Belgrade, Serbia. October 19, 2019. –A delegation from the Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) joined over 1,700 participants, including parliamentarians representing some 140 countries, to discuss issues of international law, climate change, universal health coverage and other issues of national parliamentary interests during the 141st Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly in Belgrade, Serbia from October 13 – 17, 2019.
Speaker Wesley W. Simina led the congressional delegation, which included Senator Joseph J. Urusemal, Senator Robson U. Romolow, Senator Dion G. Neth, Senator Aren Palik, special guest Vincent A. Figir - Speaker of the Yap State Legislature, Legislative Counsel T. Lam Dang, and Information Officer Andy P. Choor.
The FSM Congressis one of 179 national legislative bodies that make up this global organization for national parliaments. When permissible, the FSM Congress joins the IPUAssemblies to promote matters of national interests, as well as engage in parliamentary diplomacy through various regional and bilateral cooperative meetings.
During the 141st IPU Assembly, the FSM congressional delegation took part in the Assembly’s general debate on: “Strengthening international law: Parliamentary roles and mechanisms, and the contribution of regional cooperation.”Speaker Simina and Senator Romolow spoke on behalf of the delegation calling for respect for international law and global legal order, stressing that international law is an “existential matter for Micronesia”. The debate resulted in the Assembly’s endorsement of the Belgrade Declaration.
Bilateral meetings included a meeting between Speaker Simina and Speaker Gojkovic of the National Assembly of Serbia wherein they sought to build upon the parliamentary relationship between the two countries.
On a more regional scale, the FSM congressional delegation also took part in the Asia Pacific Group (APG) meeting where the parliamentarians agreed on candidates to represent the geopolitical group to various committees and groups in the IPU. Favorable to the FSM’s interest, the APG also agreed to present an emergency agenda item addressing climate change to the IPU Assembly. Among all other emergency items presented by other geopolitical groups to the Assembly, the 141st IPU Assembly voted to address climate change as an emergency item followed by the adoption of a resolution calling for action to address climate change.
The delegation also met with small islands developing states from the African coast, Caribbean, and Pacific to discuss common issues like the effects of climate change, and best parliamentary practices to deal with various challenges. More importantly, these small islands developing countries discuss strategies to effectively voice their common challenges among bigger, developed countries with different concerns. During the 139th IPU Assembly, the FSM Congress joined this group of small islands developing countries in spearheading an emergency resolution titled: Climate Change – Let us not cross the line.
Speaker Simina also engaged in the Speaker’s Dialogue on Governance, a platform for high-level political exchange amongst the Speakers of parliaments at the 141st IPU Assembly. The dialogue focused on governance and the roles of parliaments in the areas of development, economy, security and human rights.
Members of the delegation also attended other side events including one on universal health coverage titled Reaching the hard-to reach: How to make UHC a reality for all?organized by the IPU, WHO, and PMNCH. The 141st IPU Assembly adopted a resolution on Achieving universal health coverage by 2030: The role of parliaments in ensuring the right to health.
For a complete list of the outcomes of the 141st IPU Assembly and related meetings, please visit: https://www.ipu.org/event/141st-assembly-and-related-meetings#event-sub-page-21300/
For more information on this and other FSM Congressional activities, please visit www.cfsm.gov.fm.
* * *