After The Compact, What Then?

Introduction The all too common view, the Secretary said, is that time is quickly running out on us. Seven of the 15 years of the Compact period are gone; there are eight left. With almost half of the time gone, what do we have to show for the Compact? Is there any real hope that […]

Is the Congress of FSM Becoming Too Powerful?

The Powers of Congress To understand the functions of the Congress, we must look backwards to the Micronesian Constitutional Convention held in 1975 that decided on the makeup of the new government of the FSM. The first national legislative body was created in 1965 when the Congress of Micronesia came into being. For years the […]

What’s the Fishing Industry Doing for FSM?

Fr. Fran Hezel, Director of the Micronesian Seminar, introduced the subject by situating it in the context of the development needs of the FSM. We are now in Year 7 of the 15-year Compact period for FSM. Compact Funding for the FSM Government's operational expenses has already dropped from $36 million a year (in 1982 […]

Faith, Culture and Democracy in Truk

Reflection Weekend Truk, April 30 -May 1, 1988 Democracy presents a problem for Trukese, as for other Micronesians, since the notion seems to be so much at odds with the traditional culture. The word "democracy" is associated with free elections, a participatory style of government, rule by the people, freedom and rights. The concept was […]

Revenue Sharing Between the States and National Government

The Financial Situation at Present To provide necessary background information, Nick Andon from the FSM Budget Office presented on the current financial situation of the FSM national government. The national government, which receives 12.5% of the Compact funds each year, has a healthy balance in the form of $13 million in unspent funds from previous […]

The YTK Proposal and the Future of Fishing in Pohnpei

Background Some months ago YTK Corporation offered a unsolicited proposal to Pohnpei State to invest a total of $460 million for a three-phase development project located on Dekehtik Island. The first phase of the project, scheduled to begin next year, is aimed at the renovation and expansion of the dock and establishing fisheries facilities nearby. […]

PUC: Friend or Enemy?

When and Why PUC was Founded The announcement by Pohnpei Utilities Corporation (PUC) of an increase in power and water rates set off the normal fireworks on the island and occasioned this discussion. No one wants to pay more for power or water…or anything. The discussion, however, did not so much center on whether PUC […]

Population Policy for FSM

A Look at the Figures Population growth in Micronesia has been very rapid since the end of World War II. At a yearly growth rate of about 3.5% for most of that time, the population has tripled in the last 50 years and now stands at about 105,000. This growth is all the more startling […]

Casino Gambling: Should it Be Allowed?

The Hotel/Resort Proposal for Pohnpei Casino gambling is an old issue in Micronesia. The idea has been tossed around many times before, as in 1983 when investors proposed the idea of offshore gambling on Pohnpei. The latest incarnation of gambling appeared nearly a year ago when Rancho Verde, a British and Australian investment group, offered […]

How Good is Our Health Care in FSM

Our Health Care System and its History The discussion was not about whether doctors and nurses needed more training, why the hospitals never seem to have enough medicine, and what new equipment is needed to provide better health care. The topic of the discussion was on health care systems–that it, the way in which health […]

Domestic Violence in Micronesia

What Is Domestic Violence and How Big a Problem Is It? Two cases of wife beating resulting in death have highlighted the problem recently in the FSM. It is a much talked about problem, something taken up by women's groups in the FSM in the wake of worldwide concern, but no one seems to have […]

The FSM Foreign Debt

How Big is the Debt? In recent months the FSM foreign debt has come to the attention of the public through press reports and newspaper articles. The purpose of this discussion was to shed light on the question so that the public might have a more accurate and detailed understanding of the true financial standing […]

Relations Between Pohnpei State and FSM

What's the Problem? It's no secret that Pohnpei State has had its differences with the FSM Government. Pohnpei was the only state voting against the Compact of Free Association in the 1983 FSM plebiscite. Political tension has simmered since then, now and then erupting openly. In November 1991, the Pohnpei State Legislature created a special […]

Where Do Traditional Leaders Fit in Today’s Society?

Introduction In the days before colonial rule, the chiefs enjoyed uncontested authority over the people. Traditional political systems may have differed from one island to the next, chiefs may have been challenged by contenders for their titles at times and quarrels arisen over jurisdiction, but the system itself stood intact and inviolate. That has changed […]

Women’s Role in Micronesia: Then and Now

Women's Traditional Roles The topic addressed in this discussion was on women's roles, not women's rights. Mention of this brought a murmur of disapproval through the conference hall, but the moderator explained that he felt it was important to address the issue through concepts that could be as relevant to the past as to the […]

Is There a Place for Foreigners in Micronesia Today?

Introduction There are some 1500 non-Micronesians residing in the FSM today. Nearly all, of course, are employees or their dependents, although there are a smattering of US, Japanese and Australian volunteers, diplomats, and missionaries of various kinds. Some have been residents of Micronesia for many years. What brings foreigners to the FSM? There are probably […]

Educating for Self-Reliance

Staking Out the Issue How can the FSM promote the self-reliance that it has set as its goal? By building a strong private industry, was the reply of participants at our last discussion. But self-reliance, and the productive economy that goes hand-in-hand with self-reliance demand more than natural resources and capital investment. At our last […]