Special Session Confirms Associate Justice and Ratifies Climate Agreement, among others

PALIKIR, POHNPEI. August 4. 2016 – The Fifth Special Session has adjourned sine-die on Wednesday - August 3, 2016, as scheduled, with the passage of numerous measures among which included the confirmation of an Associate Justice and the ratification of the Paris Agreement.
The Nineteenth Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia has confirmed Larry Wentworth to serve as an Associate Justice for the FSM Supreme Court. With a stellar background and over 20 years of service to the FSM Supreme Court, Wentworth’s nomination was confirmed through the adoption of Congressional Resolution (CR) 19-236.
Another highlight of the concluded session was the adoption of CR 19-237 to ratify the climate change treaty better known as the Paris Agreement.  The Paris Agreement is a treaty within the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change which calls for a global effort to reduce the emissions of green house gases in order to limit global warming to under 2°C. It also calls for voluntary goals or “nationally determined contributions” (NCDs), which would eventually become binding. And finally the Paris Agreement calls for commitment by the developed countries to assist the developing countries in their efforts.
Congress also passed Congressional Act (CA) 19-101 to place a certain restriction on the newly created entity, “the Joint Committee on Compact Review and Planning.” During its session in May 2016, Congress had passed an Act (now Public Law 19-85) to create a Joint Committee on Compact Review and Planning to coordinate the Nation’s preparation efforts towards effective and smooth post Compact government in 2023. The newly passed Act amends the new law to underscore that any contemplated or proposed negotiations with the US will be limited solely to Title Two - Financial Provisions.
In a similar vein, Congress had also during its May session passed an Act (now Public Law 19-90) to establish a National Scholarship Board comprising of five members, one from the National Government and one from each of the four states. During the Special Session, Congress passed CA 19-94, to create a transition period which would allow the Executive Branch to continue its award process until the “Scholarship Board members are confirmed and Board is functional, or until November 30, 2016, whichever occurs first.”
Accordingly, Congress confirmed the following resolutions for nominations to the National Scholarship Board: CR 19-241, for Lourdes F. Roboman to serve as the representative of the State of Yap; CR 19-244, for Pressler Martin to serve as the representative of the State of Pohnpei; and CR 19-257, for Kemsky A. Sigrah to serve as the representative of the State of Kosrae. The nomination for the National Government representative, CR 19-256 for Wayne Mendiola was not adopted.
Other nominations addressed during the Special Session included the nomination of Nakama Sana through CR 19-201, which Congress confirmed as the State of Chuuk’s representative on the FSM Social Security Board of Directors. Congress however defeated CR 19-211, the nomination of the Yap State representative Vincent Tafileluw to the same FSMSSA Board.  Another defeated was CR 19-220, the nomination of Lorin S. Robert to be the FSM Ambassador Plenipotentiary to the United States of America in Washington, D.C.  And finally the Congress confirmed CR 19-260, for Arthy G. Nena to serve as the State of Kosrae’s Representative on the FSM MiCare Board of Directors and this was confirmed.
Along with the nominations resolutions, Congress also passed several Congressional Acts to enhance its continuing assistance to the state governments. Specific to two states, Congress passed CA 19-95, to appropriate $500,000 towards funding of priority infrastructure projects in the State of Chuuk; and through CA 19-98, Congress amended a previous law to change the use of certain funds for the purpose of funding essential government functions, programs and activities in the State of Yap.
Though CA 19-102, Congress passed a supplemental budget of $1,2 million to address certain obligations and pressing needs of the National Government and the Nation.
And finally, Congress went through several prior laws and made changes to the use of funds and lapse dates previously appropriated for public projects and social programs in the four states. Those changes are reflected in the following measures:  CA 19-96, CA 19-97, CA 19-99, A 19-105, CA 19-104, CA 19-103, and the last Congressional Act of the Fifth Special Session of the 19th Congress of the Federate States of Micronesia was CA 10-106, for change of use of funds previously appropriated for projects and social programs in the states of Chuuk and Yap.   The Congressional Acts along with Congressional Resolutions have been transmitted to the President for his signature.