Dear Governor Peterson,
We have never met but I sat beside your Father on July 2 nd on the Peace Corps 50th year in Micronesia celebration at Spanish Wall Ball Field. I spoke on Peace Corps 30 years ago as a former Peace Corps Volunteer in Nett.
I was the one who introduced Basketball on Pohnpei "Island Wide" 30 years ago and it was hard...Very hard and like then when the Government would allow only 37% of students to enter high school. Basketball was a chance to build sportsmanship-hard work to reach a goal and they learned skills that they are still using 30 years later because I meet former players in their 40s now here on Pohnpei and on FB. We had nearly 30 teams at that time, taking part in an Island Wide League then and used SDA Gym to play our games. Josh Phillips along with the Sports Council did the organizing with me holding basketball camps all over the Island and Coaching three teams along with Primo of Nett School. Some of those players are now Coaching at PICS but that league is now gone.
The grade school students I see and talk to 30 years later have nothing to do—nothing to look forward to. Oh, I hear that they do play games in Nett but you can’t play basketball outside on Pohnpei because of the rain and heat. And in Kolonia, I can’t believe that you have so many new gyms here and they are just sitting there doing nothing when you could have all the grade schools all over Pohnpei playing basketball again—something that will keep them busy—something that will make them work at something—something that will for sure keep them out of trouble and something that will help them developing skills of team work-hard work that will last a life time.
So, Sir, I’m not asking for myself but for your "Youth" on Pohnpei—the grade school kids—please take care of them and take an interest in their lives as Governor Moses did 30 years ago. Reach them before they start drinking and chewing that nut or dropping out of school and giving up on Education all together.
Thank you very much for your time. All it takes is a letter from you to the "Pohnpei Sports Council" and it’s done.
Sincerely,
Frank Burkett
Returned Peace Corps
Nett 86-87

ethnobotany

By: Dana Lee Ling
Twenty-three students in the College of Micronesia-FSM SC/SS 115 Ethnobotany class visited the Island Food Community of Pohnpei on Tuesday October fourth, 2016. Emihner Johnson presented on the CHEEF benefits of local foods here on Pohnpei. The CHEEF benefits refer to Culture, Health, Environment, Economy, and Food Security.
CHEEF starts with C for culture, and culture is the best place to start. Local traditional island foods are a core part of the cultures and customs of Micronesian. A party in Kosrae would not be complete with the soft taro dish fahfah. In Chuuk pounded breadfood, kón, is used in determining whether an apology is accepted between families. Consumption of local foods also promotes local farming and local farming practices - cultural practices and knowledge.

Monday 10 October, 2016
KINGSTON, Jamaica – Nine Pacific Island researchers and extension officers commenced a two week learning exchange in the Caribbean islands of Jamaica and Trinidad. Over the next 2 weeks extension officers from Vanuatu, Samoa, PNG, Fiji and the Pacific Community will learn and exchange practices covering staple crops such as yams, dasheen (taro), cocoyam (xanthosoma) and sweet potatoes with their Caribbean counterparts.
This exchange, is hosted by the Caribbean Agriculture Research and Development Institute (CARDI) and supported by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Co-operation ACP-EU (CTA), and the Pacific Community (SPC) through the European Union supported Agriculture Policy Project (PAPP). The exchange will take place at two centres – The Biotechnology Centre at the University of the West Indies (UWI), and the Scientific Research Council. In addition, the exchange will involve interaction with Caribbean farmers and exposure to root crops value chains such as the UWI-Columbia cassava flour project, Red Stripe cassava beer initiatives and bammy production.
Vili Caniogo an APP Adviser stated that these south-south exchanges were extremely valuable given the similarity in climatic conditions, the much needed focus on food staples and the common goals for the agriculture sector in both regions.

antonio johnSeptember 2016
FSM—Local resident, Antonio John, Vice President, Bank of the Federated States of Micronesia, graduated from Pacific Coast Banking School (PCBS) on Friday, September 2, 2016. This year's graduating class consisted of 224 executives representing 26 states, American territories and other countries. These students attended courses encompassing risk management, financial performance, and leadership to gain an executive-level understanding of the business of banking.
For 78 years, the prestigious Pacific Coast Banking School has partnered with the University of Washington Graduate School of Business to provide this three-year graduate-level program to over 10,000 members of the financial services community. Graduates attended a two-week resident session each August on the University of Washington campus, as well as completed seven rigorous inter-session written assignments, including an original management thesis.

asia pacific youth

By Avalon Edward
October 10, 2016
Chengdu, PRC—The Asian Pacific Youth Dialogue was held at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China (UESTC) in Chengdu, China beginning on September 20. The forum, sponsored by Perfect World, a China-based video game company, was held in order to provide a platform for discussion on topics of regional interest and a bridge to the 10th UNESCO Youth Forum in Paris next year. It was only fitting that the Asia Pacific Youth Dialogue (APYD) began on the International Day of Peace.
The three day forum was attended by 100 delegates from 46 countries in Asia and the Pacific. Each country had at least two delegates. The delegates were selected after a Call for Applications was issued via national and regional youth networks, as well as to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO) online platforms.
Maverick Dores and I were fortunate enough to be selected to represent FSM.
We arrived in Chengdu, excited to meet new people, learn about the different cultures, and share ideas. The night before the official opening day, the delegates kicked off our time together with a Cultural Object Show & Tell – where each delegate had to present a cultural item and explain how it relates to youth dialogue. I spoke about the significance of lapwkopwou and kol as Maverick modeled the cultural objects.

By Mason Wiley
COM Center for Entrepreneurship
October 5, 2016
Palikir, Pohnpei—The Young Executive Society (YES!), a student club at COM-FSM, and the Center for Entrepreneurship of COM-FSM collaborated to host a Round Table on National Campus to discuss a proposed bill that would change the way foreign investment is done in the FSM. Among other countries in the world, the FSM ranks near the bottom for friendliness towards foreign investment. The FSM National Government aims to remedy this by providing simplified processes for foreign investors. The new law would remove the responsibility of registering foreign investment from the four states of the FSM and place that power within the FSM National Government instead. Ideally, increased foreign investment could boost the FSM’s economy by injecting new capital that could create new jobs while also increasing tax revenue for public services.

com fsm
Besides the several dozen students who attended, both the FSM National Government and Pohnpei State Government sent staff to go over the details to help the students understand the effects. Florian Yatilman, National Trade Advisor with the FSM National Government, briefed the students on the purpose and scope of the bill followed by summary from Quirino Loyola of Pohnpei State’s Registrar of Corporations on the role of the government in registering and promoting foreign investment. The students then had the chance to voice their opinions and ask questions. The President of YES!, Hainrick Isaac, asked for more details on how these changes may affect land ownership for FSM citizens, and was assured that the bill would not alter any constitutionally protected land rights. There was also discussion on future plans to attract foreign investment for specific industries and services.
One concern was how the new law might affect local businesses or infringe on the states’ current laws designed to protect local economies and the environment from foreign corporate interests. The FSM National Government’s Assistant Secretary of Trade and Investment, Camille Movick, replied that they are working closely with the state governments, stating that the law can only work if the states favor it and want it to succeed. Many of the current restrictions on minimum capital, natural resource extraction, and protected industries may remain.
Jean Bertrand Azapmo, National Trade Adviser, encouraged students to become involved in the larger conversation as well, asking that they speak to friends and relatives to provide comments on this bill and other pending legislation. Randy Sue, a member of YES!, said that this kind of public participation is vital, but that most legislation is overly complicated and difficult to understand for many citizens. He suggested that important legislative proposals should include a digested version that explains the law in plain language. All in the room agreed.
Although foreign investment registration might not sound like a terribly exciting topic, many students walked away with a new understanding of its importance in shaping the FSM economy. Both the government officials and students agreed that conversations like these are necessary for FSM’s democracy, by giving the FSM’s future leaders the opportunity to understand the big topics and to voice their opinions. The Center for Entrepreneurship and YES! hope this will be the beginning of similar discussions between students and government in the future.

The Japanese Technical Cooperation Project for Promotion of Regional Initiative on Solid Waste Management in Pacific Island Countries Phase II (JPRISM II) is once again underway for the Federated States of Micronesia. The overall goal is “Sustainable management of solid waste in the Pacific region is enhanced based on Pacific Waste and Pollution Management Strategy 2016-2025(Cleaner Pacific 2015)”, which was adopted by the 26th SPREP Meeting in September 2015.
The first delegation of a Basic Design Team on JPRISM II headed by Mr. Junji Ishizuka from Global Environmental Department of JICA Headquarters along with three consultants from EX Research Institute, Ltd., and KOKUSAI KOGYO CO., LTD visited each State in the FSM from June 8th to July 4th, 2016 to discuss on the Project contents for working out the framework of the Project with related authorities from the National and State departments such as Office of Environment & Emergency Management (OEEM), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Pohnpei, Chuuk, & Yap, Yap Department of Public Works & Transportation (DPW&T), Department of Transportation & Infrastructure (DT&I) of Pohnpei and Chuuk, Pohnpei Waste Management Services (PWMS), and Kosrae Island Resource Management (KIRMA). On 11th Aug, the second Basic Design Team on JPRISM II mission, headed by Mr. Mimpei Ito, held a final consultation meeting along with invited representatives from counterpart agencies of Pohnpei, Yap, Chuuk, Kosrae and SPREP, in which they concluded the contents of the Project Design Matrix (PDM), Plan of Operation (PO), and the draft Record of Discussion (R/D).
Through the assistance of JPRISM II, each state will revise the current State Solid Waste Management Strategy (SSWMS) in line with the Cleaner Pacific (2016-2015). Good practices of solid waste management/3R in country and the region will be also promoted during the phase II. OEEM will also support those activities. Furthermore, improvement of waste collection in Yap and Kosrae is expected during the project.
The project expects to commence at the end of this year 2016.

By Morocco World News
October 10, 2016
Marakech, Morocco—Morocco has announced it would pay for “Travel Expenses and Accommodation” for Pacific island countries’ Heads of State and their delegations to the United Nations climate summit, called COP22, taking place in Morocco next month.
The High Instructions of HM King Mohammed VI was formally announced by Morocco’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Omar Hilale during a ceremony where the European Union presented their ratification instruments that enabled the Paris Agreement to cross the necessary ratification thresholds.
Mr Hilale said the royal decision is an act of solidarity to allow the Heads of State for Pacific island countries – the most vulnerable to climate change – to attend the Marrakech conference to highlight their vision to meet the challenges of climate change.
The President of the UN General Assembly, Fiji’s Peter Thomson, asked Mr Hilale to convey his deep gratitude to HM King Mohammed VI for the noble royal gesture.
Mr Hilale also welcomed and re-emphasized the EU’s ratification of the Paris Agreement, which allowed the crossing of the Paris Agreement’s double threshold of ratification: 55 countries and 55 percent of emissions.

4 October 2016
Port Vila, Vanuatu – The Government of Vanuatu and the Australian Capital Territory Emergency Service Agency (ACTESA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding today to support the mutual exchange of technical assistance in emergency management and strengthen the long-term resilience of the Pacific Island country.
This strategic collaboration has been facilitated in partnership with the Pacific Island Emergency Management Alliance (PIEMA) which is implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC) and funded by the European Union’s €19.37million ACP-EU Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific Project.
PIEMA is dedicated to creating safer Pacific communities and connecting emergency responders that are working to the highest standards with Pacific Island emergency response agencies to promote the transfer of knowledge and long-term cooperation.

By John O'Connor
Reprinted by permission of
Guam Daily Post
Guam—Four convicts originally from Chuuk have propositioned Gov. Eddie Calvo to have their sentences commuted in exchange for being removed from Guam, never to return. Calvo said he received the letters recently and one of the inmates even wrote a second letter stating his family would be willing to pay for the trip back to Chuuk.
"Here are prisoners that voluntarily want to remove themselves and not be a burden to our correctional system and our tax payers ... The only problem now is ... even if I were to agree, even if the convicts want to go back to their home country, it appears now with the policy of the (government of the Federated States of Micronesia), that is not their desire."

bill raynor

On Thursday, September 8th, around the island buzz of the Pacific Island Forum, a small ceremony was held at the Care Micronesia Foundation’s NGO Center at the old MicSem building. Bill Raynor’s younger brother, Tom Raynor, had flown to Pohnpei to hand over three checks from Bill’s estate. He gave $10,000 each for the Conservation Society of Pohnpei and Island Food Community of Pohnpei, $50,000 to TNC’s Micronesia Program, and $50,000 to the Micronesian Conservation Trust for the new Bill Raynor Micronesia Challenge Scholarship Endowment Fund. Bill was a founding member/incorporator for three of the organizations (CSP, IFCP and MCT) and also served on the Boards of all three. Tom came and visited Bill’s family and participated in the one year anniversary remembrances of his passing and visited with the organizations Bill cared about. There were representatives from IFCP, Conservation Society of Pohnpei, MCT, The Nature Conservancy, and Bill’s daughter and her husband were present at the ceremony.
Even though he has left us, his presence is still being felt in large ways!

11 October 2016
Nadi, Fiji – A regional consultation has opened in Fiji today on the participation of Pacific Island countries in the United Nations-led review process of national human rights records.
The consultation will assist 11 Pacific countries to prepare for the third cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) by sharing stories of impact and major gains, including examples of best practice in the region.
It is the latest event organised by the Pacific Community (SPC) through its Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT) to help countries commit to, and observe, international human rights standards.
Supported by the European Union, the Government of the Netherlands and the Australian Government, the four-day (11-14 October) human rights dialogue in Nadi provides a platform for Pacific countries to share their experiences with the UPR process and learn from one another.

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
October 14, 2016
Pohnpei, FSM—FSM Telecommunications has announced that from October 31 through November 8, Internet services will be slower than usual. The dates have changed several times since the announcement was first released and may yet change again. Telecom has said that it will keep its valued customers posted if the date further needs to be changed.
In order to minimize the impact on its customers as the main fiber optic line is being repaired, Telecom will be switching to satellite service. It means that for about a week, Internet services will be back to the bandwidth that was available before the fiber optic cable landed in Pohnpei several years ago. It will be very slow. There may also be voice quality degradation.
FSMTC is asking its customers to be considerate and to minimize their internet usage to the bare essentials such as email and messaging. Streaming videos during that time will only degrade the Internet service all customers during that time.
The televisions stations that are streamed over the Internet will also be affected.
The problem with the fiber optic line is a matter that is out of Telecom’s control and is on the mainline, not the spur that leads to Pohnpei.
“An updated notice will be disseminated to the public when the repair is completed and services restored”, the announcement says. “Kindly direct your questions or concerns to your nearest FSMTC office or to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..”

usaid 01

On September 30th, workers in the community of Piis Paneu, a small island within Chuuk’s lagoon, completed construction on the island’s first home as part of the continuing rebuilding efforts following Typhoon Maysak. Peace Corps Response Volunteer, Steve H., led a group of eight Chuukese community workers, guiding them through the work plan designed by USAID and IOM architects and engineers.
Steve previously served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Chuuk and is familiar with the language, culture, and people:
“I was in the Peace Corps on the outer island of Onoun, part of the Namonuito Atoll in Chuuk State, from 1967-69. I’ve had almost 50 years to reflect on that experience and the degree to which it shaped my life...The opportunity to return this year to help in the reconstruction efforts following Typhoon Maysak struck me as an ideal way to express that gratitude in a real way, on the ground. Onoun was hard hit by Typhoon Amy in 1971 and I missed that entirely. This time, I wanted to pitch in and help out.”

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
October 13, 2016
Federated States of Micronesia—In late August, the FSM’s Department of Labor and Immigration (L&I) notified Pohnpei’s Chief of the State Labor Office that it was returning applications for 46 foreign employees without its endorsement. The letter said that Pohnpei should notify the employers of those foreign workers that they should make arrangements for the employees to leave the FSM’s jurisdiction within 15 days of the notice.
The vast majority of the foreign workers listed on the letter were Filipinos. Joses Gallen, FSM’s Secretary for the Department of Justice (DOJ) said that is “because they constitute more than 80% of alien labor in this country.”
Two days later the Chuuk Office of FSM Labor and Immigration similarly notified employers in Chuuk that it would not be renewing contracts for foreign laborers. Shortly thereafter, several business owners and employers in Chuuk received letters detailing the names of their foreign workers who needed to leave the FSM within 15 days of that notice.

yolanda

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
October 1, 2016
Ottawa, Canada—1300 “One Young World” Ambassadors gave the FSM’s own Yolanda Joab a standing ovation after her speech in Ottawa, Canada. It was the only standing ovation given for a delegate speech during any of the plenary sessions during the One Young World summit.
This year the subjects chosen for the plenary sessions were Education, Environment, Global Business, Health, Human Rights, and Peace and Security. Joab, 26, was one of five speakers chosen from among hundreds of applicants in an extremely competitive process.
One Young World was founded in 2009 by David Jones and Kate Robertson. They are a UK-based charity that gathers together the brightest young leaders from around the world, empowering them to make lasting connections to create positive change.
They stage an annual Summit where the most valuable young talent from global and national companies, NGOs, universities and other forward-thinking organizations are joined by world leaders, acting as the One Young World Counselors.
At the Summit, delegates debate, formulate and share innovative solutions for the pressing issues the world faces.

16 japan

From September 12 to 14, 2016, training for recently provided new excavators was held at Pohnpei Transportation Authority. Through Japan’s Non-Project Grant Aid, 3 excavators were provided to PTA, Pohnpei, TPW (Transportation & Public Works) in Yap, and TPW (Transportation & Public Works) in Chuuk. Mr. Takase, a technician/ trainer from Hitachi Corporation and Ms. Nemoto, a supplier of the Excavators came from Japan and hold the 3-days-training. Total 13 operators including PTA, Pohnpei and TPW, Yap participated the training.
Ambassador Horie attended the training with Pohnpei States Governor Peterson. Later, he visited U Municipality and observed how the excavator was actually operated. The 35t gigantic excavator scooped large amount of dead coral from the sea and smoothly loaded them on land. The powerful and quick move of the excavator made all the observers at the site impressed.
Mr. Swingly Poll, the technician from PTA mentioned that it used to take much effort and time to gather coral from the sea, which was used to fix and maintain the road, but it would be much easier to do it with the newly procured excavator. He also conveyed his gratitude to Ambassador Horie about Japan’s continuous cooperation for FSM’s economic and social development.

FSM Information Services
September 19, 2016
The Permanent Representative of the Federated States of Micronesia to the United Nations in New York, Ambassador Jane J. Chigiyal, signed on 9 September 2016, a joint communique establishing diplomatic relations with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at a signing ceremony that took place at the UAE Permanent Mission. Ambassador Chigiyal’s counterpart, the UAE’s Permanent Representative to the United Nation in New York, Ambassador Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, signed the joint communique on behalf of her Government.
The Communique, signed in both Arabic and English, reflects the mutual willingness of both countries to promote mutual understanding and strengthen friendship and cooperation between the two countries in the political, economic, social, humanitarian, cultural and scientific areas. The two countries agreed that their relationship would be guided by the principles and purposes of the UN Charter and international law, particularly respect for equality among States, national sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and non-interference in the internal affairs of other States.
The Communique also acknowledges that the diplomatic relations between the two countries are established in accordance with the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 18th April 1961.
Before the signing of the Joint Communique, Ambassador Chigiyal took the opportunity to thank Ambassador Nusseibeh for UAE’s contribution to the FSM’s sustainable development in renewable energy by the funding of a 600kW photovoltaic plant which was recently inaugurated in May 2016 in the State of Pohnpei. Funding of the project was made available through the UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund with financing provided by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development.
UAE now joins Kuwait as the second member state of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) with which the FSM has established relations, and the 78th country with formal diplomatic relations with the FSM.

17 post disaster

16 September, 2016
Yap, Federated States of Micronesia - The cost of disaster is critical in determining the support and impact on countries and the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) has been struggling to determine the full cost of Typhoons Maysak and Dolphin in 2015 and the recent crippling drought.
To support this process, a Post Disasters Needs Assessment training is being conducted for disaster experts from the four states of FSM - Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei and Yap.
The training which begins today in Colonia, Yap, is supported by the Pacific Community (SPC) and the European Union (EU) through the ACP-EU Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific project.
Widely accepted as the international standard, Post Disaster Needs Assessments are comprehensive assessments that reveal the true cost of disasters by identifying all the impacts and calculating the cost of the damage and associated losses.
The week-long training aims to strengthen the country’s ability to improve reporting on the impact of future disasters whilst helping to develop critical data to inform the identification of long term recovery, reconstruction needs and ways to mitigate future hazards.
In supporting the training, FSM’s Director of Office Environment and Emergency Management (OEEM), Andrew Yatilman, stated that FSM should be in a better position to fully present the impacts of disasters throughout the islands which has been a challenge in the past.
“It’s also going to give participants who are representing the states the foundations to conduct of Post Disaster Needs Assessments and the types of baseline data that needs to be developed in each critical sectors,” Mr Yatilman said.
The training will be led by Dr Asha Kambon, a specialist in the Post Disaster Needs Assessment methodology, with support from SPC’s Disaster Risk Management Officer, Noa Tokavou.
The event concludes on 23 September.

15 ocean

FSM Information Services
September 21, 2016
Washington, DC, USA - President of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) Peter Christian delivered remarks to a high-level audience during the first day of the 3rd Our Ocean conference, hosted by United States Secretary of State John Kerry. The purpose of the annual Our Ocean conference is to catalyze actions to protect our shared ocean resources and empower a new generation to lead the way toward a healthy and sustainable ocean.
The President was the first to speak on the panel entitled Global Ocean Leadership, which also included Mauritius Prime Minister Ameenah Gurib-Fakim and four Vice Presidents and Foreign Ministers. He set the scene by relating the outcomes of the 47th Pacific Island Forum (PIF) Leaders’ Meeting held in Pohnpei last week, including the Forum Communiqué, which contains an Annex entitled the Pohnpei Ocean Statement: A Course to Sustainability. This statement emphasizes the centrality of oceans for Pacific peoples and livelihoods, and it highlights the importance of achieving the targets under Sustainable Development Goal 14 to secure the health and productivity of the oceans and the wellbeing of future generations. As current Chair of the Forum, he also reiterated his welcome to the newest full members of the Forum, French Polynesia and New Caledonia.
For audience members at the Our Ocean conference who were unfamiliar with the FSM, the President said in jest that one way to get to there would be to board a flight from Hawaii to Sydney and, about 8 hours into the flight, jump out of the right side of the plane and land right in Micronesia. Further to the FSM’s geography, he said that the land mass of the islands is small, but the area of ocean that the FSM governs is vast enough to comfortably fit the entire United States. He reflected on how fishing practices in FSM waters have changed with the advent of new technologies, especially those that allow fish to be frozen and stored. This has not only caused stress on coastal resources and biodiversity, but, in some cases, it has also diminished neighborly relations, which were once generous with respect to sharing daily catch.
President Christian concluded his remarks with an emphasis on the connection between climate change and ocean health. In this regard, he thanked representatives of the global community for their support to successfully adopt the Paris Climate Agreement, which the FSM officially ratified on September 15, 2016, in advance of the September 21 United Nations (UN) Secretary General’s high-level event on accelerating the Agreement’s entry into force.
Throughout both days of the Our Ocean conference, an important aspect was the contribution of specific commitments to protect the ocean by many participants, including States, non-governmental organizations, scientific entities and foundations. Between sessions, many representatives of these States and organizations briefly took the floor to verbally announce their commitments. The list of commitments and programs can be found on the Our Ocean website.
On September 14, the evening before the Our Ocean conference commenced, President Christian also delivered remarks at Pacific Day, an event hosted annually by the Pacific embassies in Washington, DC and held at the New Zealand Embassy to the United States. In his remarks entitled “Small Islands, Big Ocean”, he placed a strong emphasis on climate change, referring to it as a “titanic challenge”, and calling on global leaders to stop resisting the science and do the right thing for planet Earth. He also related the key outcomes of the 47th PIF Leaders’ Meeting and highlighted the recent designation of Nan Madol as a World Heritage site by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

14 president

President Christian Addresses 71st Session of United Nations General Assembly
FSM Information Services
September 21, 2016 (New York, New York) - Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) President Peter Christian delivered FSM’s national address before the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). He focused on themes of global peace and security, reform and modernization of the UN, climate change, and oceans.
President Christian began his remarks by congratulating Peter Thomson, Permanent Representative of Fiji to the UN, on his election to the Presidency of the UNGA for the 71st session, calling it a historic occasion for Pacific islands. He next thanked the UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon, who is finishing his term this year, for being a champion of many issues important to Small Island Developing States (SIDS), such as increasing political momentum to address climate change.

The European Union (EU) and the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) signed a short-stay visa waiver Agreement on Monday, 19 September, in New York within the margins of the United Nations General Assembly.
The new visa waiver regime applies as of 20 September and provides for visa-free travel for EU citizens when travelling to the territory of the Federated States of Micronesia and for citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia when travelling to the EU for a period of stay of 90 days in any 180-day period.
The Agreement will encourage people-to-people contacts, boost tourism, and invigorate business between the EU and the Federated States of Micronesia.
In order to benefit from visa-free travel, citizens from the EU and the Federated States of Micronesia must be in possession of a valid ordinary, diplomatic, service/official or special passport.
The visa-free travel applies to all categories of persons and for any kind of purposes of travel (for instance tourism, cultural visits, scientific activities, family visits, business etc.), except to persons travelling for the purpose of carrying out a paid activity.
The Federated States of Micronesia joins the Republic of Marshall Islands, Vanuatu, Samoa, Tonga, Palau, Kiribati and Tuvalu for the visa-free travel to the EU.
Ireland and the United Kingdom will not be subject to the application of the Agreement, in accordance with the protocols annexed to the EU treaties. The visa regime to these member states remains subject to their national legislation.

03 OCT 2016

By Avalon Edward
Pohnpei, FSM—For the past couple of years – there have been only 3-4 women teams for the basketball tournament in part of the Liberation Games. This year, however, seven teams (Kapinga, Kolonia, Kitti, Sokehs, Mwoakilloa, Nett, and Sapwuahfik) signed up. It was an exciting tournament as the competition pool nearly doubled!
All was well until playoffs – Team Sapwuahfik was to play against a team that it had previously beaten without its full roster. Again, because of schedule difficulties – Team Sapwuahfik had to round up players in order to have enough players to face off their opposition. As the buzzer sounded off – Team Sapwuahfik cheered as they managed to defeat the opposing team for the second time. The cheer was premature as they found out that the opposing team was protesting against one of Team Sapwuahfik’s players.

06 smaller islandsBy Nic Maclellan in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia
PALIKIR, POHNPEI 09 SEPTEMBER 2016 (ISLANDS BUSINESS) --- Pacific leaders from smaller island states are considering a joint approach to the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the new global fund to assist developing countries respond to the adverse effects of climate change.
As leaders from the 16 member countries gather in Pohnpei for the 47th Pacific Islands Forum, the issue of climate finance is an ongoing concern for countries devastated by cyclones, ocean acidification and other extreme weather events.
Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna said: “Climate finance of course is very, very important for the smaller island states - as it is for all Pacific countries. However it is especially so for the smaller island states, because of our vulnerability and our fragility and the fact that we are right at the frontline off the impacts of climate change. “
As leaders of Smaller Island States (SIS) held their annual pre-Forum meeting, there was extensive discussion about the difficulties of obtaining the financial and technical resources needed to adapt to climate change.
As incoming chair of the SIS group, Puna said access to the GCF and other multilateral funds was a constant worry for small states, which often lack technical and scientific resources to prepare submissions for funding.
“One of the ways that was put forward was for us to consider a joint approach to submit applications to the GCF,” he said. “Perhaps by doing that we might have some success in terms of getting some much needed resources from GCF.”

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
September 12, 2016
Pohnpei, FSM— For 37 years Pohnpei has celebrated its liberation from Japanese occupiers who held Pohnpei since they took it from Germany during World War I. For many years the Liberation Day celebration has been preceded by games culminating on September 11. This year’s ceremony was held on September 12.
On September 11, 1945, U.S. Naval forces accepted the surrender of Japanese forces in Pohnpei and raised the American flag ending the Japanese occupation here.
The games, which involved friendly competition amongst the municipalities and the outer islands have been going on for several weeks now. Sports competition included track and field which was done on September 12 at PICS Track. With 15, Nett took the largest number of gold medals in those competitions, followed by Sokehs which took a total of 34 medals compared to Nett’s 29 but managed 8 gold medals. Kitti also had 8 gold medals. The municipality had a total of 30 medals.
Nett men and Sokehs women took the Micro All Around.

04 fsm joinsBy Nic Maclellan
(Islands Business magazine)
in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia
PALIKIR, POHNPEI, 07 SEPTEMBER 2016 (ISLANDS BUSINESS) --- Federated States of Micronesia, the host country for this week’s Pacific Islands Forum, has been welcomed as a full member of the Smaller Island States (SIS) group within the Forum.
The Pacific’s smaller atoll and island nations opened their annual pre-Forum meeting in Pohnpei on Wednesday morning.
Until this week’s meeting, SIS membership has comprised Cook Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau and Tuvalu.
Incoming SIS Chair, Prime Minister Henry Puna of the Cook Islands, opened the pre-Forum caucus, welcoming FSM as the latest member of the group by acclamation: “In the true Pacific way, we have wholeheartedly agreed to support and welcome FSM into the SIS family.”

 

02 blue boatsBy Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
September 6, 2016
Pohnpei, FSM—The so called “blue boats” from Vietnam have become a scourge of the Pacific.
Painted a color of blue that matches the sea and carrying no electronics as they are required to do, they are almost impossible to track in the vast Pacific Ocean. The boats cost almost nothing to buy or to operate. According to the FSM Department of Justice, they aren’t registered anywhere
If countries catch them it’s up to those countries to figure out what to do with them. Countries violated by the boats have confiscated them. They’ve burned them. They’ve even blown them up in spectacular fashion. Sinking, burning, or blowing up a blue boat may be spectacular images for the media and the rest of the world but it does little to keep the blue boats from scavenging the world’s oceans. The Vietnamese scavengers keep coming back because losing a boat is simply not enough of a deterrent to keep them away. There’s simply too much money to be made.

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
September 16, 2016
Pohnpei, FSM—Guam’s Governor Eddie Calvo has said that if the US Federal government is not going to do its job by deporting convicted migrants he will do it for them. He has already commuted the sentences of five FSM citizens from Chuuk and sent them home in exchange for a promise that they would never return to Guam even for transit purposes. Early on Calvo called his arrangements “deportations”, but even the Guam Attorney General has questioned whether the Guam Governor has any power for deportations, a role of the U.S. Government.
Calvo has since stopped referring to his sentence commutations and agreements for convicted FSM felons as “deportations” and at last for the last three sentence commutations, seems to have changed his method for reaching the same end.

September 3, 2016
Pohnpei, FSM—The arrival of an Air Niugini flight in Chuuk and in Pohnpei last week was not the “maiden” voyage of the new airline service to the FSM, but that is coming in December of this year. The flight that arrived last week was a charter flight for the Pacific Islands Forum meetings.
According to “The National”, formal approval has been given to Air Niugini by the Federated States of Micronesia President Peter Christian to operate commercial flights between the two countries.
Air Niugini board chairman Sir Frederick Reiher led a management team on the airline’s first flight to the FSM states of Chuuk and Pohnpei.
Sir Frederick said the visit was the result of the discussions between the FSM President and Prime Minister Peter O’Neil during the 2015 Pacific Forum Meeting in Port Moresby. Air Niugini was invited to start a regular air service to FSM.
“President Christian described this agreement with Air Niugini and PNG as a sign of how co-operation between the Pacific Islands Forum members works for the real benefit of member countries,” Sir Frederick told “The National”.
“So that the financial risks associated with a new international service can be managed, Air Niugini has asked the FSM Government to share the risk involved in establishing this new air service.
“I am delighted that the President and his government responded positively to our request, and have agreed to provide a firm response when the financial year begins in October, Sir Frederick told The National.
General Manager Customers and Markets, Mr Dominic Kaumu very quickly told The Kaselehlie Press that Air Niugini has no plans to ever service Guam. Instead the airline will serve as a direct link between the North and South Pacific without the need to transit in Guam. He said that the flight to Port Morseby is two hours and 40 minutes from Chuuk. From Jacksons International Airport (POM) outside of Port Moresby, customers will have access to the rest of the world.
He said that FSM citizens will be able to get a visa on arrival in POM.
He said that Air Niugini operates 28 planes and the company is 53 years old.

01 pacific nations

PALIKIR, 09 SEPTEMBER 2016 (AFP) --- Pacific island leaders opened their annual regional summit Thursday with a colourful ceremony in Micronesia, as some of the world's smallest nations vowed to put up a big fight against climate change.
Members of the 16-nation Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) were greeted by traditional dancers in grass skirts at the meeting's opening in the Micronesian capital Palikir.
The event included a sakau-sharing session, where local elders consume the mildly narcotic drink better known as kava, as well as a Christian invocation in the deeply religious country.
The PIF nations face a range of serious issues when the summit gets down to business, ranging from over-exploited fisheries to poverty and an obesity epidemic.

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
September 29, 3016
Pohnpei, FSM—After a performance audit of the FSM Consulate General office in Guam, the FSM Office of the public auditor has concluded that the office did not implement appropriate processes and internal controls over the development of performance measures and targets. In addition, they found that there was no monitoring and reporting of the consulate performance, which meant for missed opportunities to render improved, efficient and effective service and effective service delivery.
The auditors found that the FSM Consular functions and services in protecting and safeguarding FSM citizens in Guam need improvements. Auditors found no performance indicators or targets to guard citizens’ rights, interests and safety.

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
September 19, 2016
Pohnpei, FSM—FSM’s Office of the Public Auditor has concluded that the potential for employee abuse of government purchased TelCards is high and that no effective system has yet been put into place to guard against it.
12 opaThe audit’s first finding was that there is an absence of written policies and procedures governing the purchase and use of prepaid telephone cards. The audit reviewed the three departments with the highest TelCard expenditures in fiscal year 2014 which amounted to a combined total of $78,504 and the same departments in 2015 which had a combined total of TelCard expenditures of $87,572. The audit noted that except for one program in one department which maintained an incomplete log sheet for TelCards, the departments did not maintain records that would provide information on the quantity received or issued, nor an inventory balance.
Though call history can be retrieved online from FSM Telecom for any TelCard, a search of the history requires both the card number and the pin number, but those numbers were not recorded when TelCards were issued.

11 bill raynor

03 OCT 2016

A fundraiser for the Bill Raynor Micronesia Challenge Scholarship Fund took place in Honolulu on September 4 at the East West Center. It was a gathering of people who knew and loved Bill and they sang songs, told stories and shared memories – celebrating his life on the year anniversary of his passing (September 1, 2015). A total of $39,500 was raised in honor of Bill Raynor (February 22, 1957 – September 1, 2015), Director of The Nature Conservancy Pacific Division, and his 34 years of conservation work in the region. The Bill Raynor Micronesia Challenge Scholarship Fund will support emerging leaders across the region. Bill worked with the Micronesia Conservation Trust to establish the Fund in 2015, and it is his last loving legacy to the islands and people he served and championed throughout his life.

First FSM citizen to be extradited to US since 2005

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
September 20, 2016
Colonia, Yap—James C. Siugpiyemal today agreed to waive a hearing on extradition to the United States where he will face several criminal charges.
Those charges allege that while Siugpiyemal was serving as a correctional services officer at the Maui Community Correctional Center (MCCC) in 2014, he raped a female inmate. The allegations were described in graphic detail in the documents filed by the FSM Department of Justice on behalf of the United States.
The inmate who was serving time for theft was on a work release program that allowed her to leave the jail in order to work. Her testimony says that Siugpiyemal discovered that she had posted a photo of herself in a bikini on Facebook, activity she feared would land her in solitary confinement and get her removed from the work furlough program. Siugpiyemal began contacting her via texts and by other methods, including Facebook, all of which eventually landed in the hands of Maui law enforcement officers.

Partially denies defendants’ motion to dismiss

10 sea cucumber

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
September 29, 2016
Pohnpei, FSM—In what may well be a landmark decision cited in future legal actions, the FSM Supreme Court ruled that the Conservation Society of Pohnpei lacks standing to bring a civil action against the plaintiffs in the sea cucumber case but co-plaintiffs, the Mwoalen Wahu Ileili do have legal standing to bring the action.
The decision, delivered yesterday by Specially Appointed Justice Mayceleen JD Anson came in response to a motion filed separately by Young Sun Corporation and by Pohnpei State defendants claiming that neither plaintiff in the case would be directly affected by a sea cucumber harvest and therefore the case should be dismissed. The decision essentially removed the Conservation Society of Pohnpei as plaintiffs in the case though they will remain as counter-defendants in the answer to the civil action filed by the defendants which also included a counter claim. The Mwoalen Wahu Ileili remains as a plaintiff so the hearings on issuance of a permanent injunction to permanently put a stop to the planned sea cucumber harvest will continue to move forward.