Happy New Year, Samoa!
Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi
New Year’s Address
As we traditionally do in our Christian country, we offer our prayers of thanksgiving and gratitude to our Lord God for guiding Samoa’s journey through this year.
We farewell 2015 and take forward its lessons to the new year 2016 to further make safer our communities and to strengthen the development of our country.
I would like to acknowledge with gratitude the hard work and important contributions made by all our people whether through: the Church, village councils, the private sector and in government service to the development and cohesiveness of our country.
This unity of purpose and commitment to a good future for Samoa has helped us make strong achievements at the end of this year and I look forward to continuing our combined effort to advance and secure our country in the year ahead.
The devastating impact of climate change is now felt worldwide and particularly here in our frontline vulnerable small island countries of the Pacific.
The successful conclusion of the COP21 held in France early this month put in place the Paris Agreement on Climate Change that brought together all countries of the world in their collective realization that humankind has only just the one planet Earth to either destroy or save.
The Paris Agreement is without doubt a key watershed mile-stone for the world and for the Pacific region. As widely acknowledged, achieving the Paris Agreement was by no means easy or straight forward. It required steadfast belief and commitment by all governments and countries to reach the finish line.
For our own small country, Samoa, it is with a sense of quiet satisfaction and pride that the outcomes – “The SAMOA Pathway” - of the 3rd United Nations Conference for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) we hosted in Apia in 2014, greatly assisted small island developing states present a strong special case for SIDS in the negotiations of the Paris Agreement. The “SAMOA Pathway” also helped cast the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to reflect the needs of SIDS endorsed at the United Nations General Assembly in September this year.
For Samoa, the Pacific Islands and other SIDS, the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals that the SAMOA Pathway helped to shape, open new windows for financing assistance to help with adaptation and mitigation actions to make our countries more climate resilient and to achieve sustainable development goals.
In this connection of support for Samoa’s aspirations I would like to express our gratitude to all of Samoa’s developmental partners including Australia, China, the European Union, Japan, New Zealand and the United States with resident diplomatic representation in Apia. I wish also to thank the United Nations Agencies, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund for their continuing generous support and advice.
Last week His Highness the Head of State conveyed his message on the important spirit of Christmas for our country. In this same vein, I wish every family and all our people the Peace of our Lord and Saviour for a Happy and safe New Year.
Ia manuia tele le Tausaga Fou.