The Head of State, His Highness Tuimaleali’ifano Va’aletoa Sualauvi II, has welcomed Chile’s new Ambassador to Samoa, Rodrigo Espinosa Marty.
On Thursday, Mr. Marty presented the letter of credence from the President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, acknowledging him as his country’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Samoa.
The presentation took place at the Head of State’s Office at Moto’otua. His Highness Tuimaleali’ifano was accompanied by the Masiofo, Her Highness Fa’amausili Leinafo, during the meeting.
The new Ambassador wants to strengthen Samoa and Chile’s bonds of friendship.
“Especially nowadays, where the geographic barriers that separate us seem more irrelevant, thanks to the increasing connectivity, and the ties that exist between our peoples become closer. The Polynesian connection that links Rapa Nui with Samoa is just a starting point of many convergences of our countries, which I hope we can continue to deepen over the next years,” he said.
The Ambassador also highlighted the common challenges of today.
“As President Bachelet recently mentioned at the United Nation’s General Assembly, the notion of development that prevailed until now has been shaken by the relentless reality of climate change, a threat that looms over our countries and we must face together.”
“And, as you also mentioned at the U.N. General Assembly, we are living in an environment of risk. Certainly, as you said, climate change has no respect for sovereignty and does not discriminate countries between rich or poor, large or small.”
“In this regard, we value Samoa’s active role in the protection of the Oceans, mainly through its participation in the Oceans Conference held in New York and the 13 voluntary commitments assumed by your government on that occasion that showcased the efforts towards the conservation management and sustainable use of the Ocean, its resources and the engagement of communities.”
“Our countries also share similar values, including our commitment to human rights and the rule of law. For this reason, Chile has decided to present its candidacy to the United Nations Human Rights Council.”
Nuclear weapons was also on the agenda.
“Both countries signed recently the ‘Treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons’, another indication of our governments’ commitment to international peace and stability, and our clear-cut and firm aspiration to have a world without nuclear weapons. Additionally, Chile and Samoa are part to the MALIAT – a Multilateral agreement on liberalisation of air traffic – whose purpose is to promote better connectivity between our two countries in passengers and cargo and linking Asia and the Americas.”
“Chile also recognizes the stability of the Independent State of Samoa and the important role that plays in the architecture of the Pacific, especially in regional bodies such as the Pacific Islands Forum, whose annual meeting was held here last month.”
“We will seek Samoa’s views in our efforts to improve our involvement with the Pacific through its institutions, especially in the Pacific Island Forum. We know of the interest that exists for our participation in that forum -through Easter Island-, and I hope to be present soon in that summit representing my country.”
“In April of this year, I had the opportunity to participate in the South Pacific Defence Ministers Meetings held in Auckland. Our presence at that summit is also a sign of Chile’s commitment to this region and our interest in being linked to the Pacific region through its multilateral architecture.”
“Indeed, one of the areas in which we could explore cooperation is connected to the exchange of experiences in the field of early response to natural disasters and disaster relief.”
“Our countries are also highly dependent on agriculture. Chile wants to become a ‘world food power’, and our knowledge in this area could be a contribution to Samoa’s economy. Currently, Chile is developing an agricultural cooperation project with Fiji, and we could look for ways to replicate this experience with Samoa.”
“Every year, the Diplomatic Academy of Chile - an institution that instructs our Foreign Service - organizes an international course. We hope to have an official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Samoa in that course soon. Thereby, we will be fostering the dialogue and better understanding among our young diplomats.”
“These are just some of the areas we could nurture our relationship with and I am certainly very interested in including others matters that are of interest to you and your authorities.”
“As a representative of a country with a strong interest in the Pacific, I wish to express, Your Highness, the assurances of our sincere friendship and respect during the fulfilment of my mission as Chile’s representative to Samoa, and I hope that at the end of my duties the ties of friendship that unite us may have strengthened and increased by then.”
The Head of State, His Highness Tuimaleali’ifano gladly welcomed the new Ambassador to Samoa and expressed Samoa’s deep desire to strengthen the bonds of friendship with Chile.