April 21, 2022
WASHINGTON: Representatives from the Federated States of Micronesia and the United States of America met at the U.S. Department of State today to exchange views and discuss planning for ongoing work on expiring provisions of the Compact of Free Association and related subsidiary agreements between the two nations.
FSM Chief Negotiator Leo A. Falcam, Jr., and U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Compact Negotiations Ambassador Joseph Yun led their respective delegations in a discussion of progress to date and review of work remaining in order to quickly achieve agreement in principle.
Chief Negotiator Falcam also formally presented the FSM’s economic assistance proposal under Title Two of the Amended Compact. He also indicated that the FSM would be forthcoming with proposed amendments to the Fiscal Procedures Agreement within the next several weeks.
The nations welcomed the constructive discussions and reaffirmed their commitment to the September 2022 completion of these negotiations. The sides plan to continue ongoing work in advance of the next formal round of negotiations scheduled to begin no later than June 2022, at a location to be determined.
With the exception of informal consultations between negotiators in Honolulu during November 2021, today’s engagement represented the first in-person meetings of the Compact teams since the global COVID-19 outbreak in early 2020. During this period the sides have continued technical discussions on certain aspects of the Compact and related subsidiary agreements by videoconference.
Today also marked the first formal engagement by newly appointed U.S. Special Presidential Envoy Yun since his appointment by H.E. President Joe Biden in March 2022.
Today’s meeting came on the heels of this week’s visit to Washington by H.E. President David Panuelo of the FSM, which included meetings between President Panuelo and U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Ambassador Yun.
The U.S.-FSM Compact of Free Association entered into force in 1986 and provided economic assistance and programs and services to the FSM for an initial period of seventeen years, until 2003. The economic assistance and programs and services provisions of the Amended Compact now in force are scheduled to end at the end of Fiscal Year 2023 unless they are extended. Other elements of the Compact and its subsidiary agreements have no expiration date and remain in effect.