Netherlands Ambassador presents credentials
The Netherlands Ambassador to Samoa, Mira Woldberg, yesterday presented her credentials to the Head of State, His Highness Tuimalealiifano Va’aletoa Sualauvi II at his residence in Vailele.
Ms. Woldberg said ties between Samoa and the Kingdom of Netherlands date back to the year 1722 when Dutch explorer, Jacob Roggeveen, was the first European to set eye on the islands during his travel in the Pacific.
She said the sea has always been a defining factor in the history and culture of the two nations.
“Today the sea is important as it was then, be it in a different way. Both our countries are vulnerable to the rising sea levels caused by climate change. Almost half of my country lies below sea level."
“It is the territory where more than half of the Dutch population lives and most of the crucial economic activity and infrastructure are located,” she said.
Apart from the European territory at the North Sea, the Kingdom of Netherlands consists of three small island developing states, Curacao, St Maarten and Aruba, Ms. Woldberg said. “Shared challenges and shared experiences mean that the Kingdom of Netherlands feels a bond with Samoa,” she added.
His Highness Tuimalealiifano said the diplomatic relations between the two nations was established in 1979.
He said Samoa and Netherlands shares common values within the United Nations and that includes strengthening their cooperation on global security, rule of law, freedom, democracy and human rights. And he also acknowledged the Netherlands multilateral development assistance through the EU partnership.
“Samoa being a small island State, like the rest of the Pacific neighbours, is vulnerable to the impacts of climate change such as rising sea level, unprecedented weather temperatures and frequent cyclones outside our normal cyclone season."
“Samoa commends the commitment of Netherlands to assist our joint efforts to deal with the challenges of climate change and we would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Netherlands in being elected as a member of the United Nations Security Council in 2018."
“We acknowledge with appreciation your advocacy of issues important to S.I.D.S. and Samoa during your membership within the UN Security Council. I wish you the very best in your tenure as the Ambassador of Netherlands to Samoa,” he said. Ms. Woldberg is based in Wellington, New Zealand and is also accredited to New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga, Kiribati and Tuvalu.
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