President Mori Holds Bilateral Meetings in Rome
New York (FSM Permanent Mission to the United Nations): February 15, 2008 - While in Rome from 10 through 12 February 2008, where he delivered a keynote address on the Micronesian Challenge to the "Ad Hoc Working Group on Protected Areas" of the Convention on Biological Diversity, President Mori had several bilateral meetings.
The first meeting was held with Mr. Jochen Flasbarth, Head of Germany's Directorate General of Nature Conservation and Sustainable Use of Natural Resources. As Germany is the Chair of the upcoming Conference of the Parties to the CBD, Mr. Flasbarth extended an invitation to President Mori to attend the conference.
The discussion also focused on possible assistance to the FSM from Germany. Mr. Flasbarth suggested that the FSM should submit a specific project proposal as soon as possible for consideration by his government. It is reported that Germany has allocated $40 million for protected areas.
President Mori also met with Mr. Anacleto Felicani, Minister Plenipotentiary and Special Representative of the Italian Foreign Ministry for South East Asia and the Pacific. Mr. Felicani conveyed Italy's government request for FSM support of Milan's application to host the 2015 World Exposition. While President Mori expressed his personal support for the request, he cautioned that under FSM constitutional process, the FSM Congress has to first ratify the relevant treaty to be a party to the Bureau of International Exhibitions, where Milan's application will be voted upon.
Mr. Felicani also stressed the importance that Italy accords to the Pacific SIDS, which is manifested in its long-awaited bid to become a Pacific Forum dialogue partner, just approved in the Tonga Forum late last year.
Italy is a major development partner of Pacific SIDS and has recently provided over $10 million dollars for renewable energy and sustainable development projects in Pacific island countries and the city of Milan has just announced that it will contribute a further $100,000 to the fund. Italy further provides $17,000 to each Pacific SIDS, including the FSM, as the project's support fund. The FSM has submitted a project proposal valued at $1.5 million dollars under this fund. In addition, Italy provided $7 million dollars to the FAO Regional Program on Food Security for the Pacific Island Countries and, under the FAO South-South Cooperation Program, contributed $2 million dollars to fund the deployment of experts and technicians from China and the Philippines to Pacific islands, including the FSM, as in the Banana Growing Project in Chuuk. In addition, Italy is also making its Carbon Fund available to be accessed by Pacific SIDS for projects that are eligible under the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism. Mr. Felicani informed the President that Italy is donating $40,000 dollars to the FSM for the purchase of off-the-shelf items such as an ambulance.
In addition to the bilateral meetings, President Mori also attended a VIP luncheon organized by the
CBD Executive Secretary. Accompanying the President to Rome were Mr. Andrew Yatilman, Director of the Office of Environment and Emergency Management; FSM Ambassador the UN Masao Nakayama; Assistant Secretary of R&D Marion Henry; and Alissa Takesy, staff of R&D for Protected Areas.