May 10, 2012 commemorates the 33rd anniversary of the birth of my beloved nation of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). In a special letter to citizens and friends of the FSM, Mr. James A. Naich, who represented the Northwest Region in the last two FSM Constitutional Conventions and currently serves as the Deputy Chief of Missions in the FSM Embassy in Washington, DC, conveys President Mori’s message of “encouragement that, wherever we reside in the US, we continue to serve as “ambassadors-of-goodwill” for our country by being law-abiding, self-reliant, and contributing members of our respective adoptive communities. By living out the best qualities in us as Micronesians, I am confident that we will continue to earn the welcome and gratitude of our host.” Read the full message below:
CONSTITUTION DAY MASSAGE
Federated States of Micronesia
James A Naich
Charge d’Affaires, ad interim
(Deputy Chief of Mission)
Embassy of the Federated States of Micronesia
10 May 2012
Fellow Citizens and Friends of the Federated States of Micronesia –
THIRTY-THREE years ago today, or on 10 May 1979, a new nation was given birth with the entry into full force of its “supreme law of the land,” hence the designation of the 10th of May as the “Constitution Day” of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM).
In commemorating the thirty-third anniversary of the birth of our country, it is a call of duty and great pleasure for me to convey special greetings from President Emanuel Mori and the entire FSM leadership to the FSM citizens residing in the US, our American friends everywhere, and not the least our citizens serving in the United States Armed Forces around the globe. I am duty-bound just as well to relay our leaders’ word of encouragement that, wherever we reside in the US, we continue to serve as “ambassadors-of-goodwill” for our country by being law-abiding, self-reliant, and contributing members of our respective adoptive communities. By living out the best qualities in us as Micronesians, I am confident that we will continue to earn the welcome and gratitude of our host.
It is no surprise that the overwhelming majority of our citizens outside the FSM reside in the US, thanks to the generous immigration provisions of the Compact of Free Association between the two countries. It is in this treaty where the unique and special partnership between our two governments is incorporated or formalized; it is in the same where the historic links and affinities between our two peoples are enshrined. Individually as well as collectively, it is our civic duty, to say the least, to ensure the sustainability of the letter of the treaty and the spirit of partnership forged by the great vision, enduring energies and constructive statesmanship of the architects of the treaty.
Not least, I wish to seize the opportunity of this special occasion to also express on behalf of our leaders, including our recently accredited Ambassador Asterio R Takesy who is presently back home on official business, our sincere gratitude for the contributions that you have extended to our people over the years in a number of ways – i.e., remittance, services of various kind, and material support. Your continued contributions are most welcomed and appreciated.
Most directly relevant to the occasion that we observe today, some of you may raise the question: so what’s the significance of the FSM’s Constitution Day? The drafting of our national Constitution is the highest expression of our sovereignty, which is inherent and was never given away; it is also the ultimate embodiment of the genius – and graceful courage – of our Founding Fathers in fulfilling the aspiration to create a new and independent nation.
The process of ratifying the FSM Constitution and causing it to enter into full effect represents a milestone in our history as a people and as a sovereign state. As the highest expression of our sovereign will, the Constitution enabled the FSM Government, for instance, to negotiate with other foreign governments and to enter into treaties in its own name and right, such as the case with the Compact treaty with the US. The FSM Constitution also enabled us to join international organizations, such as the UN and the International Telecommunication Union, and regional inter-governmental organizations such as the Pacific Forum, in its own name and right.
But that’s not all. Apart from providing and guaranteeing rights and privileges, the Constitution also creates or sets forth a gamut of obligations and responsibilities, including civic duties. Its Preamble refers to these responsibilities . Because the Preamble also gives a glimpse of our nation-building history and of us as a people, it is appropriate on the occasion of this historic event to quote the Preamble in its entirety, as provided immediately below:
WE, THE PEOPLE OF MICRONESIA, exercising our inherent sovereignty, do hereby
establish this Constitution of the Federated States of Micronesia.
With this Constitution, we affirm our common wish to live together in peace and
harmony, to preserve the heritage of the past, and to protect the promise of the future.
To make one nation of many islands, we respect the diversity of our cultures. Our
differences enrich us. The seas bring us together, they do not separate us. Our islands
sustain us, our island nation enlarges us and make us stronger.
Our ancestors, who made their homes on these islands, displaced no other people.
We, who remain, wish no other home than this. Having known war, we hope for peace.
Having been divided, we wish unity. Having been ruled, we seek freedom.
Micronesia began in the days when man explored seas in rafts and canoes. The
Micronesian nation is born in an age when men voyage among stars; our world itself is
an island. We extend to all nations what we seek from each: peace, friendship, cooperation,
and love in our common humanity. With this Constitution we, who have been wards of
other nations, become proud guardian of our own islands, now and forever.
Thank you and may you have a Happy Constitution Day
Mr. James A. Naich, represented the NW region in the last two of the FSM Constitutional Conventions and is a co-founder of the Fanapi Foundation.