The Caroline Islands are a widely scattered archipelago in the western Pacific Ocean; they became part of a UN Trust Territory under US administration following World War II. The eastern four island groups adopted a constitution in 1979 and chose to become the Federated States of Micronesia. (The fifth, westernmost island group became Palau.) Independence came in 1986 under a Compact of Free Association with the US, which was amended and renewed in 2004. Present concerns include large-scale unemployment, overfishing, and overdependence on US aid.
president and vice president elected by Congress from among the four senators at large for a four-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 11 May 2011 (next to be held in May 2015); note - a proposed constitutional amendment to establish popular elections for president and vice president failed
Emanuel MORI reelected president by Congress unopposed; Alik L. ALIK reelected vice president
unicameral Congress (14 seats; 4 - one elected from each state to serve four-year terms and 10 - elected from single-member districts delineated by population to serve two-year terms; members elected by popular vote)
last held on 5 March 2013 (next to be held in March 2015)
light blue with four white five-pointed stars centered; the stars are arranged in a diamond pattern; blue symbolizes the Pacific Ocean, the stars represent the four island groups of Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Yap
note:adopted 1991; the anthem is also known as "Across All Micronesia;" the music is based on the 1820 German patriotic song "Ich hab mich ergeben," which was the West German national anthem from 1949-1950; variants of this tune are used in Johannes Brahms' "Festival Overture" and Gustav Mahler's "Third Symphony"
Economic activity consists of subsistence farming and fishing and government which is funded largely by Compact of Free Association (Compact) assistance provided by the US. The islands have few known mineral deposits worth commercial exploration. The potential for tourism is also limited by isolation, lack of adequate facilities, and limited air and water connections hinder development. Under the terms of the original Compact, the US provided $1.3 billion in grants and aid in 1986-2001. The US and the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) negotiated a second (amended) Compact agreement in 2002-2003 that took effect in 2004. The amended Compact runs for a 20-year period to 2024; during which the US will provide roughly $2.1 billion to the FSM. The amended Compact also includes a Trust Fund for the people of the FSM which is to provide an income stream beyond 2024 when Compact grants are to end. The country's medium-term economic outlook appears fragile because of reduced US assistance and lackluster performance of its small and stagnant private sector.
islands interconnected by shortwave radiotelephone (used mostly for government purposes), satellite (Intelsat) ground stations, and some coaxial and fiber-optic cable; mobile-cellular service available on Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Yap
no TV broadcast stations; each state has a multi-channel cable service with TV transmissions carrying roughly 95% imported programming and 5% local programming; about a half dozen radio stations (2009)
current situation: Micronesia is a source, and to a limited extent, destination country for women subjected to sex trafficking; Micronesian women are fraudulently recruited for jobs in the US and its territories only to be forced into prostitution or labor upon arrival; Micronesian and foreign women and children are also reportedly prostituted on fishing vessels in Micronesia or its territorial waters, as well as restaurants and clubs frequented by fishermen; complaints of nonpayment and inhuman treatment on fishing boats has led to investigations of labor trafficking
Tier 2 Watch List - Micronesia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; despite passage of implementing regulations for Micronesia's 2012 trafficking law, the government has not reported any investigations, prosecutions, or convictions for sex or labor trafficking; the government also makes no efforts to identify trafficking victims and refer them to protective services; no NGOs provide services to victims; limited efforts are made to increase the public's awareness of human trafficking (2013)