; maintain the rule of law; and do all that can be done to encourage people to play their part in their community, state and their nation.

Government must be accountable and has an obligation to be answerable to the people, Nena said, adding, we must live within our means at the same time prudently determine the best ways to meet the needs of its citizens with the limited available resources.

Nena emphasized that Government must be efficient in delivering the best possible services for the public money it spends. Furthermore, Government must be responsive, committed to quality services.

Both state and national governments are implementing such steps through new and oftentimes unpopular initiative or program as the Public Service Reform Program which selectively retire public service employees in order to save money by reducing the costs of government.

Nena admitted that without full commitment to implement necessary reforms both in the public and private sectors, economic development will not be achievable. Thus, he said, "in this difficult times we must offer to contribute our fair share of the burden."

Nena said that economic security must be achieved because it is a pre-requisite for FSM's stability and prosperity. "Let us celebrate this day by re-dedicating our efforts all across our nation towards achieving economic security for our people, our states and our nation. Congratulations and Happy Independence Day."

Other speakers included Pohnpei Governor Del Pangelinan, Speaker of Congress Honorable Jack Fritz, Chief Justice Judah C. Johnny of the Pohnpei Supreme Court, and the Nanmwarki of Sokehs Honorable Herculano C. Kohler.

Governor Pangelinan in his remarks welcomed the participants of the Judicial Conference hosted by Pohnpei State Judiciary and called for public officials to defer to attorneys on legal aspects of impending issues between the national and state governments.

Speaker Fritz applaud what he called Independent Micronesian Jurisprudence and the development of an independent judicial system in FSM.

Nanmwarki of Sokehs Kohler reminded the audience that there is indeed a judicial system built into the Pohnpeian traditional system which has been functional in the society. The modern and traditional systems have working harmoniously in resolving serious social problems.

The FSM Government received through the Diplomatic Channels a number of Congratulatory Messages on its 11th Independence Celebration.

On October 31, 1997, the President of the People's Republic of China, His Excellency Mr. Jiang Zemin sends his congratulations to His Excellency Jacob Nena, President, Federated States of Micronesia. "On this occasion of the 11th anniversary of the independence of the Federated States of Micronesia, I have the honor, on behalf of the Chinese Government and people, and in my own name, to extend our warm congratulations to Your Excellency and, through Your Excellency to your Government and people.

"In the past year, the relationship of friendly cooperation between China and the FSM maintain good momentum of development, the exchanges in many field were expanded and the cooperation in international and regional affairs was further strengthened. We are satisfied with the development of the relationship between our two countries. I am convinced that, under our joint efforts, the relationship of friendly cooperation between China and the Federated States of Micronesia will continue to be strengthened and developed in the future."

"May the Federated States of Micronesia enjoy prosperity and its people well-being. Jiang Zemin, President of the People's Republic of China."

From the Governor-General of Australia, His Excellency the Honourable William Deane, sends this message: "On the occasion of your National Day, I am pleased to extend to you, your Government and the people of the Federated States of Micronesia, my own congratulations and those of the Government and people of Australia. I am confident that the friendly relations which our two countries share will continue to prosper and strengthen in the coming year."

"Please accept, Your Excellency, the assurance of my highest consideration."

From President Roman Herzog, Federal Republic of Germany, through its Embassy in Manila on October 22, 1997, it says: "On the occasion of the National Day of the Federated States of Micronesia I convey to you my cordial congratulations, also in the name of the German people."

"I wish you personally strength for the successful implementation of policies for the well-being of your country."

Another message from, President Nelson R. Mandela, The Republic of South Africa to FSM President Jacob Nena it says: "Your Excellency, In my own name and own behalf of the Government and people of the Republic of South Africa I have the honour to convey to your Excellency, your Government and the people of the Federated States of Micronesia, heartfelt congratulation, on the occasion of the celebration of your National Day."

"May I reaffirm our readiness to further develop the existing bonds of cooperation and friendship between our two countries."

"Please accept, Your Excellency, my best wishes for your personal good health, happiness and for the prosperity of your country and people."

The following congratulatory message is (from) the Secretary General Ieremia Tabai of the South Pacific Forum, it says, "On behalf of myself and the staff of the Forum Secretariat, I would like to extend our warmest congratulations and good wishes to you, your Government and the people (of the) Federated States of Micronesia on the anniversary of your Independence Day. We also wish you a prosperous future."

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