FSM President Christian’s address to the recent Association of Pacific Islands Legislators meeting in Guam

FSM President Christian’s address to the recent Association of Pacific Islands Legislators meeting in Guam
Mr. President, Officials and members, ladies and gentlemen, friends. Let me begin by thanking you all for inviting me to join you in this General Assembly of APIL.
I am very honored to be here, but I am a bit apprehensive about speaking before this body as a president addressing an assembly of leaders who by nature are the traditional, perfect enemies of the executive branch. It is either that this all is a trick, or this is one of God's holy sense of humors.
Oh, perhaps life has its own way of showing us its ways, astounding us with how sometimes being wrong can be good, or simply to be wrong on the right side. You have tasked me to speak on the deep and profound subject of keeping the spirit of unity throughout Micronesia—a subject rooted deep in my political commitments and deep in my heart,too; as it is one upon which my four years as the president of a small nation is founded, and for which I have travelled thru the islands to gain support.president
We must, however, recognize that given also the geography, geopolitics, the particular differences in our cultures, our political history and the unique preferences of the individuals, instilling a sense of unity is easier said than done.
Impossible? No! We just have to work harder at it, harnessing the help of our traditional leaders, our elected government leaders, our church leaders, including those whose thoughts may be deviant, will assure us of having involved most who may have a similar wish that this spirit of unity come on and remain with us. Unity, and the spirit that inspires it, is a subject into which I have immersed my thoughts, and have become obsessively passionate, and at times been ridiculed by those who may have a different perspective or that simply dislike me. Only so much rhetoric can be poured on this subject to glorify it, yet none of that comes close to giving testimony that THAT spirit of unity is alive than by who I see here today, and the forum over which we stand to testify.
I am happy. I now am assured that what little has been done, and what little more I will do with your blessings is embodied and fostered in this association of legislators. I ask you to join me in this noble obsession.
As populations go, we are of little consequence to the world, but as a people we are known as Micronesians, inhabitants of these small islands for thousands of years, with a culture unique to us. This means something to us, and it is our solemn duty to not simply keep it alive ... but insist that for it we become more relevant to our world.

Keeping alive the spirit of Micronesian Unity is like love. It cannot be GRANTED, nor can it be TAKEN FOR GRANTED. It must be inspired, continually guarded, and tempered by people's resilience for commitment. Unlike the idealist who sometimes believes that the force of righteousness would overcome all obstacles, and underestimates the power and need to flatter, seduce or lobby; we must work at it.
Keeping unity entails a call to sacrifice part of our individualism in the name of collectivism. We must remember that the spirit of unity resides not in the shallows of our minds. It must be summoned from deep within, and become an embracement of our differences and our willingness to compromise.
Summoning and inspiring the spirit of unity is a task not easily carried out. For the Federated States of Micronesia this task is made four times more challenging because the people of the four states of Micronesia are engaged in that difficult undertaking of being one from many, sacrificing this for that. While we are fundamentally the same as a culture, there are subtle and silent differences that are not only defining, but are also sacred and jealously protected.
I am, however, dedicated to that difficult task, trusting that I am not alone in this endeavor; that you and other leaders are also so engaged in keeping the spirit of unity alive and vibrant throughout the Micronesian Region, and by natural extension to our neighbors in Melanesia and Polynesia. All of this must be for our collective good.
But if anything can be said about our topic, it is that we are not only talking about it. We are doing something about it. Your presence here in this Assembly in Guam is clear testimony of our collective efforts to keep the spirit of Unity throughout Micronesia well and alive. And as the President of the FSM, it is indeed gratifying to see many of you—our fellow Micronesian brothers and sisters sharing this roof -embracing that spirit of unity, giving embodiment to this noble cause. Enriched by our shared traditions and cultures which have sustained us as one Micronesian people through the ages, it is incumbent on all of us, not only to keep the spirit of unity alive, but to nourish it, to sustain it as a source of strength for all of us as Micronesians, and for generations of Micronesians to come.
Needless to say, with our past political history, there are bound to be unique issues and challenges facing our Micronesian region as independent states, territory, or commonwealth of the US.
While many post war territories and possessions have since attained negotiated political freedom and independence, they still see the shadow of foreign flags fluttering on their lands and in their affairs. Some still labor toimprove their status as nations, while some still await the awakening of the United Nations to heed their plea for political autonomy and the honor to fly a flag of independence.
For those of us who are aligned with the greatest economy and strongest advocate of democracy, there are many things that beg for answers. While the Federated States of Micronesia holds itself from intruding into the affairs of our brothers and sisters in Guam, we cannot help but wonder why they are Americans by citizenship, bear arms as Americans, but cannot cast a ballot for the commander in chief of the United States. For them we pledge our support, when the time is right and our opinion is sought.
Ladies and gentlemen, hope with me that these issues and challenges are accepted as unifying forces for that which we call ourselves -Micronesians. As in the canoe, its parts bound together tightly by flexible cords, sustains strong wind and waves, so must be our togetherness be bound by our sense of belonging and need for collectiveness.
We have in common that we are diverse, yet in the few diversities lie our fiber of strength of unity. Our cultural values are worn only of the sharing of them, changing ever so little to accommodate the tide of time. Let us dream together the same dream, and aspire as one, if not for ourselves today, then for those of our people whose canoes have yet to be seen on the horizon.
Kalahngan en kupwurkoaros, Kauno en ketketrehmwailkoaros.