Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi is in London this week. He is among World and Pacific leaders attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (C.H.O.G.M.) being held there.
The Prime Minister is accompanied by the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Agafili Tomaimano Shem Leo, and the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Peseta Noumea Simi.
The meeting; held every two years is being chaired by Queen Elizabeth II under the theme “Towards a Common Future.”
It was officially opened by the Commonwealth’s Secretary General, Patricia Scotland, who said “collective wisdom” is the Commonwealth’s greatest asset.
“Indeed, as I said in my Commonwealth Day message this year: ‘We draw wisdom and insights from secular streams of thought, and from the many communities and traditions that are the sea of faith.’ I have faith in our Commonwealth. And do you know why?” she said.
“Because we also draw wisdom and inspiration from business, from youth, from women and from civil society – and each and all of these tributaries are adding from the glorious diversity of their hinterland to our vast Commonwealth ocean of knowledge and understanding."
“This practical grounding to all our collaboration means that collectively we are responsive to needs."
“Most valuably, it enables us to scan the horizon from many vantage points and perspectives, alert to emerging threats and on the lookout for fresh opportunities. We then take counsel together, we plan, we imagine, we innovate."
“As a convoy on the high seas, or a caravan in the desert, we draw protection from being together, and we guard to make sure that none are left behind."
These are not poetic flights of fancy; they are practical realities for a globalised world.”
According to Scotland, the Commonwealth leaders were made for this moment.
“So this House of Dreams can fire our imagination. Imagination can be turned into reality; and the outworking of that reality towards a common future becomes our Commonwealth future. We are joined together, not my treaty, but by will. We are choosing to be members of this Commonwealth, conjoined by our values which are precious, hard won and durable.
Friends and colleagues, comrades and counterparts, let me leave with you some words of Nelson Mandela – who, as a young man, stood in the street outside this building looking skywards and dreamed of a better future."
“And he said this: ‘Vision without action is just a dream, action without vision just passes the time, and vision with action can change the world'."
“This is what we are doing together now: changing the world. And our Commonwealth, our one third of the world can, if we choose, lead the way for a common future not just for our Commonwealth but for everyone.
“I know in this room we have everything we need to do that. So go change the world!”