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Today in History: The Federated States of Micronesia

By Edited May 11, 2015 0 0

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On November 3rd, 1986, after a seven year transfer of governmental function from the United States under a UN Trustee Agreement, the FSM become an independent, sovereign island nation. It is made up of four island states which include Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae. It is comprised of 607 small islands that make up one million square miles and is known as the Western and Eastern Caroline Islands. The capital is Palikir, and it is located on Pohnpei. Other island masses along with the Federated States of Micronesia made up the former Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. The TTPI was a United Nations Trust Territory under U.S. administration. After the FSM became a sovereign island nation the other island entities formed their own governments and become the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau. The FSM became a member of the United Nations in 1991.

Today the FSM constitution has three branches of government which are Executive, Legislative, and Judicial and it has it's own Declaration of Rights somewhat like the U.S. Bill of Rights. Their constitution protects human rights as well as traditional rights. The governmental functions unlike the U.S. are carried out by the State governments.

There Congress is unicameral and consist of 14 senators. There is a senator from each state that serves a four year term, and the other 10 serve for only 2 years. Their seats are determined by population of the territories. From the four year senators, the Congress elects the President and Vice- President. Those vacancies are them filled by special elections. The President and Vice-President serve for four year terms as well, and they are supported by a special cabinet. There are not any distinct or formal political parties.

The Judicial Branch is headed by the supreme court, chosen by the President, and approved by the Congress for a lifetime appointment. The State governments are similar and have 3 branches: executive, judicial, and legislative.

The official currency in the FSM is the U.S. dollar. They have U.S. FDIC banks there, and they accept most major credit cards. The economy consist primarily of farming, fishing, a few mineral deposits, and a potential tourism. Most of their revenue is supplied in the form of financial assistance by the United States.

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They have four international airports located in the four Federation States. Continental Airlines provides air transport in and out of the FSM. They also have all the major telecommunication services available for use, newspapers available, and taxi service is easily obtained. The official language spoken is English. Many older people there are fluent in Japanese too. If you are a resident of the United States entry into the country is fairly easy. You need a passport , birth certificate, or a FSM entry permit. Anyone outside the U.S. needs to have a passport.

The President of the Federation States of Micronesia encourages tourism and has formed a committee to push eco-tourism in the 21 century. The landscape is serene, picturesque, and very much preserved from the modern world. There are many ruins and relics to see. This is a great dive destination that even has a Japanese sunken fleet in the lagoon from WWII to explore. Formal wear along with tipping is discouraged when visiting the islands. Temperatures are pleasant are warm year-round.

Sources:

http://www.visit-fsm.org/visitors/index.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federated_States_of_Micronesia

http://www.fsmgov.org/

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/fm.html

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