Strengthening the Special Relationship and Paving the Way for a Prosperous Future
In a momentous event on May 23, Charge d’Affaires Alissa Bibb of the U.S. Embassy in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), and Chief Negotiator Leo Falcam, Jr., of the FSM Joint Committee on Compact Review and Planning came together to sign three crucial agreements related to the U.S.-FSM Compact of Free Association. These agreements, consisting of an Agreement to Amend the Compact, as Amended, a new Fiscal Procedures Agreement, and a new Trust Fund Agreement, mark the successful conclusion of negotiations regarding the extension of Compact-related economic assistance.
The relationship between the United States and the FSM has always been special and historic, and the signing of these agreements demonstrates the intention to continue Compact-related assistance at significant levels. This commitment recognizes the exceptional bond between the two nations, supporting economic development, bolstering resilience to tackle challenges such as climate change, and assisting in building a prosperous, healthy, and self-sustaining future.
The significance of these agreements cannot be overstated. They represent a major milestone in U.S.-FSM relations, with the Compact of Free Association forming the bedrock of this enduring partnership. Together, the United States and the FSM are dedicated to promoting freedom, security, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region. As a Pacific nation, the United States holds a deep-rooted connection with the FSM and maintains strong people-to-people ties with Pacific Island countries, considering them not just neighbors but friends.
However, before the agreements can be implemented, they require approval from the United States Congress. The U.S. government is actively engaged in dialogue with Congress to seek the necessary approval, recognizing the importance of these agreements in continuing federal programs and services provided under the Federal Programs and Services Agreement. These ongoing negotiations aim to ensure uninterrupted support to the FSM.
The signing of these agreements underscores the enduring commitment of the United States to the FSM and the wider Pacific Island region. Through collaborative efforts, both nations are poised to strengthen their special relationship, fostering prosperity, security, and a shared vision for the future.