From this morning's Pacific Islands Report, as reported by FSMPIO:


Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) President Manny Mori visited his home state of Chuuk on June 9-14 with most of his cabinet members and key staff members.

The plenary meeting with the Chuuk state leadership took place on June 9 in the Kurassa conference hall where more than 200 people were assembled to hear the speeches and follow the discussions on important issues affecting the nation and Chuuk state. Discussed were the financial reforms for Chuuk, the energy crisis, food security, infrastructure, education and health, transportation and communications, law enforcement and immigration.

In order not to waste time on speeches, it was agreed that only three officials would speak: Weno Mayor Florentino Robert, Gov. Wesley Simina and Mori.

The first two speakers made welcoming remarks while Mori spoke mostly of the need for reforms and the new challenges facing the FSM and Chuuk — the energy crisis and food security.

Mori said the FSM people should become more self reliant and more local resource-dependent.

He urged them to consider going back to "our traditional mode of transportation and way of feeding ourselves."

Mori noted the price of rice has already reached, if not exceeded, US$30 a bag, "effectively taking rice out of the reach of many of our people."

Prospects are bleaker for the future, he said as he urged the leaders and people to start planting more food crops as rice will become even more expensive and no longer affordable as a daily staple.

Mori planted breadfruit and banana seedlings at every stop he made in southern Namoneas and Faichuk in addition to Weno.

He had the planting materials air freighted all the way from Pohnpei to Chuuk.

Three positive things happened as a result of and during his state visit.

First, the "soft landing" checks were issued to employees who were terminated from public service. This came about as a result of Mori’s insistence that the reduction in force list be finalized while he was in Chuuk.

Second, a document was signed between Mori and the Chuuk leadership, reflecting their agreements on the issues and necessary follow-up actions. This is the first time ever that a document was signed on a state visit.

Third, a legal opinion from the Chuuk attorney general was issued with respect to easements for the Weno roads that could allow re-construction of the roads to commence after so much delay.

This resulted from Mori’s urging for the need to start on the roads to allow the infusion of much needed capital into the Chuuk economy.

Mori was also able to urge the Chuuk leadership and people to continue on the reforms as the most credible way for state to emerge from the financial crisis that it has been in for too long.


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