The theoretical "Commonwealth of Freely Associated States" is ripe for establishment now

This idea had been discussed in the past--as noted in some of the posts under a different subject title. In short, it's going to be an organizational structure whose membership consists only of the 3 FAS countries--the 3 independent countries that have much in common and linkages throughout their history. The proposed CFAS will be focused on maintaining a close political and historical link with the US--from after WWII, thru TTPI, thru the FAS relationship with the US. It is somewhat modeled after the British Commonwealth--the organization of independent countries that once were affiliated with the British Empire.

Given the fact that 2023 is around the corner plus the recent efforts from the US in recognizing the importance of our FAS relationship with the US (meeting with President Trump, Secretary Pompeo, etc.), it's a good timing to look into the creation of CFAS. Just some thoughts on this nice day in Pohnpei.


  • Have any of the COFA/FAS governments expressed interest in your plan?

    Have any non-government people or organizations expressed support?
  • May be a good idea to look into but I think a thorough & careful study/assessment of the pros & cons of such a new political status including our current Compact of FAS as well as any other options if there are, must be conducted. I'm not sure if Independence is a realistic option.

    Anyway, regarding the Commonwealth option, will the transition to a new political status be costly? Belau has a different expiring date for its compact, right? Do you think Belau will be willing to entertain that idea? Remember, US lured Saipan into becoming Commonwealth by promising to give them more money during the Congress of Micronesia era so do you think the US will be willing to pump more money into that Commonwealth status versus the current levels? Might be a good idea too to analyze Saipan's Commonwealth status.

    Can you please enlighten us on some of the pros for adopting such a political system modeled after the British Commonwealth island countries? Bahamas for sure may be a good example, uh?

    It's interesting that reps from both the US Dept of State & Interior attended the recent FSM Congress Inauguration. Is a repeat of the 1950s-60s infighting between the US Dept of State & Dept of Interior over control of our islands happening again or is it because of the Chinese growing influence? Sorry, just another inquiring/curious coconut head
  • Not yet. I think once people begin to talk about it more, the governments/officials will eventually recognize its potential--as a non-political organization that will help focus on the positive aspects of the relationship among the FAS countries themselves; and in affiliation with the US.

    One of the first projects that I think should be taken up by the CFAS is to allow citizens of the CFAS countries to enter and work without too much restriction in each of the other FAS countries. Example: Yapese (FSM citizens) can go to Palau and work and even engage in business without too much restrictions that are put on other foreigners.

    Anyways, I hope more discussions will be brought up so this concept could be developed and refined and adjusted to the point that it will be ready for take off in the near future. We'll see. If not, it's no big deal.
  • AntiC, no it won't be a new political status. It's going to be an "organization" of independent 3 FAS countries--to focus on advancing common interest. Nothing more.
  • If that's the case, then it's a great idea. In other words, you're implying that currently the 3 FAS countries has not been or are not doing well or are not organized as far as advancing their common interests, right?

    Is it impossible for the 3 FAS countries to just focus more on advancing their common interests now without switching to that name - Commonwealth if it's not gonna be a new political status?

    You sure the US wont' get offended for us choosing a British model/style of government?... No offense intended my friend Marc...

    Where is Steven Savage? Is he still with JEMCO/OIA office? Steven Savage, if you're reading this, can you please update us on the current balance of frozen or withheld infrastructure money by OIA or JEMCO? 5 or 6 years ago the amount was what $100 plus million???.. Can anybody in here enlighten us?
  • isn't commonwealth and the Compact of Free Association are two different set of agreement? whereas the COFA gives the three Nations more indepedeant statues the Commonwealth?., I dont think having both will be allowed by the USA> but i could be wrong too.
  • You are correct, visafree.

    The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) is subject to U.S. federal laws.

    The three COFA nations are not subject to U.S. federal laws.

    Persons born in the CNMI on or after November 4, 1986 are automatically U.S. citizens.

    Persons born in the three COFA nations are not automatically U.S. citizens.

    CNMI is not a sovereign nation and is not a member of the United Nations.

    The three COFA nations are sovereign and members of the United Nations.

    And there are other significant differences.
  • Visa and FM, the CFAS that is being envisioned here is not a political structure. It is simply an organization. It's different from the political structure "Commonwealth" as in the case of CNMI or A. Samoa.

    It is envisioned to be more like the British Commonwealth whose members are diverse, fiercely independent countries, with different political and constitutional structures. For example: British Commonwealth's members include: Canada, India, and many others. They don't really have anything in common except their common history of being under the former British Empire.

    They have, as independent countries, chosen to be affiliated with each other under the British Commonwealth--to share whatever are benefits or advantages of such an organization. I am thinking, in terms of organization theories, that it would be possible to create the CFAS that would promote the interest of the FAS countries but does not impose anything on any of the members. It'll all be voluntary.
  • As long as this shit continues, this will never happen.
  • And you know what "shit" I'm talking about.
  • It's not clear what "shit" you're referring to. If you could elaborate, it'll help with the discussion.
  • Commonwealth will be a popular option now especially with the new DHS law which could result in mass deportation of thousands of Micronesians living in the USA.

    If you are serious about this Commonwealth pipe dream of yours, you should engage the People at the root level. Not through their governments. This strategy will be most effective given the current situation.
  • I don't see Palau or the RMI ever accepting Commonwealth statuses. Palau has its tourist industry while RMI the Kwajalan missile range to fall back on. FSM is a other different situation. We can't even agree with allowing chuuk go.
  • Well FSM now is the main bargaining chip here because of the free association relationship between FSM and PRC?. it's now all up to FSM..
  • Rasta, I believe there are different meanings of the word "commonwealth". If I understand it correctly, there is the political status commonwealth--as applies to CNMI and others.

    But a different meaning of commonwealth is the one used by the organization of independent countries that were once under the British Empire. This does not mean or imply any political status. It refers to an organization of countries that share common history, etc. This is the meaning of "commonwealth" that I am talking about. I think it will apply well to the 3 FAS countries--since we have a lot of commonalities: cultures, history, affiliation thru ages, etc.

    I feel that the FAS commonwealth could provide a organization--as a vehicle--to focus on the unique needs and wants and requirements of the 3 FAS countries--without imposing anything on each other.

    We can still be with the Pacific Forum or Micronesian Chief Executives (whose members include Guam and CNMI and Kiribati, etc.) and others.

    But I think the best vehicle that is unique for the FAS countries only is thru this proposed CFAS. Just my thoughts.
  • This was given to the TTPI decades ago. Nothing has changed. The Palau Republic and Marshall Republic are proud indigenous people. I don't see them agreeing. Do you?
  • Rasta, the new "commonwealth" concept as being proposed here clearly is not the same "commonwealth" that was offered to "TTPI decades ago".

    The proposed new CFAS, I believe, will be accepted because it is not a political status; it will not cause any change to the current Compacts or the FAS political arrangement details.

    CFAS will enhance and support the current FAS countries status as independent countries 100%; on their own; moving at their own pace; setting their countries' political and economic agendas as they wish.

    But there are things that we, separate and independent as our 3 FAS countries are, still can do together--to enhance our growth, our development, etc. I don't know of any other current organization that provides that unique, focused support for the 3 FAS countries. I think the CFAS concept will be able to fill that void.

    Again, CFAS is not a political structure but an organizational structure that provides a mechanism for the 3 FAS countries to appreciate and enhance and utilize to its maximum benefits the "common" things that we share: our water, our traditional past, our historical linkages, our "smallness" as "Micronesia. Just some thoughts.

  • Thanks for the clarification marc.
  • So I think the next step for the theoretical CFAS (Commonwealth of the Freely-Associated States) is to organize a theoretical "Secretariat" and a theoretical "Charter"-all done online--thru online discussions, deliberations, etc., as done in this Forum.

    I think the theoretical "Charter" should be drafted first. Once it is sort of acceptable to many, then, there will be a need to organize the theoretical "Secretariat" whose purpose is to propose an organizational structure--somewhat like the UN's or the Secretariat for the British Commonwealth or such organization of loosely affiliated nations or organizations that exist throughout the world at this time.

    I think the language of the theoretical "Charter" will try to emphasize on the things that link our 3 Micronesia FAS countries together--the 6 former Districts under the TTPI. I think it should pays special tribute to those early, daring and great leaders from throughout Micronesia who pushed the concept of the Freely-Associated States model; instead of the Territory or the political Commonwealth model.

    For these leaders, most of whom are no longer among us, include: Amata Kabua, Bailey Olter, Roman Tmetuchel, John Mangefel and many others.

    I think the establishment of the theoretical CFAS could eventually be coordinated or hosted at one of the colleges or universities in the region--for further study and evaluation--before it is finalized and put in paper for the politicians and leadership of the 3 FAS countries to see: UH, UOG, East-West Center, COM and/or others. Ultimately, the real physical office of the CFAS, if or when it is created, could be located in Agana, Guam; or Pohnpe, FSM; Majuro, RMI or Koror, Palau. Just my thoughts on this nice day.
  • That’s some sweet weed you smoking Nigga!
  • red, can you say something more substantive--negative or positive or neutral about the matter. Remember, this is a proposal, an idea, a theory--meaning it is being brought up to this Forum for discussion. I am planning to try to advance the CFAS concept--for the simple reason that I see the benefits that it can contribute to the well being of the 3 FAS and the people of Micronesia.

    If you disagree, please explain why. And then, propose other mechanisms or ideas on how to push Micronesia and Micronesian people toward a better future--with plans or organizations operating in parallel with the governments, not in competition but in support of the FAS governments efforts like the idea of the proposed CFAS will try to do. Have a nice weekend.
  • I think the concept of two political statue combined into one, will eventaully make some changes in the current political statues of the three FAS states. so all in all I honestly believe, this is a far reaching hanging fruit, why not come up with a new political approach?. good try though. Kalangan!
  • FYI for marc and all, the attached opinion piece makes a case for the U.S. offering full statehood to the COFA nations.

    "...the United States should offer entrance into the Union of the United States, to the three countries that have been in a Trusteeship or a Compact of Free Association (COFA) with the United States since the end of Second World War."

  • Interesting article, FM. Tried to find out more about the author, Richard E. Caroll (with one "r"), and there is very little online about him. The only thing I could find which could be considered biographical was Mr. Caroll's statement about himself in the International Policy Digest, in which his article was published:

    I have two degrees, one in Economics and Liberal Arts. I am a retired economist from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and a retired soldier. My occupation was in administration and intelligence.

    One thing of note is Mr. Caroll's questionable knowledge of location, at least of Palau. Mr. Caroll states:

    The island of Palau is to the west of the island of Mindanao in the Philippines, so it has a strategic value that is priceless to the U.S. It is essential for the U.S. that it remains in the U.S. political and military orbit.

    As far as I can tell, the only way Palau is to the West of Mindanao is if you go so far East that you wind up West.

    I would find it difficult to believe that the US would grant statehood status to the Western Pacific island groups and not grant statehood to the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. And the US cannot admit either DC or Puerto Rico to statehood because to do so would put two Democratic Senators in the Senate for the District and Puerto Rico.

    It is interesting, though, and might fire up some Micronesians.

  • in the article, its stated that Chuuk state with the population of 54 thousand I think was misrepresented, althoug its seems the old idea of taking full control of the Islabds nations is something to think aboutit hard, the Puerto Rico and Guam are in the union but with limited power.. The Commonwealth statue
  • "Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet." (Rudyard Kipling, 1889)

    Except in the middle of the Pacific Ocean?
  • Don't confuse Palawan Island with Pa!au Islands.
  • I don't think Micronesians want to be under one government let alone become a state of the US. They chose to be independent countries; politically independent from each other; but in a freely-associated political relationship with the US. I think it's a pretty good arrangement.

    And now that the 3 FAS have been able to manage their own independent countries affairs with a good degree of success; and have tasted what a freedom is like being your own boss, there is no turning back. They will always be independent but will also always be friends with and friendly to each other.
  • However, it looks like some are willing to let China control Micronesia, at first economically, then eventually, militarily.
  • Truth, there are many different opinions in Micronesia--just like any democratic countries where free-speech is allowed and protected. Yes, China is trying to influence Micronesians; so does the US and Japan and Taiwan and Australia and other countries. In the end, I think many Micronesians will decide, not only based on the China's money, but also the degree of freedom and full protection that can be assured by the US. We'll see. Don't forget that even many Americans don't like America and/or American ways. For me, I would vote for America because of the freedom and protection that are provided for in the Compacts. Just my personal thoughts.
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