Geneva, Switzerland. On October 14, 2018, at the 139th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva, Switzerland, Wesley W. Simina, Speaker of the Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) resumed the chairmanship of the IPU’s Asia-Pacific Group (APG).
This grand leadership role for a small islands developing country started earlier this year when the FSM Congress first assumed the chairmanship of this geopolitical group. FSM Congress’ chairmanship of the APG will end in December of this year. The APG, which is one of six geopolitical groups within the IPU, represents two thirds of the world’s population through the 36 national parliaments in the APG.
Speaker Simina, in opening the APG meeting, expressed gratitude to the parliamentarians for their confidence in the FSM Congress to chair the meeting for a second time, noting that “coming from a small country like Micronesia, the opportunity to work with such a large and diverse group of countries has been a great opportunity and a learning experience.”
During the meeting, Speaker Simina ensured fair discussion and representation in accordance to APG and IPU’s statues and rules. This resulted in the group’s agreed positions on key issues on the agenda of the 139th IPU Assembly. It also resulted in the endorsements of candidates for vacancies on the various bureaus and committees of the IPU. Where the rules were vague, particularly when it came to endorsing APG’s candidature for the IPU’s Executive Committee, Chairman Simina not only resolved the issue by putting the nominations to a secret ballot vote, but he also called on IPU during its Governing Council meeting to consider “uniformity and clarity” of the IPU statues and rules.
The APG, during its meeting, was also honored by the presence of Madam Gabriela Cuevas, President of the IPU, and other distinguished parliamentarians at the chairman’s invitation. Madam President Cuevas, after sharing the IPU’s goals and accomplishments as President, also announced the upcoming Fifth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament in 2020. Three Speakers of parliaments from the APG were endorsed to serve on the planning committee of this conference.
As Chairman of the APG, Speaker Simina also attended a number of bilateral meetings including meetings with the IPU President and geopolitical group chairs, the IPU Secretary General, as well as other national parliament delegations. The FSM Congressional delegation’s bilateral meetings with other country delegations, including China and India, included garnering support for an Emergency Item Resolution on Climate Change, which was proposed by a group of Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) parliaments, namely, Fiji, FSM, Samoa, Seychelles, and Tonga. The 139th IPU Assembly unanimously adopted this resolution titled: Climate Change – Let Us Not Cross the Lineon October 18th.
Under the leadership of Speaker Wesley W. Simina, the Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia continues to play an active and leading role in the world’s oldest international parliamentary organization – The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). The IPU is an organization comprised of 178 countries, represented through their national parliaments, and 12 other associate members. The IPU also works closely with the United Nations and other international organizations sharing common goals. For more information on the IPU, please visit www.ipu.org.
For more information on the FSM Congress’ participation in the 139th IPU Assembly and on other activities of the FSM Congress, please visit www.cfsm.fm.