Samoa’s unity, cohesion praised in prelude to Pacific Sports Ministerial meeting

The “unity” and the “cohesiveness” with which the Samoan people have approached the preparations for 2019 Pacific Games has received the highest praise from U.N.E.S.C.O’s most senior official in Samoa.

Speaking during the opening of the opening of the Pacific Sport and Physical Activity Policy Roundtable at Sheraton Samoa on Friday, U.N.E.S.C.O.’s Representative to the Pacific States, Ms. Nisha, congratulated everyone for a job well done.

“I wish to congratulate the government of Samoa for hosting and planning of the Pacific Games so well,” she said.

“Some of us who are not from the island states but have been here can very well imagine what a big event to organise and alongside organise parallel events which look at the ratifications and consequences for utility of such programme for the larger development agenda.

“And Samoa is doing it beautifully with unity very cohesively and I wish to extend my congratulation to the ministry.”

The opening of the roundtable was attended by the Minister of Education, Sports and Culture, Loau Keneti Sio, who is also the Pacific Games Chairman. The meeting is a prelude to the Pacific Islands Sports Ministers Meeting on Saturday, which will be opened by Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi.

The meeting in Apia is the second roundtable, following the first one in Vanuatu.

“This Roundtable is a platform to connect, collaborate, share good practice and work together to strengthen sports policy in Pacific Island Countries and Territories,” Loau said.

“Today we will discuss the latest progress in the region on national sports policy and strategic initiatives underway towards better coordination and towards targeted action to realize our shared vision for a stronger and more resilient Pacific.”

For U.N.E.S.C.O., partnerships in sports are critical.

“I cannot say more about the values of sport whether it is related to discipline hard work or related to acceptance of differences negotiations these are values which are important at the politician level and community level,” Ms. Nisha said.

“So sports have values to offer to the development and ideas of development.I would like to point out which also links to our agenda today is that sport is not only about the competitive sport, individual achievement it is also about physical activity in all forms that contribute to physical fitness it’s also about social interaction clear recreation and organize and competitive sport at community level which give society healthy very spirited and happy.”

Ms. Nisha also highlighted the importance of sustainable development goals and leaving no one behind.

“Sport has a lot to contribute and make direct contribution…” she said.

The roundtable was attended by representatives of national, regional and international sporting bodies including representatives of regional and international organisations.

The outcomes of Friday’s meeting will be presented to the Ministerial conference on Saturday.

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