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Regional News

FSM Congress convenes for second regular session

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (Press Release) — On Thursday morning Sept. 14, 2017, the 20th Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia convened in Palikir for its second regular session to pass the national government’s budget operations for fiscal year 2018.

Witnesses to the morning’s opening session were President Peter M. Christian and Vice President Yosiwo P. George along with members of the cabinet and the heads of the various offices and agencies of the FSM national government. Also present were Chuuk Gov. Johnson Elimo, the dean and members of the resident diplomatic corps and two newly accredited non-resident ambassadors, Leon Malazogu of the Republic of Kosovo and Karena Lyons of New Zealand.

Also in the gallery Thursday morning was a special delegation of students and staff from the private Jesuit research university in Japan, Sophia University.

The delegation head if the former ambassador to the FSM, Shoji Sato, who is also professor of Sophia University and executive director of Japan’s Association for the Promotion of International Cooperation.

The Office of the Speaker provide local delicacies, fruits and coconut drinks outside of the chamber for the visiting delegation.

Following the introductions and recognition of witnesses in the gallery, Speaker Wesley Simina appointed the Committee to Wait on the President to be chaired by Sen. Alik L. Alik with Sen. Esmond B. Moses, Sen. Robson U. Romolow and Sen. Joseph J. Urusemal as members. A time was set up for the committee to meet with the executive leadership and inform the president that Congress is in session and inquire as to the executive’s agenda for Congress attention, if any.

After the dispensing with the day’s agenda, the Congress adjourned its ceremonial opening of the second regular session for the Body to get down to its work. Chairman Alik and the committee met with Vice President Yosiwo P. George and brought up five areas that Congress have agreed to focus on for its second regular session: (1) FY 2018 budget; (2) assistance to foreign states for natural disaster relief; (3) Issues surrounding the FSM. Telecommunications Corp.; 4) pending nominations and grants; and (5) the possibility of establishing a consulate office on the U.S. West Coast.

The vice president shared an executive branch priority list similar to the Congress with the following exception that he request Congress to consider: (1) foreign investment policy work; (2) World Bank fiber optic cable project; and (3) MiCare.

The second regular session of the 20th Congress is for 20 days and will adjourn on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 unless shortened or extended by resolution. As usual, the Congress sessions are open to interested members of the general public.