Author: Claudia David

Committee Proposals 4-06 and 4-07 Pass First Reading

Press Release #18

Palikir, POHNPEI. June 02, 2022 – During Plenary Session this morning, the 4th Constitutional Convention passed on First Reading Committee Proposals 4-06 and 4-07 after a lengthy deliberation. Both proposals had been deferred from March 13, 2020.

Committee Proposal 4-06 is seeking to amend section 6 of Article IX of the Constitution of the Federated States of Micronesia to how the net revenue derived from the seabed and subsoil and other nonliving resources will be divided between the national government and state governments. The proposal clarify that revenue will be shared with the state or states for whose seabed or subsoil the minerals are extracted.

Committee Proposal 4-07 which seeks to amend section 6 of Article XI of the Federated States of Micronesia to provide that state courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction over cases where an interest in land is at issue. It was the intent of the 1975 Convention that land issues be resolved by the state where the land is located. This proposal effectuates that intent.

Committee Proposals 4-06 and 4-07 will be heard on Second Reading on Friday June 03, 2022.

Opening Statement, Reconvening of the 4th FSM ConCon by the Hon. Redley Killion, President, 4th FSM ConCon

Press Release #17

With my utmost respect to our Traditional and government Leaders throughout the FSM, especially the Traditional Leaders and government of this great state of Pohnpei, being the Host of our Convention. I now call the opening session of our 4th FSM Constitutional Convention to order.

            It is my great pleasure to welcome each and every one of you, my fellow delegates to this Convention. It has been a long and difficult two (2) years and three (3) months since this Convention went into recess on March 13, 2020 due to the Corona Virus Pandemic Emergency Declaration at that time.  There was never a doubt in my mind since that time that we all wanted to come back to finish up the monumental task placed upon us by our fellow citizens of our nation, FSM the daunting task of reviewing the Supreme law of our land, our FSM Constitution, to make the necessary changes to it to be a useful document for our young nation to move forward and meet the challenges ahead of us.

            It is only fitting and proper that I also acknowledge the support of our government leaders, particularly President Panuelo as well as Speaker Simina and the members of our FSM National Congress for all the support which they had provided to our Convention since we first started over two (2) years ago up to now, without which we will not be able to convene and now reconvene our Convention today.

            In the same vein, I also wish to extend our thanks and appreciation to these leaders in their continued efforts these past two (2) years in making our nation COVID-free. In fact, as we are aware, our nation is only one (1) of the few remaining countries in the whole world which has that distinction of being COVID-free status.

            Our COVID-free status has not been achieved without difficulties and challenges, including the difficulties we have had in reconvening our Convention these past two (2) years. But now that we are once again together, it is time for us to re-focus on our mandate for which we had been elected to undertake.

            As you may recall, prior to our recess in March 2022, we had passed on Final Reading the two (2) proposed amendments –the one for Dual Citizenship as well as the one for reducing the threshold for amending our FSM Constitution from 75% to 66%. In the next three (3) weeks we must now turn our focus on the other provisions of our Constitution, which need to be amended, based on the various proposals which are now pending in the committees. I request that all of us work cooperatively and diligently in the coming weeks to complete our task in coming up with the needed amendments to our Constitution to be presented to our people for their review  and ultimate decision to accept or reject such proposed changes to our Constitution in a referendum to be held in the coming months.

            On a somber note, as you all know, two (2) of our delegates, the late Delegate/Chief Camillo Noket and Delegate Peter Sitan, passed away after we went into recess two (2) years ago. Although Delegate Noket and Delegate Sitan had departed us, we will cherish their memories, friendship, and counsels as delegates of this 4th FSM Constitutional Convention. Hence, I would kindly request that we stand and observe a moment of silence in remembering the Honorable Delegate Noket and Honorable Delegate Sitan.

Thank you.

4th FSM ConCon Reconvene After Long Recess

Press Release # 16

Palikir, POHNPEI June 02, 2022- On Wednesday, June 01, 2022, the 4th FSM Constitutional Convention reconvened after 26 months of recess due to COVID-19 pandemic. The reconvening of the convention employed both in-person and virtual platforms to complete their mandatory tasks.

In his opening statement, the 4th FSM ConCon President Hon. Redley Killion welcomed the Delegates, saying, “It has been a long and difficult two years and 3 months since this convention recessed due to an emergency declaration due to the corona virus. There was never a thought in my mind since that time that we all wanted to come back and finish our work, the mandatory task placed upon us by the good citizens of our great nation.”

The 4th FSM ConCon is projected to adjourn sine die on June 25, 2022, after which the Convention-approved proposed amendments will be engrossed and forwarded to the FSM President for public education and referendum.

On the calendar, there are over 60 proposals pending to be reviewed and debated by the Convention.  The convention standing committees are diligently at work to hear, vet, review, revaluate and act on all proposals approved by the plenary for consideration. Two proposals have already been adopted by the Convention, sent to President Panuelo, and are awaiting public referendum.

The Convention unanimously adopted the Standing Committee Reports from the Qualification Committee, confirming the seating of Delegate Roger Arnold  and Delegate Joannes (Johnny) Risin to fill the seats vacated by the late Delegate Peter Sitan and the Late Delegate Camillo Nocket. After the Convention President administered the swearing of oaths to the newly seated members, the Convention went into recess and is schedule to reconvene the next day.