PALIKIR, POHNPEI. August 1, 2023 – During its First Special Session from July 10-19, the Twenty Third Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia confirmed the Nation’s top diplomat representations overseas.
Through Congressional Resolution (CR) 23-30, the Congress confirmed Ricky F. Cantero, an experienced diplomat to serve as the Deputy Secretary of the Department
of Foreign Affairs. Cantero has been with the Department for over 20 years and is a graduate of Political Science with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. The Committee on External Affairs recognized that Cantero has successfully served in multiple capacities in the Department and proven his diplomatic skills and strong leadership in the Department and in the Government. The Congress endorsed his nomination by acknowledging that “it is in the best interest of the Nation that [Cantero] be allowed to continue using his extensive knowledge of administration and foreign policy.”
In addition to the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs, understanding the top management role of Ambassadors as they deal with the highest policy level decision making, the Congress confirmed most of the heads of confirmed most of the heads of FSM’s mission and embassies beginning with the Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York.
The Congress adopted CR 23-09, and confirmed Jeem S. Lippwe as the FSM’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations. According to the Committe, the Permanent Representative “plays an extraordinarily important role in the high-level international policy discussions” and Lippwe already having knowledge of the relevant policy issues and have also forged strong relationships with his international counterparts. The Committee acknowledged the multiple capacities Lippwe had successfully served at the New York Mission and concluded that it is “in the best interest of our Nation” that he should maintain his role for the FSM.
For the FSM Embassy in Beijing, the Congress adopted CR 23-10, and confirmed Vincent Sivas to serve as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the People’s Republic of China. In 2003 Sivas began his career with the Department as a Foreign Service Officer and immersed himself in the various roles and responsibilities of the department. In 2015 he was assigned to the FSM’s Embassy in Beijing as Deputy Chief of Mission and in 2020 he took on the role of Ambassador to PROC. Sivas was renominated by this new Administration and confirmed by the Congress to continue his role as FSM’s Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China.
For the FSM Embassy in Japan, the Congress adopted CR 23-11, and confirmed John S. Fritz as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Japan. Fritz has been with the Department since 1998 as First Secretary of Embassy of the FSM in Japan and has successfully filled the various roles and responsibilities of the Embassy. In 2008 he became the FSM’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Japan with cross accreditation to some of the ASEAN. Given his extensive background and experience in relevant policies issues, the Congress confirmed Fritz to “maintain his role with efficiency, integrity and the highest level of expertise” at the FSM Embassy in Japan.
Through CR 23-12, the Congress confirmed Jackson T. Soram to serve as the FSM’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United States of America in Washington, D.C. Soram has been with the Department since 2002 and successfully completed the various roles and responsibilities assigned to him throughout his 21 years at the Department and its overseas The Committee acknowledged Soram’s dedication to excellence during his long career in the field of diplomacy and international relations as an individual who has “integrity and the highest level of competence.” With the conclusion of the 2023 Amended Compact, the Congress adoption of the resolution expressed its confidence in Soram’s contributions to continuity of Embassy operations and positive relationship with the United States.
Along with the Ambassadors, the Congress also confirmed for the Beijing and Washington embassies, their Deputy Chiefs of Mission who are in charge of the daily operations and program for citizen outreach.
Through CR 23-13, the Congress confirmed Francis G. Anefal to serve as the Deputy Chief of Mission for the FSM Embassy in the People’s Republic of China. The Committee noted that Anefal had successfully served at the Embassy since 2018 as its First Secretary to Charge d’Affaires and since 2020, as its Deputy Chief of Mission. He is also “known for his ability in the Chinese language ability and knowledge of diplomatic and Chinese government systems. It is in the best interests of our Nation” that Anefal continue in his role.
The Congress adopted CR 23-16, and confirmed Teresa M. Filepin as the Deputy Chief of Mission for the FSM Embassy to the United States of America, in Washington, D.C. Filepin has since 2018, served as the FSM Consul General in Guam where she was very effective in addressing key national services and improving FSM relations with the local government. The Committee noted that she was especially effective in assisting the FSM citizens with support networks and services available in Guam and concluded that “it would be in the best interests of our Nation that (Filepin) continue using her extensive knowledge of the issues facing our citizens living abroad.”
Several nominations remain pending for the Nation’s overseas mission and embassies.