New York, 1 November 2019
Independence Day remarks by Permanent Representative, Ambassador Jane J. Chigiyal at the Nation’s 33rd Anniversary of Independence at the United Nations
New York, 1 November 2019
Excellencies and friends,
On behalf of the staff and our families, I welcome you, and thank you all for joining our Mission this evening to celebrate the Independence Day for the Federated States of Micronesia. This Sunday is the official celebration.
On this auspicious occasion, allow me to make a brief remark. Since this is the first time we are celebrating our Independence Day in New York, it is fitting to share a very brief history of our journey.
In 1945, we became a Trust Territory under the United Nations mandate – A strategic Trust
Territory. The aim of the Trust was to lead the territory to self governance. But the Cold War happened so it took us another 40 years. It was in 1986 that we were finally free and emerged as an independent nation. As we celebrate this important achievement for Micronesians, we must aspire to live by the vision and wisdom of our forefathers.
I would like to read a part of the preamble of our Constitution and I quote
“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. … we who have been the wards of other nations, become the proud guardian of our own islands, now and forever.” (End of Quote)
Of relative historical significance, are our historical ties with the United Nations – as we
struggled to gain international recognition of our independence. I would venture to suggest that few others besides the citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia – and I would include our sisters and brothers from the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau – can point to the long and tangible encouragement from the UN throughout the entire period that this Organization’s Charter has been in effect. Emerging from the United Nations Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, we rejoiced with a sense of fulfillment on that historic day in September, 28 years ago when our nation took its rightful seat among sovereign nations as a member of the UN. We recognize and honor our forefathers whose foresight and hard work brought our nation into
the UN, to bring about the eventual achievement of our goal of self determination. They recognized then the value of multilateralism.
Federated States of Micronesia is 33 years young, or old today, depending on how you want to use the number – the importance of an ascending number is that we automatically attach it to maturity and an upward growth. There are many things that we are grateful for today that has been made possible by the Micronesian people, our friends and partners at the regional and international level in the last 33 years.
Our country is democratically stable, our region is peaceful. But there is also that looming threat of climate change that we live with everyday that can wipe out years of hard work with one disaster. And so the work has to continue for us, but with the help of friends and partners like you we know we can reach the goals we have set for ourselves in the SAMOA Pathway, the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and other international frameworks.
To the modest extend that the Federated State of Micronesia has made its contribution and presence known within the years of its membership in the Organization, I want to use this special occasion to speak to a single topic. I want to thank my Micronesian colleagues for allowing my country to be the host of the MCO. In addition, I thank our wider Pacific family for your solidarity and support of our Micronesian sub-region. I am mindful that we have not reached our destination, but with much encouragement from all of you, I am very confident that we will get there.
This is an historic effort for our entire Pacific region and the UN organization to recognize and reorient itself to adapt to its changing roles and to ensure that it continues to be relevant for all of us. And in the process leaves no one behind.
With those brief words I Thank you for your support and for joining us this event. May I ask that you to please join me in a toast:
To the good health of our President, the Micronesian leadership and people, and our Pacific family – To Peace and Prosperity in our Pacific region.