Head of State welcomes Norway's new Ambassador
The Head of State, His Highness Tuimaleali’ifano Va’aletoa Sualauvi II yesterday accepted the credentials of the Ambassador for Norway to Samoa, Paul Gulleik Larsen.
Mr. Larsen presented his credentials at the Head of State's official residence at Vailele. The Norwegian diplomat was commissioned by the King of Norway Harald V. He is based in Australian and accredited to Samoa.
His Highness Tuimalealiifano said that the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) and the Samoa Pathway are a priority for Samoa and he was glad that both Samoa and Norway were amongst the first UN member states to present their reports.
“We are pleased to be amongst the first UN Member States, with Norway, to present our Voluntary National Reports on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
“The SDG on climate change and oceans are some of the key priority goals for Samoa and our Blue Pacific Continent.
“As large ocean states, we have a responsibility to ensuring further marine protection, while also focusing on mitigation measures for the effects of climate change, promote sustainable economic activity amongst others for our countries,” His Highness Tuimalealiifano said.
The Head of State was also keen for the successful outcomes on sustainable oceans management from the ‘Our Oceans’ conference.
“It is also important to Samoa, and we are the latest Pacific Island country to enforce a ban on single-use plastics in a bid to address the growing issue of plastic pollution,” he added.
Mr. Larsen said that his country and Samoa share a deep concern for the future of our planet.
“We also share a commitment to promote peace and sustainable development -both of our governments are actively engaged in the United Nations and international efforts to take action against climate change and ocean pollution.
“Our welfare depends on healthy oceans for fishing and open sea-lanes for shipping. Our security depends on rules-based international system, including the Law of the Sea.
“Healthy oceans help limit the effects of changes in climate, help feed a growing population, and help develop a sustainable blue economy,” the Norway High Commissioner stated.
The Norwegian diplomat also said Norway's Crown Prince is visiting the Pacific next month, which he described as a "concrete expression of our enhanced engagement".
“In order to promote sustainable oceans management, Norway is hosting the ‘Our Oceans’ conference in Oslo in October 2019. My government has launched a large program to combat marine plastic pollution in developing countries.
“We have established a Trust Fund in the World Bank to mobilize donors around this cause and we want to work with Samoa in these efforts.
“Norway has provided USD $200 million to the Green Climate Fund and promoted simpler access for small island states and we are very pleased to hear that Samoa is receiving support from the Fund for the Vaisigano River project,” he added.
He acknowledged Samoa’s efforts to combat climate change.
“We know that climate change is an issue of security, if not survival, for many small island states and we hope to be elected to the UN Security Council for the term 2021-2022, where we intend to bring the security concerns of Pacific island states to the Council table in New York.”