The Prime Minister of Samoa, Honourable Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi addressed the UN General Assembly on Friday 28th September 2018 where he emphasized that “climate change is one of the most pressing security challenges for island countries” and that for Samoa “climate change embodies the fullness of Samoa’s realities and aspirations” impacting on society, the economy, the Samoan culture, faith and peoples way of life. He informed the General Assembly that climate change will continue to be Samoa’s “overriding priority policy concern and major pre-occupation including of the Pacific region, today and well into the future.”
Prime Minister Tuilaepa also highlighted some of the Pacific region’s priorities especially the “importance of an expanded concept of security and regional cooperation in building resilience to disasters and climate change”.
The Prime Minister appealed to world leaders to play their part in “finding and implementing solutions to the causes of climate change.” He highlighted the important role of the United Nations as it remains the “last best hope to provide the political will and the necessary commitment to turn the tide against climate change.”
The address also drew attention to the shifting of global and regional geopolitics and how the Forum Leaders have responded by renewing their commitment to work together as one Blue Pacific continent to address security challenges including climate change. The value of Samoa’s circle of partners, and the need for genuine and durable partnerships was strongly emphasizes in Samoa’s statement.
The Prime Minister also took the opportunity to confirm Samoa’s commitment to the SIDS priorities and thanked the UN Members especially the SIDS for accepting Samoa to host the Inter-regional meeting on the SAMOA Pathway review. He also acknowledged the support for the re-election of Samoa’s candidate to the Committee on the Rights of the Child.
The Prime Ministers full statement is available via the www.un.int/samoa/statements_speeches
Other Pacific Leaders who also addressed the UNGA on the same day are Prime Ministers of Vanuatu and Fiji, Solomon Islands and the Minister from Australia.
The Prime Minister also attended the Pacific Island Forum Leaders meeting with the UN Secretary General and chaired the IRENA High Level roundtable on the SIDS Lighthouse Initiative on renewable energy. Throughout the High Level Week the Prime Minister of Samoa also spoke at the High Level Events on the commemoration and promotion of the International Day for the Total elimination of nuclear weapons; the High Level Events which discussed the need for urgent global response to Tuberculosis and Non Communicable Diseases and attended the Treaty Event to deposit Samoa’s Instrument of Ratification for the “Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons”.
In addition, as a Police Contributing Country (PCC) to the United Nations Peacekeeping operations, Samoa endorsed the Declaration of Shared Commitments on the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations that was adopted at the High Level Meeting on Action for Peacekeeping.
The Prime Minister and Delegation will leave New York for Samoa in the weekend.