The Tenth States and National Leadership Conference (SNLC) held at the Rose Mackwelung Public Library in Tofol, Kosrae

Press Release:
Tofol, Kosrae. March 18, 2017

1.  The Tenth SNLC officially opened on Saturday morning, March 18, 2017 at the Rose Mackwelung Public Library, Tofol, Kosrae, under the Chairmanship of the Honorable Lyndon H. Jackson, Governor, State of Kosrae, following an opening prayer delivered by Reverend Takeo Likiaksa, who drew inspiration from the Bible, Book of Proverbs, Chapter 16, Verse 3 “commit to the Lord whatever you do and your plans will succeed”.

2.  During the two-day conference, the SNLC Principals discussed critical issues for the economic and social development of the FSM including: national security priorities; international ship and port security measures; health issues focusing on non-communicable disease trends, health sector human resource capacity development, off-island referrals and manpower issues, and medical insurance under MiCare; World Bank fiber-optic cable projects; and revisiting of the tax reform.

3.  The 10th SNLC also received updates on progress in the establishment of PMOs at the State level and the latest development in the implementation of Compact funded infrastructure projects. In addition, Pohnpei and Chuuk States presented on the topics of local revenue sharing between the National and State Government, financial needs of State Governments, and selection and implementation of development Projects throughout the Nation.

4.  Frank and open discussion on the above issues led to the adoptions of important decisions, along with seven Resolutions on:

001 – To urge the National Government to seek all proper means to sustain the Nauru Airlines flights to Kosrae
002 – To Endorse the Establishment of a Diagnostic Health Facility as Remedy to a Referral System, and Support Health Man-Power Development Programs, National Legislative Measures and an Effective Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) Monitoring and Surveillance System.
003 – In support of the FSM’s World Bank funded ICT Projects and immediate action to meet the project disbursement conditions.
004 – To urge the National Government to develop alternative options to reform the tax system of the Federated States of Micronesia.
005 – Reaffirming the mandate for all Governments to collaborate on available financial resources in light of unmet needs.
006- To urge the National Government through its appropriate departments and agencies to regularly invite input and recommendations from the state counterparts to ensure that the State and National priorities are clearly aligned for the betterment of our nation.
007 – To request that the State and National Leadership of the Federated States of Micronesia establish and adopt a tracking system on all issues, discussions and recommendations at the conclusion of the Conference Agenda for reference and update in future State and National Leadership Conferences.

5.  Mr. Redley Killion, President of the FSMACC addressed the 10th SNLC, focusing on areas where swift actions are required from the State and National Governments to improve and grow the FSM economy with a view to generate the needed revenue, including FSM Development Bank and commercial banks’ high interest rates; infrastructure Development Fund for capital equity for local businesses; completion of land survey and titling; general lack of skill manpower development, in particular the need to speed up the implementation of 9th SNLC Resolution 001 to Endorse the Establishment of a National Career and Technical Education School; cost of fuel and utilities; current tax structure; and high cost and poor communication services. Finally, Mr. Killion indicated the FSMACC’s support for the proposal to centralize foreign investment permit processes at the national level and the need to ensure that measures are put in place to enhance local business development and protect small businesses.

6. During the 10th SNLC, Mr. Fredy S. Perman, Vice-President and COO of FSM Telecom (FSMTC), informed the 10th SNLC that beginning May 1, 2017, the rate for interstate mobile calls will be same as intrastate mobile calls.

7.  Under miscellaneous, the Principals, discussed progress towards the establishment of an Office of Veterans Affairs, implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities following its ratification by Congress, uniformed/harmonization of minimum wage, Public sector reform, and hosting of the 2018 Micro Games by the State of Yap.

8.  The 10th SNLC was attended Hon. Yosiwo P. George, Vice-President of the FSM; Hon. Wesley Simina, Speaker of the 19th FSM Congress; Hon. Lyndon H. Jackson, Governor, State of Kosrae; Hon. Tulensa Palik, Speaker, Kosrae State 11th Legislature Hon. Johnson Elimo, Governor, State of Chuuk; Hon. Reed B. Oliver, Lt Governor, State of Pohnpei; Hon. Fernado Scaliem, Speaker, Pohnpei State 9th Legislature; Hon. Theodore Rutun, Speaker, Yap State 9th Legislature; and Mr. Francis Itimai, Director, Department of Youth and Civic Affairs, Yap State, Representative of Hon. Anthony Ganngiyan, Governor, State of Yap.

9.  The Conference was also attended by Honorable Members of the FSM Congress and Senators of State Legislatures; Ms. Joanne Cummings, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of the United States of America to the FSM and Captain Jim Pruett, Commanding Officer, US Coast Guard, Guam Sector; Cabinet Members of the FSM National and State Governments; Members of the Private Sector led by Mr. Redley Killion, President of the FSM Association of Chambers of Commerce (FSMACC); and Kosrae Municipal and Church Leaders.

The Communiqué and Resolutions were signed by the five Heads of Delegations for the 10th FSM SNLC which concluded the Conference on March 20, 2017.

For details, please contact the SNLC Secretariat, Department of Resources and Development, by email: fsmrd@fsmrd.fm or telephone: +691 320-2620/2646/5133.

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