On the 27th February 2020, H.E. Aliioaiga Feturi Elisaia and Madam Maria Lei Sam-Elisaia departed New York for Samoa, upon completion of their tour of duty as the Ambassador, Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of the Independent State of Samoa to the United Nations in New York.
Ambassador Elisaia took up his post as Samoa’s Envoy to the United Nations from 14th September 2003 until 27th February 2020 a representation of 16 years and 5 months of service. Ambassador Elisaia was a member of the Secretary General’s Vintage Group. He is well respected amongst his Ambassadorial colleagues and an excellent mentor to his staff and those that have come to know him professionally and personally.
Over his years of service, Ambassador Elisaia held multiple roles that have elevated Samoa in the international forum. A few of these roles included being the Board Member for SIDS on the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board for three years from 2016 – 2018, Samoa’s Political Focal Point to the Global Environment Facility (GEF) from 2006 – 2020, the Representative of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) on the Bureau of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) from 2007-2008 and was also the Chairman of the Pacific Island Forum (PIF) Group in New York twice from 2004-2005 and 2017-2018.
One of the major accomplishments for Ambassador Elisaia was bringing the “Third International Conference of the Small Island Developing States” to Samoa in which Samoa was the proud hosts in 2014 with an outcome titled the “S.A.M.O.A. Pathway”. The outcome not only bears the name of Ambassador’s beloved country but it is also the blueprint for the sustainable development priorities of the SIDS.
Ambassador Elisaia’s successful assignment in New York is also credited to the great support by his wife, Madam Maria Lei Sam-Elisaia who has been a fundamental pillar not only for Ambassador but also for the Mission in the past 16 years. Deputy Permanent Representative Mrs. Miriama Betham-Malielegaoi will take over as the Chargé d’affaires.a.i. of the Samoa Mission pending the arrival of the new Ambassador later in the year.