Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

European Commission Ambassador to the FSM presents credentials

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (Dept. of Foreign Affairs): November 20, 2008 - In a brief ceremony held in the President's Cabinet Room, H.E. Wiepke van der Goot presented his credentials to President Manny Mori today as the new Head of the Delegation of the Commission of the European Communities to the Federated States of Micronesia.

In remarks after the official presentation of his letters of credence and letters of recall of his predecessor, H.E. Roberto Ridolfi, Ambassador van der Goot affirmed his dedication to further strengthening the good relations between the FSM and the European Union. The Ambassador noted that the 2000-signing and subsequent ratification of the Cotonou Agreement by the FSM Government, which encourages active participation of government, private sector, non-governmental organizations and the civil society, marked the start of privileged relations between the FSM and the EU.

Ambassador Van der Goot made special reference to significant progress in renewable energy being implemented in all four states of the FSM, ongoing support to the environment through non-state actors, and advancements with the disaster management program and Fisheries Partnership Agreement.

Ambassador Van der Goot emphasized that as relations between the FSM and EU are not limited to development cooperation, he is committed to an expanded political and trade relationship. He underscored the FSM and EU's many shared common values, not least of which is climate change. As a commitment between the two regions, the Ambassador was pleased to note that a joint declaration among Pacific Island Forum Member States and the EU will soon be signed that addresses the challenges posed by climate change, including priorities for mitigation and adaptation.

In responding remarks, President Manny Mori stated that he was pleased to accept the letters of credence accrediting Ambassador Van der Goot as the third representative of the European Commission to the FSM. He identified the accreditation as a testament to the ongoing mutual interest to further develop engagement at the international, regional and bilateral levels.

President Mori went on to mention that the recent crises in the financial, energy and food sectors have proven that while the FSM is geographically isolated, it is not protected from the effects of globalization. He expressed confidence that through the Ambassador, the FSM Government would be able to employ the assistance of the European Union to help address the challenges faced by the international community.

The President conveyed appreciation for the EU's bilateral and regional assistance in key sustainable development sectors of the FSM. He also noted the timing of the Ambassador's visit, noting that renewable energy experts will be visiting sites in the FSM identified to receive EU assistance. President Mori expressed confidence that the renewable energy project would help alleviate the economic burdens being shouldered by many citizens due to the current high cost of fuel.

Ambassador Van der Goot has an extensive background of management and consultant positions in areas of rural development and agriculture, including advisory roles for various developing countries in Africa and the Pacific. He is based out of Suva, Fiji.

Attendance at the Credential ceremony included the diplomatic corps and the President's cabinet.

For further information contact the Subdivision of European Affairs in the Department of Foreign Affairs, (691) 320-2613.

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