FSM President Stress Micronesian Unity In Address To Guam Legislature

Christian’s visit part of Association of Pacific Island Legislatures meeting

By Shawn Raymundo

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, June 2, 2016) – While the Festival of Pacific Arts has stoked the island’s interest over various Pacific cultures in recent days, policymakers from nearby Pacific island governments are meeting to discuss ways of preserving a spirit of unity.

The Guam Legislature this week is playing host to dozens of members of the Association of Pacific Island Legislatures, which on Wednesday convened the 35th General Assembly. Formed in 1981, the organizationgathers legislative representatives from 12 Pacific island governments to discuss regional matters such as air and sea transportation, tourism, aquaculture, energy and political status.

This year’s three-day event, with the theme of “Strengthening Our Past and Uniting our Blue Continent,” is in conjunction with the Festival of Pacific Arts.

As part of the event, Federated States of Micronesia President Peter Christian spoke Wednesday before lawmakers at the Guam Legislature.

“The reason why I am a bit apprehensive about speaking as a president before this body of legislatures is that by tradition you are the elected, nominated and perfect enemies of the executive branch,” Christian said, while the audience chuckled.

Christian continued to joke that when he got the invitation to be a presenter on the first day of the Assembly so he could speak about “Keeping the spirit of unity throughout Micronesia,” he assumed it was a “trick” or part of God’s sense of humor.

That presumes there is unity, Christian said.

“That’s a very presumptive topic for us to assume that there is unity because as I look down, I know that there are itty-bitty bits of dissent, but that is what makes this government, this democracy, beautiful. The essence of dissent.”

When considering paths to unity, Christian said nations need to recognize the geography, geopolitics, cultural differences and political histories. Instilling a sense of unity is easier said than done, but he added that it’s not impossible.

“One would ask himself after that statement is made ‘Is it impossible?’” Christian noted. “No, the answer is ‘No, it’s not impossible.’ We just have to work hard at it. And once we try and it fails we try again and keep trying.”

Christian related the spirit of unity to love, noting that neither should be taken for granted, as “it must be inspired and continually guarded.”

“The spirit of unity remains not in the shallows of our minds; it must be summoned from deep within and become an embracement of our differences and our willingness to compromise,” he said.

He also noted that organizations such as the Association of Pacific Island Legislatures is evidence that efforts are already being made to keep the spirit of unity alive.

“If anything can be said about our topic it is that we are not only talking about it, we are doing something about it,” Christian said. “Your presence here in this assembly in Guam is clear testimony of our collected efforts to keep this spirit of unity throughout Micronesia well and alive.”

According to Judith Won Pat, speaker of the Guam Legislature, some of the ways the legislature association has worked to increase unity in Micronesia is to get more internet services available to each of the islands as well as improving air and sea travel.

Won Pat also echoed Christian’s point that the association’s regular meetings are already proper steps being taken toward preserving unity.

“The frequency of our meetings has actually started to have more of our leaders become more aware of how important it is that we speak with one voice,” she said.

Pacific Daily News
Copyright © 2016 Guam Pacific Daily News. All Rights Reserved

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Comments

I would like to remind the FSM President, Peter Christian which Democracy have truly a God's process of openness and dignity of human right to this day in Micronesia, and FSM. I hope every leaders and politician in entire Micronesian region, including the Federated States of Micronesia won't not look far-away from the history we have learned and witnesses from Alberto Fujimori, the 90th President of Peru. May the light of democracy will continue shine into entire Micronesian region. God bless Here it is reminder of history: History and fact: [ “Alberto Fujimori was the 90th President of Peru. He was in office from 1990 to 2000. He had fled to Japan when the news of his corruption was disclosed to the public. Fujimori was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for embezzlement and another six years for corruption and bribery charges. He was also convicted of human rights abuses, murder and kidnapping and was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment. Japan had denied extradition requests from the Peruvian government. However, he unexpectedly went to Chile. On September 21, 2007, upon the request of Peru, the Chilean Supreme Court had granted the extradition of Fujimori to Peru.”] END HISTORY ON ALBERTO FUJIMORI, PRESIDENT OF PERU.

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