Polynesian Leaders Group in virtual meet

By Joyetter Feagaimaali'i 27 January 2021, 1:00PM

The Polynesian Leaders Group summit on “Building Resilience in Times of Uncertainty” will be held this week after it was postponed from last year. 

The virtual summit will be hosted by Governor of American Samoa, Lemanu Peleti Mauga between island nations of the Blue Pacific region on 29 January 2021. 

This was confirmed in a statement issued by the American Samoa Governor’s office.

“American Samoa currently holds the P.L.G. Chairperson position, which is turned over annually to the next partner or at the next possible meeting,” reads the statement. “The 2020 P.L.G. summit did not occur due to the measles and COVID-19 outbreaks.

“The theme for the upcoming PLG meeting is 'Building Resilience in Times of Uncertainty.' 

“Our Polynesian culture defines our unified goals of building partnerships and paving the way for a prosperous and sustainable future for the region.”

Governor Lemanu said the theme of the virtual conference relates to how Pacific Island nations are working together during the pandemic. 

“This theme is directly related to how the Pacific islands are working together during this pandemic to overcome adversity,” he said in the statement. “We need to remain vigilant about other issues affecting our islands, livelihood, economics, culture, and language. 

“I hope that the results of this week’s discussion will be formatted and addressed accordingly at the next Pacific Islands Forum Meeting." 

He also acknowledged the work of the P.L.G. founder and Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi for his foresight. 

"I am thankful for the P.L.G. Secretariat, our partners in Samoa for all the hard work in implementing P.L.G. initiatives, information sharing among P.L.G. members and the logistics and planning to make these annual meetings a reality." 

The subregional grouping was established in 2011 and consists of independent or self-governing countries or territories within the geographical region of Polynesia. 

Samoa is a founding member. 

The statement issued out of the Governor Lemanu’s office in American Samoa referenced Tuilaepa's previous comments that the goal and mission of this Polynesian alliance are to work together to seek a future for Polynesian people and countries.

“The Polynesian Leaders Group (PLG) is an international governmental cooperation group bringing together eight independent or self-governing island nations and territories in Polynesia. "As the various countries come together to share their governmental affairs, the P.L.G. provides an opportunity to engage and educate each other on issues that present the most challenges within their respective countries. 

“Issues such as education, culture and language, environmental conservation (climate change), healthcare, and regional economics. 

“These discussions intend to provide a vehicle that strengthens the partnerships between all island nations of Polynesia. 

"The P.L.G. core values promote a mutual understanding and cooperation among members and encourage sharing knowledge and experiences in awareness and education to promote culture, traditions, and languages; to encourage mutual support of development efforts; to encourage respect for the quality of governance; to encourage the strengthening of connections with institutions or regional and international cooperation.”

The American Samoa Government says the P.L.G. meetings are exclusive and allow for a safe space, where members can share knowledge of achieving sustainable economic prosperity, observing democratic values, and promoting that human rights are promoted and protected and upholding the rule of law. 

By Joyetter Feagaimaali'i 27 January 2021, 1:00PM
Samoa Observer

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