PALIKIR, POHNPEI. July 27, 2016 - The Fifth Special Session of the 19th Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia convened on Monday - July 25, to address various issues pending the Body among which includes nominations, pending treaties and budgetary matters among others.
Among the witnesses to the morning’s opening formalities were the President Peter M. Christian, Vice President and members of the Cabinet along with representatives from the various national government agencies and institutions. Also present were Senator Shelton Neth from the Pohnpei State Legislature along with various representatives from the state and municipal governments. The heads of the diplomatic missions in the FSM were also present and they included: Ambassador Li Jie of Embassy of the PROC; Ambassador George Frasier of the Australian Embassy; Ambassador Ryoichi Horie of the Japan Embassy and Charge’D Affaires Joan Cummings of the US Embassy. In addition, Ms. Osnat Lubrani, the UN Resident Coordinator for the Pacific Region was also witness to the morning’s proceedings.
Following the formalities, Speaker Wesley W. Simina appointed Senator Alik L. Alik to chair the Committee to Wait on the President with membership comprised of Senators Isaac V. Figir, Esmond B. Moses and Robson Romolow. The committee would meet with the President to discuss his issues of priority that he wishes to be addressed by the Body.
The President highlighted various issues of health, education, infrastructure and pressing legal issues on which he would like Congress to focus. Foremost among the issues were the pending nominations which the President urged Congress to address so that the executive branch can have all departmental and agency leadership positions filled.
MiCare was another issue of note for which the President informed the committee that the relevant national departments would work with Congress to detail an oversight with the program. Discussions also centered on Congress’s recent appropriation to pay off student debts owed to San Diego State University through the College of Micronesia. The President would like the issue revisited with clear and concise language as to Congress’ intention regarding the appropriation.
Discussion also surrounded the increasing number of asylum seekers in the FSM and their current status. President assured the ‘Committee to Wait’ that the issue was currently being addressed by Executive Branch with the relevant departments working with their state and in the regional counterparts.
Among the President’s highlighted issues was the ratification of the Paris Agreement which he urged Congress’ actions, the ongoing pursuit for a new Guam Consulate Office and a few others. The committee agreed with the President to meet again for further deliberations on the noted issues and any other that may surface during the course of the Special Session.
The Fifth Special Session is scheduled to adjourn on August 3, 2016, unless shortened or extended through resolution. As usual, the sessions of Congress are held in the Congress Chamber in Palikir and are open to the interested public.
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