Akillino Harris Susaia presents credentials at the White House as the FSM Ambassador to the U.S.A.


Another page in the history of the diplomatic relations between the Federated States of Micronesia and the United States was turned on 24 April 2017 when President Donald J. Trump accepted the credentials of Mr. Akillino H. Susaia as Ambassador of the FSM to the United States in a ceremony held at the Oval Office of the White House. The two men exchanged pleasantries, after which Ambassador Susaia presented his formal statement, a copy of which is provided hereunder at length:
Mr. President,
It is with high sense of duty that I convey at the outset President Peter M. Christian’s warm greetings and best wishes of fine health and continued prosperity to you, your family and the American people. The rest of the leadership of the Federated States of Micronesia joins him in expressing our collective sincere appreciation for the continued friendship and assistance that the American people and leaders have extended to the people of Micronesia over the years through the instruments of the Compact of Free Association. It is our collective desire to deepen the affinities between the peoples of our two countries and to continue our existing cooperative efforts in promoting the rewards of Democracy around the globe.

I would like to express my own gratitude to you for accepting my credentials as the highest diplomatic representative of the Federated States of Micronesia to the United States of America. To me personally, this is a rare honor and distinct privilege – apart from being a tall challenge that must be pursued to my utmost energy. I wish to seize the opportunity of the presentation of my credentials to assure you of my commitment to do everything in my power to further strengthen our mutually beneficial partnership under the Compact of Free Association treaty.
While I have given my assurances that I will do my best, I am equally certain that I will need help to succeed in carrying out my mission. Your counsel and the cooperation of your representatives would be most welcome.
Mr. President,
Our two countries have been enjoying a mutually beneficial partnership. The Compact of Free Association, as amended, which is due for review over certain provisions in about seven years from now, has been the main framework for cooperation both bilaterally and multilaterally. For instance, the Compact of Free Association enables the Federated States of Micronesia and the United States to work closely on a number of key issues in the international arena. In this connection, I am proud to say that our cooperation at the United Nations remains solid, as has been since we became a Member State of that World Organization.
We in the Federated States of Micronesia are not only proud of but also grateful for the opportunities granted to our citizens to serve in the United States Armed Forces. Around the globe, including in various zones of high-voltage danger, Micronesian young men and women stand side by side with their American comrades in combatting terrorism and helping to safeguard the institutions of democracy. Our desire to contribute to world peace and our shared bilateral defense and security cooperation are manifested in the number of our able-bodied citizens signing up and serving in the United States military.
From the destruction and wretchedness of the Second World War, it was almost inevitable that the United States became our prime tutor in the arts of modern governance and the promises and practices of democratic life. We are grateful to the United States for graduating us from the tutorship into a unique partnership that continues, in a new setting or context, to facilitate maximum cooperation in handful areas of joint ventures.
Indeed, the United States has an indelible legacy in our islands. We have come to admire the American know-how and bold drive for excellence. Although we were slow to embracing it, we are now fully committed to the proposition that self-government and the development of the private sector must go hand in hand – and be scrupulously and jealously maintained if Democracy must be kept alive for the cross-sections of our society to enjoy.
Mr. President,
While we have accepted the self-evident principle that the private sector shall be the primary engine of development for our society, we should periodically run the reality check in our Compact partnership as the premier framework for my country’s development. Just as important, we must be honest to ourselves – in admitting that the basic infrastructures in the Federated States of Micronesia need upgrading. It is our hope that we are not mistaken in looking to the American ingenuity and proven record of entrepreneurship for guidance and
support in the development and advancement of our public infrastructures upon which we pin high hopes.
Prior to leaving the Federated States of Micronesia to come to America to take up my assignment, the leaders of my country missed not a beat to remind me about the historic affinities that we have with the American people and to seek help in improving our mutually beneficial relationship. Inevitably, in the course of our exchanges as friends, there will be, as there have been, discrepancies in views and understandings.
But we have been friends. For its part, the Federated States of Micronesia has stood with the United States, even when others preferred taking leave. We must not lose sight of this fact as we summon the courage and foresight to rise to the challenges that may stand from time to time in our relationship. It is not in the American spirit, nor in the Micronesian blood, to retreat when there is a great moral task to be done.
Thank you again for the confidence you have expressed through your acceptance of my credentials. I am prepared to do my part in advancing the shared goals and values of our two countries. With the help and generosity of the United States, I know I cannot fail but succeed.