Samoa's journey with United Nations relived at Bahai service
A service to mark the 60th Anniversary of Samoa's independence held at the Bahai Temple in Tiapapata has recognised the importance of the role played by the United Nations in the country's march to freedom.
The UN Resident Coordinator, Dr. Simona Marinescu, recalled Samoa's journey in getting the United Nations attention.
"It was in 1947 when Samoa petitioned the UN asking for self-Government. Six UN missions followed - 1947, 1950, 1953, 1956, 1959 and 1961 until the UN General Assembly terminated the Trusteeship Agreement recognizing Samoa in December 1961 as an Independent State," said Dr. Marinescu.
" There have been a series of milestones along those 6 decades. In 1971, Samoa moved from a Heavily Indebted Poor Country (less than USD 500 per capita) to a Least Developed Country. In 2014, in recognition of the progress made, Samoa was classified as a Mid-Income Country. In between, in 1976, Samoa joined the United Nations and embraced our values and principles."
There have also been so many challenges.
" The triple planetary crisis - climate change, nature (biodiversity decline) and pollution (human and planetary health threat) - is at play as well. The UN is still needed and so are bilateral donors and partners to which we are grateful," she added.
She thanked the Baha' i community for hosting the important service to promote UN values.
Deputy Prime Minister, Tuala Iosefo Ponifasio, also spoke on behalf of the government making reference of Samoa's involvement with the United Nations.
" Sixty years ago Samoa’s long march to self determination became a reality with the first flag raising of our nascent nation. In doing so, Samoa became the first Pacific Island country to gain independence from foreign powers," he said.
" It achieved this with much needed guidance from the United Nations and I acknowledge the many and varied contributions of the U.N that help our small island nation country to progress – fa‘afetai, thank you," he said.
" His Highness Susuga Malietoa Tanumafili II became the first reigning monarch in the world to embrace the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, a decision he chose to not tell the world until 1973," he said.
" Malietoa ranks as one of the longest serving monarchs in the world, with most of his distinguished service influenced by Bahá’í teachings," he added.
The deputy Prime Minister also read a quotation from the Baha'i writings.
" As we navigate this increasingly interconnected world, it is time we pay attention to this fundamental belief espoused so eloquently by Bahá’u’lláh: ( founder of the Bahai Faith), The world is but one country, and mankind its citizens ~ O le lalolagi o se atunu‘u e tasi, ma o tagata soifua o ona tagatanu‘u ia.”
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