PALIKIR, March 16, 2022—On Wednesday March 16, 2022 the President’s National Advisory Council for Children (PNACC) officially met and appointed its officers. In that meeting, the PNACC discussed the next steps towards the realization of children’s rights and protective services as required under His Excellency David W. Panuelo’s Executive Order that was issued on June 17, 2021.
Under the Presidential Executive Order the PNACC’s objective is to integrate and streamline existing policies and services for children to grow and live as Micronesians and in protecting them from harm and exploitation through prevention and responsive services that are culturally and socially responsible. The PNACC is also charged to develop measures in meeting FSM Government’s obligations under the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the FSM National Governments Strategic Development Plan (SDP) and other National, Regional and International obligations related to children. The PNACC will also develop a National Policy and State implementation plans in line with existing policies, laws and action plans to Climate Change, Human Trafficking, COVID 19 health emergency and other urgent issues.
The council members appointed the Honorable Arthur Albert, Acting Secretary of the Department of Education (DOE) who also represents his department in the DOE and Department of Health and Social Affairs (DHSA) Interagency working group for special education children as the Chairman of the Council. Mr. Robert Nakasone Jr. who represented the FSM Department of Justice was elected as the Vice Chairman. The FSM Department of Health and Social Affairs is the Secretariat for the PNACC.
Members of the PNACC who were also present included Mr. Brendy Carl, Assistant Secretary for the FSM Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA); Mrs. Lucille Apis-Overhoff, Assistant Secretary for the FSM Department of Environment, Climate Change and Emergency Management (DECEM); Mr. Stuard Penias Acting Assistant Secretary for the Department of Health and Social Affairs Division; Mrs. Lomalida Jibemai Statistics Specialist IV representing the FSM Department of Resources and Development; Mr. Augustine Bungmai, FSM Department of Education Monitoring and Evaluator; Mr. Iven Yaropiy, Deputy Assistant Secretary, also from the FSM Department of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Dionisio Saimon, FSM DHSA Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Program Manager and Mr. George Isom, Country Focal Officer for Human Rights with FSM DHSA.
The PNACC originally came into existence in the early 2000’s as a response to the FSM’s ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children (CRC) on May 05, 1993. The FSM later ratified the CRC optional protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography on April 23, 2012. The FSM further ratified the optional protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict on October 26, 2015.
The CRC convention was the first Human Rights Convention that the FSM ratified after it became a member country of the United Nations on September 17th, 1991.