PALIKIR, Pohnpei—From October 24th to 29th, 2022, the Government of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) co-hosted the 2nd annual Diplomatic Friendship Games with the Embassy of Australia. The Diplomatic Friendship Games, which purposefully begin on United Nations Day (an FSM holiday), seek to create new relationships, and strengthen existing partnerships, between the FSM Government and the diplomatic missions, and regional and international organizations, based in the FSM. The premise is that Government-endorsed sports competitions, where public servants play softball with each other, and the representatives of other countries and organizations, strengthen personal relationships and, by extension, make it more likely for representatives of other governments and organizations to feel favorably towards the FSM Government and the People of the FSM.
In his remarks, His Excellency David W. Panuelo, President of the FSM, said: “On this occasion of the 2022 Diplomatic Friendship Games, we gather together as a family to celebrate and honor our friendships and our partnerships. A simple friendly competition of sports, in this case softball, can certainly serve as the source of creating new relationships or strengthening existing ones. As a former diplomat, I consider strongly that forging and improving relations through sports is universal and is fundamental to diplomacy. Often times through our global history, sports usually find ways to counter differences, and reminds us of our collective humanity. Because of this, I think it is very fitting that we celebrate the opening of our 2022 diplomatic games on the date of the birth of our United Nations, October 24th.”
Among those in attendance at the 2022 Diplomatic Friendship Games included the Charge d’ Affaires of the Australian Embassy, Matthew Holloway, as co-host of the event; Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the FSM, H.E. Huang Zheng,; Charge d’ Affaires of the US Embassy, Alissa Bibb; Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of Japan, Kentaro Mizuuchi; Executive Director of the Western & Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, Feleti Teo; and Chief of Mission for the International Organization for Migration, Salvatore Sortino.
The FSM extends to all peoples and nations that which it seeks: peace, friendship, cooperation, and love in our common humanity.