Remarks by Forum Chair & Prime Minister of Samoa, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, to open meeting between Forum Leaders and the UN Secretary-General

22 Sept 2017, United Nations,New York 




I wish to thank you for the opportunity to meet with the Pacific leaders- furthermore we thank you for the representation of your office at the September Pacific Forum Leaders meeting in Samoa  through  Assistant Secretary General Mr  Miroslav Jenca.

2017 has been a year of active engagement of the Pacific leadership in the United Nations and its program of work. Key milestones include the conclusion of the tenure of the Presidency of the General Assembly held by Fiji. There was the UN Ocean conference in June which produced concrete outcomes to ensure the effective implementation of SDG 14 through the Call for Action. Pacific Island countries pledged over 60 voluntary commitments and there were partnerships launched as well.   Moreover we are already engaged in preliminary preparations towards the COP 23 under Fiji’s presidency.

We support your UN reform to ensure a UN that serves the people and not the processes and we will continue to contribute and engage on the reform agenda to ensure a more effective United Nations.

In early September, Samoa was privileged to host the 48th Pacific Forum Leaders meeting. Our Forum Communiqué highlights our region’s priorities for the next 12 months under Samoa’s chairmanship.

My fellow leaders will provide overviews on some of these priority areas relevant to the work of the United Nations.

Suffice to say that I will attempt only to highlight the theme adopted for this year’s Forum namely “The Blue Pacific – our sea of islands, our security through sustainable development, management and conservation”.

Leaders endorsed the Blue Pacific identity as the core driver of collective action for advancing the Leaders vision under the Framework for Pacific Regionalism. Through this endorsement, Leaders have given recognition to the Blue Pacific as a new narrative that calls for inspired leadership and a long-term Forum foreign policy commitment to act as one “Blue Continent”.

In considering the shifts in the global and regional contexts, Leaders also recognise the opportunity of the Blue Pacific identity to reinforce the potential of our shared stewardship of the Pacific Ocean and reaffirm the connections of Pacific peoples with their natural resources, environment, culture and livelihoods.  We look forward to continue the close collaboration with the UN in pursuing our regional interests as the “Blue Pacific”

Finally I commend your leadership not only in driving the much needed UN reforms, but also in championing issues of sustaining peace, gender equality, women empowerment and the improvement of lives of women children and youth, including your “Every Woman Every Child” platform which our PIF Secretary General serves on its committee

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