Be proud, unite and clean up!

This was the essence of our Head of State, His Higness Tuimalealiifano Va’aletoa Sualauvi II’s address at this year’s celebration to commemorate 62 years of Samoa’s Statehood.

The Head of State was referring to preparations for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) that we will host in October this year.

Samoa must rally around his call and show the leaders of the 56 countries of the Commonwealth the progress in economic, social and human development that our nation has made since becoming the first United Nations Trust Territory in the Pacific to regain our independence.

It is also a chance to show the world that we uphold the core values and principles of the Charter of the Commonwealth of Nations.

Hosting a global conference is not new for Samoa. Our small nation has proudly risen to the occasion before.

In 2014, we hosted the biggest meeting of Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) convened by the United Nations with over 4,500 delegates registered from over 200 Member States and territories as well as representatives from many international organizations.

The Secretary General of the United Nations, Tupua Ban Ki-Moon attended the meeting.

The outcome of the conference, the “SIDS Accelerated Modality of Action Pathway,” known as the SAMOA Pathway, was one of the landmark global agreements leading up to the 2030 Agenda and Paris Agreement in 2015.

The SAMOA Pathway was the foundation for SIDS development from 2014 to 2024 and has been referenced millions of times in speeches at UN meetings and conferences all over the world.

Earlier this month Samoa handed the SIDS torch over to Antigua and Barbuda, after carrying it proudly for the last 10 years.  

In 2023, Samoa hosted the 79 members of the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACP) and the 27 member states of the EU as they signed their 20-year partnership “Samoa Agreement.”

Altogether, 250 delegates from 106 member countries attended this event.

The “Samoa Agreement” will now become a familiar reference at international meetings on political, economic and social development issues.

Securing these meetings to be hosted in Samoa were not easy.

Samoa first offered to host a future CHOGM at the 2015 meeting in Malta to mark its 60th anniversary of independence.

Our friendly neighbors, Fiji made a late attempt in 2018 to host CHOGM but lost the vote to Rwanda and Samoa.

They had also made a strong case to host the United Nations SIDS conference in 2014.

However, the global community decided to entrust this high honour to Samoa.

Apart from the free advertising, worth billions of dollars, whenever SAMOA Pathway, Samoa Agreement, and Samoa CHOGM is mentioned all over the world, these events show that a small nation like Samoa can hold its own in the international arena.

Our proud nation has always risen to the occasion, knowing that everything is possible when we put our trust in God.

This is why we must join the Head of State and own up, clean up, and smile!

Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi

Leader of HRPP Party in Samoa

Samoa Observer

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