Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

FSM Hosts the 2011 Joint Committee Meeting with the United States of America

Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): November 18, 2011 - On November 17th, the Federated States of Micronesia hosted the annual Joint Committee Meeting with the United States of America, commonly referred to as the "JCM", with the theme Title III: Partnership for Community Development. The meeting was held at the Pohnpei State Hospital Conference Room in Nett with high-level attendants from both Governments. Facilitating the meeting was Mr. James Naich, Charge d' Affairs, of the FSM Embassy in Washington D.C.

The genesis of the JCM process is provided under Title III provision of the Compact of Free-Association Treaty, as amended, and serves as consultative mechanism whereby high-level officials from both Governments gather, on an annual basis, to discuss common issues of mutual importance to both countries, under the purview of security and defense, and related engagements.

Aside from an overview presentation of US's current military engagements and activities held in the FSM, the meeting discussed issues relating to the recently held Pacific Partnership Mission held in the FSM last July, the US Civic Construction Action Detail program or CCAD, which has sponsored the rehabilitation of the Pohnpei State Hospital's Mental and Substance Abuse Center, educational infrastructures at Ohmine and PIC Schools, and the renovation of the Pohnpei State Public Library. A ribbon cutting ceremony for the projects was held on November 16th, prior to the commencement of the JCM.

The meeting also covered discussions on the current operations of the FSM Transnational Crime Unit or TCU, recent enlistment of FSM Citizens in the US Armed Forces, which included efforts to restore ASVAB Testing in Chuuk State, and updates on the ongoing Military Build-Up in Guam. On her first time to attend the JCM process, presentation of engagements of the United States Coast Guard in the FSM by Captain Casey White highlighted the critical need to develop an operational procedure to guide search and rescue operations in the FSM.

Discussions also included issues of Boating Safety and ongoing efforts for legislation, as well as the Shipriders Agreement, and updates on a proposal from the Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF), all of which complements FSM's continuing efforts to provide better surveillance of its vast maritime Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

The upcoming project to renovate the roofing system of the Pohnpei State Hospital by the US Corp of Civil Engineers under the Humanitarian Assistance - FSM (HA-FSM) program was also discussed with much anticipation for final completion.

The US ended its items of discussion with a presentation of the update on the upcoming annual Operation Christmas Drop, which is planned for December 12th to 19th. The JCM noted the significance of this year's operation which will mark the 60th anniversary of the Operation Christmas Drop; thus, further maintaining its impressive record as the longest drop mission in the history of the United States military.

Two new agenda items were presented by the FSM, which included Air & Sea Vessel Entry Consultations and, at the request of the US, a briefing by the FSM on WWII Oil Leaks in Chuuk State. The JCM formally concluded with both governments' endorsement of the 2011 JCM Action Items for the 2012 JCM to be hosted by the US.

His Excellency Peter Prahar, U.S. Ambassador to the FSM, headed the US delegation with prominent military representatives namely Rear Admiral Paul Bushong, Commander of the Joint Region Marianas and U.S. Defense Representative to the FSM, Colonel Doug Sevier, of the US Air Force out of USPACOM in Hawaii, Captain Casey White, Commander of the US Coast Guard Sector in Guam.

The Honorable Lorin S. Robert, Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the FSM, headed the FSM delegation, along with other cabinet members, namely the Honorable Francis Itimai, Secretary of the Department of Transportation, Communications and Infrastructure, the Honorable Dr. Rufino Mauricio, Secretary of the Department of Education, the Honorable Evelyn Adolph, Director of the Office of SBOC, the Honorable Andrew Yatilman, Director of the Office EEM, and the Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs, the Honorable Samson Pretrick. Representatives from the States included the Honorable Governor Lyndon Jackson of Kosrae State, the Honorable Lieutenant Churchill Edwards of Pohnpei State, and Mr. Ruotpong Pongliyab, Director of Youth & Civic Affairs of Yap State.

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