The Government of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), like many other countries is committed to monitoring and implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The FSM is making efforts to localize the SDGs in to its national planning and budget processes to support its development aspirations enshrined in FSM’s Strategic Development Plan (SDP) 2004-2023. The SDP serves as the country’s highest-level policy framework and is premised on the theme of achieving economic growth and self-reliance.
The SDGs which build on the success of the Millennium Development goals have been part of the FSM’s development agenda even predating independence and are part of the FSM Strategic Development Plan for 2004-2023. The SDP goals and Infrastructure Development Plan (IDP) priority areas, especially Health, Education, Agriculture, Fisheries, Private Sector Development, Transportation, Communication and Energy are also a priority in the regional (SAMOA Pathway) and international (SDGs) frameworks.
Institutional and Coordination Mechanism
In July of 2016, the FSM President established the SDG Working group chaired by the Secretary for R&D to align SDGs into national planning. The SDG working group is an internal coordination mechanism which draws its members from all the sectors within the government machinery. Membership of the Working Group consists of all the various FSM National Departments, namely: Foreign Affairs; R&D; Finance & Administration; Health & Social Affairs; Education; Environment & Emergency Management; Overseas Development & Assistance; and relevant National line Department/Office/Agency who can provide technical advice to the Working Group.
Monitoring and Reporting on the SDGs
FSM recognizes the importance of collecting and reporting data against the SDG indicators. Relevant, quality and timely statistics provide evidence for national decision making and policy. FSM has made efforts to identify relevant SDG indicators. FSM’s division of statistics undertook a data assessment exercise for the SDGs to identify relevant and appropriate sources that could support the SDG indicators. Following this national assessment of data availability and utilization of data on the sustainable development indicators conducted in 2017, FSM identified indicators relevant for monitoring and reporting at the national and state levels.
This was an initiative undertaken by the SDG Working group under the leadership of the Department of Resources and Development along with the respective departments of the Federated States of Micronesia This compiled a set of priority SDG indicators were reviewed and adopted by the government of the Federated States of Micronesia in a consultation and national localization at a meeting officiated by the vice president.
This is in line with the country’s commitments Under SDG 17.19, where all countries including the FSM committed to “build on existing initiatives to develop measures of progress on the Sustainable Development that complement gross domestic product, and support statistical capacity-building in developing countries. FSM developed national indicators of progress on SDGs by identifying 98 national indicators to closely and systematically monitor the SDGs in the FSM.
FSM's Voluntary National Review 2020
On March 1st 2019, the Government of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) through its permanent mission requested to take part in the Voluntary National Review on the implementation of SDGs in 2020. The FSM has committed to report the progress of implementation of SDGs at the United Nations High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), under the auspices of the United Nations General Assembly and Economic and Social Council in 2020. HLPF meets annually and focuses on predetermined themes as well as a cluster of SDGs (SDG 17 is reviewed at every meeting). The VNRs is an opportunity to conduct joint assessment of progress, gaps and challenges, harnessing the knowledge and skills of all relevant stakeholders. Holding broad based consultations during the preparation of the VNR and making publicly available to the public before submission to the HLPF should be part of this process.
Communication and Awareness on the SDGs
National and state SDG workshops were held in 2017 with the dual purposes of identifying and verifying data needed for the assessment report while building awareness and support for the SDGs on the part of government and civil society. The SDG localization workshop was featured on the Pacific Islands News Association and the Kaselehlie Press. A recognized example of a good practice is Department of Health and Social Affairs conducted its own state consultations with the department’s financing. This “good practice” is worthy for other departments to consider, if possible.
The ‘FSM Youth for SDGs’ initiative consisted of awareness-raising and training workshops with youths in the State of Pohnpei that was attended with the presence of the FSM Vice President, Honorable Yosiwo P. George, as well as donors and partners supporting the initiative. These youth groups then became Youth Ambassadors for FSM.
The awareness was also conducted among primary school children, through a threefold school competition (essay, drawing and photo contest), and this expanded the ‘FSM Youth for SDGs’ initiative to raise awareness among the youngest members of society.