Permanent Mission of the Federated States of Micronesia to the United Nations

Foreign Affairs Secretary Sebastian Anefal delivers his message at the general debate of the 59th session of the United Nations General Assembly

New York (FSM Permanent Mission to the UN): September 30, 2004 - Federated States of Micronesia Secretary of Foreign Affairs Sebastian Anefal high-lighted during the session of the general debate of the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday (September 29, 2004) several issues of concern to the Federated States of Micronesia.

In his statement before the world body, Secretary Anefal referred to the convening of the International Meeting on Small Island Developing States in Mauritius in January 2005, as a keenly anticipated event by the Federated States of Micronesia and members of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS). The International Meeting, said Secretary Anefal, "will be the critical ten-year review of the Barbados Programme of Action (BPOA), which focuses on the particular needs and vulnerabilities of small island developing states as we pursue sustainable development."

During the past ten years, the Secretary continued, "we have seen progress in implementing the Programme of Action", and added "that progress needs to be accelerated." Over ten years time, there is also emergence of new challenges and issues not originally addressed in the BPOA which the Secretary called also for their consideration, in addition to having the outcome of the International Meeting to be target oriented so the BPOA's implementation can be tracked and measured.

Foremost among Micronesia's vulnerabilities, along with other members of the AOSIS, was their extreme exposure to the adverse effects of climate change. The Micronesian people, like most inhabitants of island States, had a tradition of living in harmony with nature, and consequently, their ecological "footprint" had been small, he said. Secretary Anefal continued to say "that while we in the islands can and need to do more to curb unsustainable practices, it is clear that we have contributed little to the climate crisis and that we can contribute little to its solution. Yet, we are among the first to be affected and even face possible distinction." The FSM, he said, continued to support the AOSIS call for immediate implementation of the Kyoto Protocol.

On the issues of fisheries, Secretary Anefal called for a cooperative approach by coastal states and distant water fishing nations in the sustainable conservation and management of these resources. He said his nation therefore welcomes the entry into force of the Convention of the Conservation of the Management of the Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Central and Western Pacific, made pursuant to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. He called upon all States and entities that have participated in the process of establishing the Conservation and management Convention to assign a higher priority to cooperating fully in its administration.

Secretary Anefal in his statement also expressed concern over the practice of deep-sea trawling in the Pacific Region where literally thousands of seamounts, extremely rich in biodiversity and holds great potential value to future generations, are being threatened. He underscored the urgent need for improved and coordinated scientific focus on identifying and managing risk to biodiversity and the environment in the deep oceans.

He also acknowledged the FSM's concern on the seeming lack of progress on the issue of UN reform and recommended a permanent seat for Japan on the UN Security Council. "Again, this year Micronesia wishes to express its support for UN reforms, particularly for reformation of the Security Council and the inclusion of our neighbor Japan, among its permanent members," he said.