Colonia, Yap. September, 14, 2015. Speaker Wesley Simina of the 19th FSM Congress, on September 2, 2015, addressed the 4th World Conference of Speakers of Parliament, which the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) organized at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
Speaker Simina spoke on the theme of democracy and role of the United Nations and organizations like the IPU where “all countries are entitled to the same equal voice” despite the size of a country and its development challenges.
In his opening remark, Speaker Simina reminded Parliamentarians and Speakers at the conference about “our shared humanity” and duty to our “shared fragile globe that is so beautiful, [and which] deserves to be protected and sustained.”
Referencing climate change, a pressing challenge for the Federated States of Micronesia, other Small Island Developing States, and the World for that matter, Speaker Simina stressed the importance of the upcoming COP21 negotiations on the universal climate change agreement planned for Paris in early December this year. Speaker Simina urged the Speakers and Parliamentarians of the world gathered at the UN “to transform that [climate change] agreement into workable legislation”, and pledged that FSM Congress “will do what it takes” to pursue the same objective.
In his address, Speaker Simina also spoke on the challenges of sustainable development, referencing the 17 new proposed Sustainable Development Goals [SDG] which will be launched later this September during the UN Summit. He further urged the world Parliamentarians to “transform these [SDG] goals into rational and effective legislation” after its adoption, to ensure its effective implementation.
The world Speakers of parliament at the conclusion of the conference adopted a declaration, which will be presented at the UN Summit later this September. The Pacific Speakers Forum consisting of Speakers of various parliaments within the Pacific, in a separate meeting during the conference, also took on a pacific-centered declaration.
Aside from the Conference agendas, Speaker Simina and his delegation also had other side meetings while in New York. One of such meetings notably included a private meeting with Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein of the Israel Knesset. The Speakers during their meeting reaffirmed the two countries’ parliamentarian cooperation first initiated through the Israel-Micronesian Parliamentarian Friendship League.
Additionally, the delegation also met with Ambassador Jane Chigiyal and her staff of the FSM’s Permanent Mission at the UN for a briefing on a number of the Mission’s multilateral affairs and agendas ahead. A similar briefing, focusing on bilateral affairs with the United States, was also provided by Ambassador Asterio Takesy and his staff at the FSM Embassy in Washington, DC when Speaker Simina and his delegation passed through.
Members of Speaker Simina’s delegation, which included former Speaker, Senator Isaac V. Figir; Former Vice President, Senator Alik L. Alik; and freshman Senator Ferny S. Perman; as well as the delegation’s staff, Legislative Counsel Lam Dang and Information Officer Andy Choor, had the opportunity to witness Speaker Simina present a momentous congratulations through Congressional Resolution No. 19-78 to Ms. Jennifer Dugwen Chieng – an outstanding citizen residing in New York. Ms. Chieng is the 2014 FSM Athlete of the Year, the first ever FSM female boxer representative, and the 2015 Pacific Games Gold Medalist who through “her achievements made her country proud”, the Resolution states. Ms. Chieng has taken time off her banking career with the Bank of New York to train and box fulltime representing the Federated States of Micronesia, with hopes of Congress’ “fervent wish” of “lead[ing] a strong FSM boxing team to the next Olympic Games”.